The Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) calls on all countries to take action to limit global warming to 2 °C above pre-Industrial Revolution levels, and ideally to 1.5 °C. The new special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of the dangers of every additional degree of warming and identifies technological pathways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a way that we return to a 1.5 °C world by the end of this century. The voluntary commitments currently offered by countries, however, are expected to result in global warming of 2.7 °C to 3.7 °C. This paper examines the role of technology and supporting policies in the transition to a decarbonized or climate-neutral world by mid-century. With the case of India, we discuss the types of technologies and policies that are required to be implemented during 2020–2050 to stay on track for 1.5 °C warming. We highlight the transformative low carbon technologies needed in three major sectors—transport, cooling, and data centres—and discuss the social and economic policies that are needed to support the low carbon transition.
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