Climate Change Mitigation In India

AUG 23

Mains   > Environment & Ecology   >   Global warming   >   Climate change

WHY IN NEWS?

  • IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, titled “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis”, states that the planet is irrevocably headed towards warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times in the next two decades.

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION?

  • Adaptation:
    • It means anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage they can cause, or taking advantage of opportunities that may arise.
    • Examples of adaptation measures include large-scale infrastructure changes, such as building defenses to protect against sea-level rise, as well behavioral shifts, such as individuals reducing their food waste.
    • In essence, adaptation can be understood as the process of adjusting to the current and future effects of climate change.
  • Mitigation:
    • It means making the impacts of climate change less severe by preventing or reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.
    • Mitigation is achieved either by reducing the sources of these gases — e.g. by increasing the share of renewable energies, or establishing a cleaner mobility system — or by enhancing the storage of these gases — e.g. by increasing the size of forests.
    • In short, mitigation is a human intervention that reduces the sources of GHG emissions and/or enhances the sinks.

STATISTICS:

  • GHG emissions:
    • India's role in carbon emission:
      • Overall emission
        • India is the third-largest carbon emitter after China and the United States
      • Per capita emission:
        • As per Global Carbon Project 2016 >> India's per capita CO2 Emission less than half (1.8 tonnes of CO2) of Global Average (4.2 tonnes of CO2)
        • It is lowest among major economies: US: 16.5 t, China: 10.2 t, EU: 7 t
        • But it is rising >> CO2 emission rose by 4.8% in 2017 (growth rate higher than the US and China) primarily due to a rise in coal consumption.
      • In cumulative emissions
        • India contributes a mere 3% compared with 26% for the United States and 13% for China
  • Climate change risk profile:
    • India:
      • As per Germanwatch 'Global Climate Risk Index ' India is the 5th most vulnerable country to climate change induced extreme weather events (Rank worsened to 5th in 2018, from 14th rank in 2017).
      • India recorded the highest number of fatalities due to climate change and the 2nd highest monetary losses (over USD 37, 000 million = 4 times India's Health Budget) from its impact in 2018.
    • Global:
      • Vulnerability of Developing countries
        • 7 out of 10 affected countries (1999-2018) were developing countries in the low income or lower-middle income group.

STEPS TAKEN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION:

