FROM WaPo Newsletter : Indian Climate dilemma


India’s climate dilemmaShepherds watch over their flocks inside the Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka, India. (Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images)Shepherds watch over their flocks inside the Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka, India. (Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images)JAIPUR, India — For 10 years, Poonam Chaudhary saved $110 every month, dreaming about buying her first home and all the trappings of the upwardly mobile in today’s India.In April, Chaudhary’s dream — a whitewashed three-bedroom farmhouse — came true. She has views of blazing sunsets and marble-accented kitchen walls. She has two Japanese refrigerators and two TVs. She has an air conditioner that she runs all day during summer, when outside temperatures can soar past 110 degrees.She also has power cuts, usually lasting two hours — a near-daily reminder that she is among millions competing for a limited resource.“I finally have everything for the luxury life,” Chaudhary, a 34-year-old bank employee, said with a hearty laugh. “I just don’t have enough electricity.”Rising next to fields of mustard and country roads plied by plodding camel carts, Chaudhary’s new home is a small part of a vast developmental dilemma facing the world.At U.N. climate talks on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the country will aim for net-zero emissions by 2070 — two decades later than many advocates had hoped. He also slightly revised some of his existing targets by pledging that India would install 500 gigawatts of non-fossil energy and meet half of its energy demands from renewable sources by 2030.Modi’s announcement reflected India’s long-stated ambitions to transition to clean energy. But what he left unsaid was an acknowledgment that, as India’s economy expands in energy-intensive sectors, the country’s electricity demand will rise so sharply that it cannot yet afford to abandon cheap coal power for several decades. Modi has called for greater climate financing from developed countries. — Gerry Shih and Brady DennisRead on: India says it will reach net-zero emissions by 2070. Can renewables meet the growing demand of more than 1 billion people?
 
1,000 WordsDiwali, the five-day festival of lights, is one of the most important holidays celebrated by the followers of Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. The main day of celebrations this year was Nov. 4. The name comes from the word ‘deepavali,’ which means ‘row of lighted lamps’ in Sanskrit, and it symbolizes the victory of good over evil. This year, Indians are celebrating this festival of light under two dark clouds: pollution from fireworks and the potential for coronavirus outbreaks. (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)