Please note that this is not an article on the principles of climate change, rather it is more of a detailed and comprehensive action and policies that has India adopted to contribute towards the cause of ‘climate change’.
We are well aware of climate change issues and its repercussion on the world and especially on human being as a species. It is indeed a grave threat to survival of mankind.Given the primacy of the issue , multiple organizations, governments and agencies are working on it. One of the primary engaging platform in this regard is – UNFCC .
COP21 , UNFCC and Paris:-
- The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCCC which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties.
- The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, COP11 where the Montreal Action Plan was produced, COP15 in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realised and COP17 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.
- In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
- France will play a leading international role in hosting this seminal conference, and COP21 will be one of the largest international conferences ever held in the country.
What is an INDC?
Countries across the globe committed to create a new international climate agreement by the conclusion of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015. In preparation, countries have agreed to publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement, known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The INDCs will largely determine whether the world achieves an ambitious 2015 agreement and is put on a path toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.
- INDCs are the primary means for governments to communicate internationally the steps they will take to address climate change in their own countries. INDCs will reflect each country’s ambition for reducing emissions, taking into account its domestic circumstances and capabilities. Some countries may also address how they’ll adapt to climate change impacts, and what support they need from, or will provide to, other countries to adopt low-carbon pathways and to build climate resilience
India and INDC :-
- India’s environment policy is anchored in the Constitution of India, Article 48-A of the Constitution states that “The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”.
- The broad policy framework on environment and climate change is laid down by the National Environment Policy (NEP)2006, which promotes sustainable development along with respect for ecological constraints and the imperatives of social justice
- The Energy Conservation Act has be en enacted to encourage efficient use of energy and its conservation. The National Policy for Farmers focuses on sustainable development of agriculture. The National Electricity Policy (NEP) underscores the focus on universalizing access to electricity and promoting renewable sources of energy, as does the Integrated Energy Policy (IEP)
- As a result, the emission intensity of our GDP has decreased by 12% between 2005 and 2010. It is a matter of satisfaction that United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its Emission Gap Report 2014 has recognized India as one of the countries on course to achieving its voluntary goal
- India is running one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programs in the world.Between 2002 and 2015, the share of renewable grid capacity has increased over 6 times, from 2% (3.9 GW) to around 13% (36GW). This momentum of a tenfold increase in the previous decade is to be significantly scaled up with the aim to achieve 175 GW renewable energy capacity in the next few years.India has also decided to anchor a global solar alliance, InSPA (International Agency for Solar Policy & Application), of all countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
- Wind energy has been the predominant contributor to the renewable energy growth in India accounting for 23.76GW (65.2%) of the renewable installed capacity, making India the 5th largest wind power producer in the world. With a potential of more than 100 GW, the aim is to achieve a target of 60 GW of wind power installed capacity by 2022.
- Solar power in India is poised to grow significantly with Solar Mission as a major initiative of the Government of India. Solar power installed capacity has increased from only 3.7 MW in 2005 to about 4060 MW in 2015, with a CAGR of more than 100% over the decade. The ambitious solar expansion programme seeks to enhance the capacity to 100 GW by 2022, which is expected to be scaled up further thereafter. A scheme for development of 25 Solar Parks, Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects, canal top solar projects and one hundred thousand solar pumps for farmers is at different stages of
implementation. Government of India is also promoting solarization of all the 55,000 petrol pumps across the country out of which about 3,135 petrol pumps have already been solarized
- Biomass energy constitutes about 18% of total primary energy use in the country and more than 70% of the country’s population depends on it.However
,it is currently used in an inefficient manner with high levels of indoor pollution. A number of programmes have been initiated for promotion of cleaner and more efficient use, including biomass based electricity generation. It is envisaged to increase biomass installed capacity to 10 GW by 2022 from current capacity of 4.4GW.
- Hydropower contributes about 46.1 GW to current portfolio of installed capacity, of which 4.1GW is small hydro (upto 25 MW) and 41.99 GW is large hydro (more
than 25 MW). Special programmes to promote small and mini hydel projects,new and efficient designs of water mills have been introduced for electrification of remote villages.With a vast potential of more than 100 GW, a number of policy initiatives and actions are being undertaken to aggressively pursue development of country’s vast hydro potential.
- India is promoting Nuclear Power as a safe, environmentally benign and economically viable source to meet the increasing electricity needs of the country. With a 2.2% share in current installed capacity, total installed capacity of nuclear power in operation is 5780 MW. Additionally six reactors with an installed capacity of 4300 MW are at different stages of commissioning and construction. Efforts are being made to achieve 63 GW installed capacity by the year 2032, if supply of fuel is ensured.
- National Smart Grid Mission has been launched to bring efficiency in power supply network and facilitate reduction in losses and outages.Green Energy corridor projects worth INR(Indian National Rupee) 380 billion (USD 6 billion) are also being rolled out to ensure evacuation of renewable energy.
Efficient lighting in India – From CFL to LED
Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings.
- In order to both recognize energy-efficient buildings, as well as to stimulate their large scale replication, India has developed its own building-energy rating system GRIHA ( Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment), based on 34 criteria like site planning, conservation and efficient tilization of resources etc. A number of buildings including Commonwealth Games Village have been rated using GRIHA system. Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, the headquarters of Central Government’s Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change is a model building of Government of India and has received LEED India Platinum and a 5 Star GRIHA rating. It is a ‘Net Zero Energy’ building with 100% onsite power generation.