  • Initiatives by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):
    • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM):
      • Flagship programme addressing climate change mitigation and simultaneously giving an opportunity to developing countries in meeting their sustainable development objectives.
      • CDM allows emission reduction or removal projects in developing countries to generate carbon offset credit, each equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.
      • These certified emission reduction credits (CERs) could be traded, sold and used by industrialized countries to meet part of their emission reduction targets under Kyoto Protocol.
    • National Afforestation Programme:
      • Includes afforestation and reforestation of degraded forests and non-forest areas.
    • Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA):
      • Promoting afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.
    • REDD+ Reducing emissions:
      • To achieve additional carbon sequestration, emission reduction, improve forest based livelihoods, conservation of rare, endemic, and endangered species found in the area and improvement of watershed hydrology.
    • National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):
      • Time bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
      • Target is for reduction of 20-30% of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024.
    • Nagar Van Udyan Yojana:
      • Aims at ecological rejuvenation of the city forests by creating/ developing at least one city forest in each city having Municipal Corporation/ Class I Cities for providing wholesome healthy living environment.
  • Initiatives by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE):
    • Solar energy:
      • To deploy 100 GW solar power by 2022.
    • Wind energy
      • Deployment of 60 GW Wind Energy by 2022 and stable at the same level until 2030
    • Small Hydro and Biomass
      • Deployment of 15 GW Small Hydro and Biomass based power by 2022
    • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA)
      • To recognize energy-efficient buildings, as well as to stimulate their large scale replication
    • Green Energy Corridor Project:
      • Aims at synchronizing electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA):
    • To provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar-resource-rich countries, through which the global community, including governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and other stakeholders, can contribute to help achieve the common goal of increasing the use and quality of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
  • Initiatives by Ministry of Power:
    • Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT):
      • Market based mechanism to enhance Energy Efficiency through certification of energy saving which can be traded.
      • Under the PAT scheme, targets to reduce the Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) of energy intensive industries are assigned and evaluated after a period of three years.
    • Star Rated Appliances:
      • To provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy saving and thereby the cost saving potential of the marketed household and other equipment.
    • Energy Conservation Building Code 2017:
      • To establish minimum energy performance standards for buildings in India.
    • Agricultural Demand Side Management:
      • Objective of the program is to reduce the energy intensity of agriculture pumping sector by carrying out efficiency up gradation of agricultural pump sets.
    • Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP):
      • Deployment of LED street lights that are approximately 50% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting.
    • Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All (UJALA) – LED Bulbs:
      • Developed to address India’s high cost of electrification and high emissions from inefficient lighting. It aimed at distributing LED Bulbs Lights to households.
    • PAVAN– Energy Efficient Fans:
      • It aimed at distributing Energy Efficient fans to households.
    • National Smart Grid Mission:
      • Established to accelerate Smart Grid deployment in India
    • Municipality Demand Side Management:
      • The basic objective of the project was to improve the overall energy efficiency of the urban local bodies (ULBs), which could lead to substantial savings in the electricity consumption, thereby resulting in cost reduction/savings for the ULBs.
    • Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY):
      • To provide Energy Efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) at the same cost i.e. Rs.15, as of Incandescent Bulbs.
    • Framework for Energy Efficient Economic Development (FEEED):
      • To build the market for energy efficiency it is imperative to ease the financing of energy efficiency projects.
  • Initiatives by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
    • Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban):
      • Mission includes Solid Waste Management including the establishment of waste to energy plants and provides Central Financial Assistance up to 35% of the project cost.
    • Smart Cities Mission:
      • Launched for providing a clean and sustainable urban environment through the adoption of ‘smart solutions’. Resource efficiency and energy optimization are central to these smart solutions identified under the Mission.
    • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT):
      • Providing basic services (e.g. water supply, sewerage, urban transport) to households and build amenities in cities which will improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged is a national priority.
    • Metro projects in India:
      • To enhance urban mobility as well as the speed and quality of implementation of metro projects
  • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas:
    • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:
      • Provide LPG connections to BPL households reducing the demand for traditional biomass from forests.
    • National Policy on Biofuels – 2018:
      • Aimed at taking forward the indicative target of achieving 20% blending of bio-fuels with fossil-based fuels by 2025.
    • Auto Fuel Vision And Policy 2025:
      • Recommend road map for auto fuel quality till 2025 for the country, taking into account the achievement under the last Auto Fuel Policy, emission reduction of in-use vehicles, growth of vehicles and supply and availability of fuels.
  • Initiatives of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare
    • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana:
      • It provides end-to-end solutions in irrigation supply chain and aims to use micro irrigation technologies extensively to save water, increase production and productivity of crops in a sustainable manner and help in achieving food security.
    • National Bamboo Mission:
      • Mission would help in increasing the green cover area of the country and also supplement the farm income of participating communities.
    • Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture:
      • Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root & tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo.
    • Mission Organic for Value Chain Development for North East:
      • Aims to development of certified organic production in a value chain mode to link growers with consumers and to support the development of entire value chain starting from inputs, seeds, certification, to the creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing and brand building initiative.
    • Rainfed Area Development:
      • To explore potential utilization of natural resources base/assets available/created through watershed development and soil conservation activities/interventions under MGNREGS etc.
    • Sub-Mission on Agroforestry:
      • Launched in 2016-17 to encourage tree plantation on farm land “Har Medh Par Ped”, along with crops/ cropping system.
      • The scheme is being implemented in the States which have liberalized transit regulations for selected tree species
  • Initiatives of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways:
    • National Green Highway Mission:
      • Avenue plantation on highways aiming to develop 140,000 km long ‘tree line’ with plantation along both sides of the national highway in five years
    • Peripheral Expressway:
      • Contribute towards the twin objectives of decongesting and de-polluting the national capital by diverting traffic not destined for Delhi.
  • Initiatives of Ministry of Heavy Industries:
    • National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020:
      • Promoting eco-friendly vehicles in the country – hybrid and electric technologies
    • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India):
      • Promoting eco-friendly vehicles in the country – hybrid and electric technologies
  • Initiatives of Ministry of Railways:
    • Dedicated Freight Corridor :
      • Construction of six freight corridors traversing the entire country to provide a safe and efficient low carbon freight transportation system
    • Energy Efficient Rolling Stock:
      • Setting up of Electric Locomotive Factory of 12000 HP Electric Locomotives.
  • Initiatives of Ministry of MSME:
    • Zero Defect and Zero Effect:
      • Policy initiative to rate Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on quality control and certification for energy efficiency, enhanced resources efficiency, pollution control, use of renewable energy and waste management using ZED Maturity Assessment Model.
  • Initiatives of Ministry of Steel:
    • Steel Scrap Recycling Policy:
      • To create a mechanism for treating waste streams and residues produced from dismantling and shredding facilities in compliance to Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 issued by MoEFCC.

