CLIMATE CHANGE AND INDIA

CLIMATE CHANGE AND INDIA

 

INDIA’S POSITION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
  • India is world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), after China and the US.
  • Major sources of emissions – Coal power plants, rice paddies, cattle.
  • Per-capita emissions remain below global average.
  • Displacement and extinction of animal population due to habitat loss adds more species to ‘threatened’ and ‘extinct’ list.
  • Spread of diseases like malaria, etc. puts stress on health sector.
  • The country has pledged a 33-35% reduction in the “emissions intensity” of its economy by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
  • Increase tree cover to create an additional cumulative carbon sinkof 2,500-3,000Mt CO2 by 2030.
  • India also aims to install 5GW of offshore wind by 2022 and 30GW by 2030. None has yet been installed.
  • The country could integrate 390GW of low-cost wind and solar generation into its grid by 2030, accordingto the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI).
  • India’s climate pledge notes that around 70% of its population depends on traditional biomass energy, which is inefficient and causes high levels of indoor air pollution.
  • India is targeting 10GW of such bioenergy by 2022.
  • India has around 4.5GW of small hydro plants (below 25MW), against a 5GW target for 2022.

 

CURRENT ACTIONS FOR ADAPTATION & MITIGATION

 

Adaptation:

 

  •         Actions taken to reduce negative consequences of climate changes.
  •         E.g. Switching to drought-resistant crops, creating coastal buffer zone, early warning system, etc.
Mitigation:

 

  •          Actions taken to lower Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations.
  •          Eliminate emissions at source.
  •          E.g. Wind farms, afforestation, energy-efficient vehicles, sequestering GHGs etc.

 

NATIONAL ACTION PLAN ON CLIMATE CHANGE (NAPCC)
  • Launched in 2008. Outlines existing and future policies and programs addressing climate change. Plan identifies 8 core national missions. 9th mission recently added.

 

National Solar Mission:

  • To promote development & use of solar energy for power generation & other uses.
  • Inaugurated in 2010 with a target of 20GW by 2022. Later increased to 100 GW in 2015.
  • MNRE has proposed to achieve 60 GW from large and medium scale solar projects, and 40 GW through rooftop solar projects.
  • Committed to Nationally Determined Contributions (Paris Accord), India made a pledge that by 2030, 40% of installed power generation capacity shall be based on clean sources.
  • It was determined that 175 GW of renewable energy capacity will be installed by 2022.
  • This includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power.
  • India is at 5th global position for overall installed renewable energy capacity.

 

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE):

  • NAPCC recognizes energy efficiency as an important lever to address the issue of climate change. The National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) is aimed to promote the market for energy efficiency by fostering innovative policies and effective market instruments. The Energy Conservation Act led to the creation of a statutory body, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with dedicated powers and responsibilities to promote energy efficiency and conservation in different sectors of the economy. The Ministry of Power, Government of India through Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), looks over the progress of the NMEEE mission.
  • Mandating energy consumption decreases in large energy-consuming industries with trade of energy-saving certificates.
  • Energy incentives, including taxes on energy efficient appliances.
  • 4 new initiatives under this:

 

Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) Market Transformation for Energy Efficiency (MTEE) Energy Efficiency Financing Platform (EEP) Framework for Energy Efficient Economic Development (FEEED)
Assigning energy reduction targets to large energy intensive industries and distributing Energy Saving Certificates (ESCerts) on achievement of the targets. Promoting adoption of energy efficient equipment and appliances through innovative business models. Catalyzing the finances for energy efficiency sector by addressing the barriers and challenges in market development and project implementation. To protect the confidence of banks and investors in energy efficiency projects and to avoid the stalling of projects due to lack of funds.

 

National Mission on Sustainable Habitat:

  • To promote energy efficiency as core component of urban planning. Extending existing Energy Conservation Building Code
  • Waste management, recycling, including power production from waste. Incentives to use public transport.
  • Use of automotive fuel economy standards & pricing measures.