- DEVELOPING CLIMATE RESILIENT URBAN CENTERS:- Government of India in recent times has launched a number of schemes for transformation and rejuvenation of urban areas including Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)and National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).
The Waste to Energy capacity is sought to be enhanced.Government is also encouragingconversion of waste to compost by linking it with sale of fertilizers and providing marketdevelopment assistance.
- SAFE, SMART AND SUSTAINABLE GREEN TRANSPORTATION NETWORK :- In the endeavor towards a low carbon economy, India is focusing on low carbon
infrastructure and public transport systems like Dedicated Freight Corridors and energy efficient railways to reduce their environmental impact.Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) have been introduced across the country. In the first phase,two corridors viz. 1520 km Mumbai-Delhi (Western edicated Freight Corridor) and 1856 km Ludhiana-Dankuni (Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor) are being constructed.The project is expected to reduce emissions by about 457 million ton CO2 over a 30 year period. With a number of energy efficiency measures undertaken, Indian Railways has achieved 19.7% improvement in Specific Fuel Consumption for Freight Service Locomotives and 21.2% improvement for Coaching Service Locomotives during the last 10 years.Indian Railways is also installing solar power on its land and roof tops of coaches.
- Recognizing its fuel efficiency, environmental friendliness and cost effectiveness, the Government is promoting growth of Coastal Shipping and Inland Water Transport.To enhance the inland water ways transport, Government has announced the implementation of Jal Marg Vikas for capacity augmentation of National Water Way – 1. It is also proposed to establish integrated Waterways transportation grid with a view to connecting all existing and proposed National waterways with road, rail and ports connectivity. Another initiative in this direction is the Sagarmala Project with the objective to augment port -led development and promote efficient transportation of goods.Bharatmala Project which envisions constructing about 5,000 km of road network all along the coastal areas will further provide connectivity to these ports.
- Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) to reduce vehicular traffic in urban region
Solar powered toll plazas have been envisaged as a mandatory requirement for tollcollection across the country.
- India has recently formulated Green Highways (Plantation & Maintenance) Policy to develop 140,000 km long “tree-line” with plantation along both ides of national highways. 1% of total civil cost of projects is to be set aside to implement the policy.
Government of India has approved signing of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement to promote safe, economical efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the sub-region and support regional integration.
- Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric in India (FAME India) is a scheme formulated as part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP) to promote faster a doption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles in the country by providing incentives.
India aims to improve fuel standards by switching from Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) fuels to Bharat Stage V (BS V)/Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) across the country in the near future.
National Policy on Biofuels has adopted an aspirational target of 20% blending of biofuels, both for bio-diesel and bio-ethanol. The government also launched the National Bio-diesel Mission identifying Jatropha curcas as the most suitable tree -borne oilseed for bio-diesel production.With the intention of further promoting biofuels, India has begun consultations on allowing 5% blending of biofuels in diesel that would be consumed by bulk users such as the railways and defence establishments.
- The Fly Ash Utilisation Policy makes it mandatory to use only fly ash/ fly ash based products in construction of buildings, roads and reclamation / compaction of land within a radius of 100 km from a coal or lignite based thermal power plant, thus displacing the cement use. It also mandates utilisation of Fly Ash for backfilling or stowing of the mines.
Smart Power for Environmentally -sound Economic Development (SPEED) is a program that aims at electrification of rural areas based on a decentralized renewable energy system
GreenCo Rating System is first of its kind in the world which assesses companies ontheir environmental performance across 10 different parameters to help them develop aroadmap to improve further.
New Ventures India (NVI) is an initiative to support cleantech entrepreneurs indeveloping their business plans and access finance and markets.
The Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) Cluster Programs for Energy Efficiency covers more than 150 clusters all over the country and has resulted in substantial energy saving, quality improvement and improved competitiveness.
The National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) aims at enhancing food security and protection of resources such as land, water, biodiversity and genetics.
Government of India adopted a mega project called the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) .Its four main modules include Natural Resource Management, improving crop production,livestock and fisheries and institutional interventions.
- The main objective of India’s National Water Mission(NWM) is “conservation of water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its more equitable distribution both across and within States through integrated water resources development and management”. One of the key goals of the mission is to enhance water use efficiency by 20%.
Neeranchal is a recent programme by Government to give additional impetus towatershed development in the country.
India is also implementing programmes for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).The vision of the project is to build national capacity for implementation ofcomprehensive coastal management through ecological management, conservation andprotection of critical habitats, coastal geomorphology and geology of coastal and marineareas, coastal engineering, socio-economic aspects, policy and legal issues and other.
- Another initiative to protect coastal livelihood is ‘Mangroves for the Future (MFF)’
coordinated by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in India.
A network of 127 institutions called “INCCA” (Indian Network on Climate Change Assessment) has been set up to share knowledge and work in a collaborative manner onclimate change issues.
- National Adaption Fund has been created, Coal cess quadrupled(rs 50 to rs 200), reduction on fuel subsidies, National mission on clean Ganga, Swachh Bharat Mission , Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana launched to promote organic farming ,Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana launched to promote efficient irrigation on the principles of “Per drop more crop” .
This concludes the article and includes almost everything that Indian government does to fight climate changes.