CHALLENGES OF MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Finance commitments not met:
    • In 2010, UNFCCC recognised that developed country committed to a goal of mobilising jointly USD100 billion per year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources >> this has not met yet.
  • Renewables have to compete with the coal industry:
    • Despite significant gains in total installed capacity for renewable power in terms of actual power generation, coal still powers close to 70 per cent of India’s electricity requirement.
  • Financial distress of DISCOMS:
    • Financial distress of the DISCOMS prevents them from modernising plants, as the thermal industry is plagued by inefficient tariff setting, expensive Power Purchasing Agreements and unsustainable cross-subsidies.
  • Post Pandemic Impact:
    • International Energy Agency expects a dramatic rise in emissions as countries race to shake off the impact of the coronavirus, as they did after the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Lack of commitment:
    • China has announced carbon neutrality by 2060, Japan and South Korea by 2050, but India is yet to announce a target
  • Ill-focussed policy:
    • Government have been diluting climate safeguards for hydroelectric and road projects.
    • This leads to catastrophe such as Glacial flooding in Uttarakhand and massive floods and landslides in 2018 and 2019 in Kerala

WAY FORWARD:

  • All countries need to commit to net zero (GHG emissions) by 2050
    • As of today, countries representing around 65% of global CO2 emissions have already agreed to this
  • Focusing on 'Green contracts':
    • It refers to commercial contracts which mandate that contracting parties cut down greenhouse gas emissions
    • It involves ‘green tender’, 'green qualifications' and 'green obligation'
    • Green qualifications can range from using a pre-defined percentage of ‘green energy’ in service delivery to adequate on-site waste management etc.
    • Green obligation involves the use of good quality and energy-efficient infrastructure for production, reducing noise, air and water pollution
  • Change in WTO rules:
    • World Trade Organization rules that presently exclude the use of tariffs on environmental grounds need to be modified.
  • De-carbonise power sector
    • Limit the expansion of coal-based electricity capacity:
      • India should pledge that India will not grow its coal-fired power capacity beyond what is already announced, and reach peak coal electricity capacity by 2030
      • Also make coal-based generation cleaner and more efficient
    • Ensure alternative livelihood options for people in India’s coal belt:
      • Take necessary step is to ensure decent livelihood opportunities beyond coal in India’s coal belt.
      • This is necessary because the transition costs of a brighter low-carbon future should not fall on the backs of India’s poor.
    • Develop open source technologies
      • With open source technologies, India could incorporate innovative materials and processes to decarbonise industry, transport and buildings, the biggest emitters, apart from power.

PRACTICE QUESTION:

Q. ‘India is committed to the implementation of climate change mitigation policies and is proactively promoting low carbon and sustainable lifestyles’. Discuss.