 

The Mission is being implemented through the following programmes of Ministry of Urban Development:

  • Atal Mission on Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
  • Swachh Bharat Mission
  • Smart Cities Mission
  • Urban Transport Programme

National Water Mission

  • To ensure integrated water resource management helping to conserve water, minimize wastage and ensure more equitable distribution both across and within states.
  • Ensure that a considerable share of the water needs of urban areas are met through recycling.
  • Ensure that the water requirements of coastal cities are met through modern desalination technologies.
  • Increase storage both above and below ground, rainwater harvesting.

 

National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystems

  • To conserve biodiversity, forest cover & study traditional societies where global warming has resulted in receding of glaciers. Building human & institutional capacities.
  • Network knowledge systems & develop coherent database.
  • Detect & decouple natural & anthropogenic global environment changes.

 

National Mission for a Green India

Aims at protecting; The mission has a cumulative target of increasing forest cover on 5 million hectares of land while improving the forest cover on additional 5 hectares.

The scheme also has an important goal of fulfilling India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target of sequestrating 2.5 Billion tonnes of “Carbon emissions” by 2020-30, which it submitted to UNFCCC

  • Goals include afforestation of 10 million hectares of land, expanding forest cover from 23% to 33%.
  • Increase forest-based livelihood income of about 3 million households.
  • Enhanced annual CO2 sequestration by 50 to 60 million tons in the year 2020.
  • Eco-restoration of shifting cultivation areas, cold deserts, mangroves, ravines and abandoned mining areas.
  • Increase wage labour opportunities during the lean agriculture season, especially communities living in remote forest areas.
  • A sub-mission on Cold Dessert Ecosystems under this mission is ‘National Sea buckthorn Initiative’ launched by MoEF & DRDO to fix atmospheric nitrogen.
  • Sea buckthorn, popularly known as Leh berries, called the “Wonder plant” and “Ladakh gold” has medicinal properties & prevents desertification.

 

National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture

  • Aim: to develop climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance & agricultural practices especially in rain-fed areas.
  • 60% of the country’s net sown area is rainfed and accounts for 40% of the total food production.
  • Promote ‘laboratory to land’ research through model village & farm units.
  • Link panchayat-level Automatic Weather Station Networks to existing insurance mechanisms.
  • Key dimensions by NMSA: Improved crop seeds, livestock and fish cultures + Water Use Efficiency + Pest Management + Improved Farm Practices + Nutrient Management + Agricultural insurance + Credit support + Markets + Access to Information + Livelihood diversification + Soil Health Management (SHM) – Soil Health Card Scheme.

 

National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change

  • Formation of knowledge networks among the existing knowledge institutions engaged in research and development relating to climate science.
  • Research networks in the areas of climate change impacts on important socio-economic sectors like agriculture, health, natural ecosystems, biodiversity, coastal zones, etc.
  • Data sharing & exchange through policy framework & institutional support.
  • Strengthen indigenous capacity build partnerships through global collaboration.

 

NATIONAL COMMUNICATION (NATCOM)
  • In partnership with MoEFCC, funded by Global Environment Facility, the project aims to enable India undertake activities to prepare its Third National Communication to the UNFCCC according to the guidelines provided by the Conference of Parties (COP).

 

GREEN BUILDINGS
  • Practice of creating structures & using processes that are environmentally responsible & resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from design to construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, deconstruction.
  • Designed to reduce overall impact of built environment on human & environmental health.

 

GRIHA – GREEN RATING FOR INTEGRATED HABITAT ASSESSMENT
  • Conceived by TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute), developed by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
  • Rating tool that helps assess ecological impact of building against nationally acceptable benchmarks.
  • Objective – to help evaluate ‘greenness’ of buildings.
  • Benefits of GRIHA buildings: Reduced energy consumption without sacrificing the comfort levels + Reduced destruction of natural areas, habitats, and biodiversity, and reduced soil loss from erosion etc. + Reduced air and water pollution (with direct health benefits) + Reduced water consumption + Limited waste generation due to recycling and reuse + Reduced pollution loads + Increased user productivity + Enhanced image and marketability.

