Source: TOI, Indian Express, Business Standard 1, Business Standard 2
List of Contents
Relevance: Fighting the climate-change crisis.
Synopsis: India is already taking many steps to combat climate change, but it needs to do more to ensure climate-adaptation and mitigation are at the heart of every government policy.
Steps taken by India
- INDC Targets: India is well on its way to meet its INDC targets (see the pic below)
- PM KUSUM: India has already commenced one of the largest programmes for greening the agriculture power supply through the PM-KUSUM scheme.
- Green hydrogen: India is also giving an aggressive push to green hydrogen as a fuel. NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd recently signed a MoU with the Union Territory of Ladakh to set up India’s First Green Hydrogen Mobility Project in Ladakh Region.
- India has an energy revolution underway: This ranges from household electrification to smart meters, scaling up solar and wind to new ambitions in biofuels and hydrogen, energy efficiency to clean cooking for millions, electrification of railways to electric vehicles, first country with a cooling action plan to skilling thousands in green jobs.
Why India has not declared net-negative emission targets?
India’s stand is that it is the industrialized world, not developing countries, who should have Net Negative (more saving than emission) targets and moreover they should finance the green energy targets of India and other developing countries.
|Must Read: IPCC 6th Assessment report – Explained in detail|
Measures India must take
- India must adopt a more climate-friendly development pathway to deliver high rates of economic growth within a shrinking carbon budget.
- Policy support to new low-carbon sectors: India must tap into sunrise sectors (green hydrogen), new business models (distributed and digitalised services, for distributed energy, EV charging, cold chains), new construction materials (low-carbon cement, recycled plastic), new opportunities in the circular economy of minerals, municipal waste and agricultural residue, and new practices for sustainable agriculture and food systems. Many of these technologies and business models are proven, but need policy and regulatory support.
- A clear data on warming effects: The number of days with temperatures over 40oC will increase proportionately with the average temperature. This presents a threat to life to the large proportion of India’s workforce which still conducts manual. India chronically under-reports heat deaths; this must change going forward if the government is to build up a true picture of the effect of warming on public health.
- International cooperation: It’s imperative to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and repair the climate in critical regions, such as the poles. This will require new levels of international cooperation.
- Climate-smart agriculture: Current cropping patterns and agricultural practices also contribute greatly to India’s carbon footprint, and over the next decade they will have to be addressed, alongside greater reforestation to serve as traps for carbon. Climate-smart agriculture is already being trialled across the country, but the changing weather patterns warned of by the IPCC report mean farmers will need access to the latest advice and methods.
- The government must stop subsidizing coal-fired thermal power plants
- Agricultural extension system: The revival of the agricultural extension system is overdue, and is the only weapon in India’s arsenal when it comes to adaptation in the primary sector.
- Urban planning will also have to shift. For residents of Indian cities, walking in the sun must be de-emphasised going forward in the planning. Metro and electrified bus systems will have to be put in place that have a denser network of stops than are currently common in India.
Climate change has to be at the heart of planning and policy across multiple domains going forward.
Terms to know