 

NATIONAL INITIATIVE ON CLIMATE RESILIENT AGRICULTURE (NICRA)
  • Launched by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 2010-2011.
  • Objective – To primarily enhance resilience of crops, livestock & fisheries through development of production & risk management.
  • Project components: Strategic research on adaptation and mitigation + Technology demonstration on farmers’ fields to cope with current climate variability + Sponsored and competitive research grants to fill critical research gaps + Capacity building of different stake holders.

 

BSE – GREENEX
  • 25th dynamic index hosted on the Bombay Stock Exchange; it is India’s first carbon-efficient live index developed by BSE in collaboration with IIM Ahmedabad in 2012.
  • India’s first objective green equity index to employ index constituent weight capping.
  • g-Trade Carbon Ex Ratings Services Private Limited has co-developed with BSE.
  • The index seeks to assess and quantify the energy efficiency of firms, based on energy and financial data.
  • It follows a sector-specific algorithm whereby a firm’s performance is measured in comparison to others in the same sector.
  • The index carries weight for two major criteria that together indicate long-term sustainability of businesses
  • Energy efficiency measured by gauging reduction in the amount of energy consumed, reduced wastage, renewable energy adoption and costs incurred on energy.
  • Profitability

 

FAME – INDIA PROGRAMME
  • National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing.
  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India), 2015
  • By Department of Heavy Industry to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology under NEMMP 2020.
  • 1st Phase of FAME India Scheme was implemented in 2015 through four focus areas: Demand Creation + Technology Platform + Pilot Project + Charging Infrastructure

 

FAME INDIA SCHEME PHASE II – 2019-2020
  • Aims to generate demand by way of supporting 7000 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars (including Strong Hybrid) and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers
  • Applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or those registered for commercial purposes in e-3W, e-4W and e-bus segments
  • Privately owned registered e-2Ws also covered under the scheme
  • Construction of electric charging stations to be carried out.

 

LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL OBSERVATORIES (LTEO)
  • Under ‘Climate Change Action Programme’.
  • A science plan of LTEO was released during 21st COP to the UNFCCC at Paris in December 2015.
  • 1st phase includes health assessment of: Western Himalaya + Eastern Himalaya + North-Western Arid Zone + Central Indian Forests + Western Ghats + Andaman & Nicobar Islands + Jammu & Kashmir +Sundarbans
  • Aims to understand biophysical & anthropogenic drivers in select biomes & effects on socio-ecological responses.
  • Activities include assessment of change of structure & function in natural ecosystems, monitoring population of species, animal movements, soil processes, biophysical variables, etc.

 

NATIONAL ADAPTATION FUND FOR CLIMATE CHANGE (NAFCC)
  • Introduced in 2015-16. Was to be revised in 2020.
  • Fund meant to assist national & state level activities for areas vulnerable to climate change.
  • Central Sector Scheme with NABARD as National Implementing Entity.
  • Aim – Support adaptative activities which are not covered under ongoing government schemes.

 

6TH MASS EXTINCTION DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
  • The Holocene extinction, otherwise referred to as the sixth mass extinction or Anthropocene extinction, is an ongoing extinction event of species during the present Holocene epoch.
  • Human beings are causing this event on the planet.
  • It’s irreversible – the researchers have found that populations on the brink go extinct 94% of the time.
  • Ways to control mass extinction: Scientists propose classifying all species with less than 5000 individuals as critically endangered on the IUCN list + Implement a global comprehensive binding agreement requiring parties to address the extinction crisis + Tackling the illegal and legal wildlife trade + Stop the land-grabbing and devastating deforestation.

 

 

Causes of extinction: Increasing population and consumption rates + Meat consumption, overhunting, overfishing, and ocean acidification and the decline in amphibian populations + Breakage of food web/species links + Population boom of urchins on kelp forests in the Bering sea, leading to the extinction of the kelp-eating steller’s sea cow + Massive volcanic eruptions, depletion of ocean oxygen or collision with an asteroid.

 

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