India Ranks Third In Net Gain In Annual Forest Area Over The Past Decade

Source: The post is based on the article “India Ranks Third In Net Gain In Annual Forest Area Over The Past Decade” published in PIB on 31st January 2023.

What is the News?

According to the Economic Survey 2022–23, India is leading one of the most ambitious clean energy transitions in the world and is unwavering in its resolve to combat climate change.

What are the key highlights from the Economic Survey on clean energy transition efforts?

India’s Forest Cover: India ranks third globally with respect to the net gain in average annual forest area between 2010 and 2020. 

– The survey attributes the same to the robust framework and policies of the National and State Governments such as the Green India Mission(GIM), Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority(CAMPA), etc. 

– Among the Indian States, Arunachal Pradesh has the maximum carbon stock in forests and Jammu & Kashmir contributes the maximum per-hectare carbon stock.

Preservation of Ecosystems: As part of dedicated efforts to preserve ecosystems, India now has 75 Ramsar sites for wetlands.

– There is also an increase in mangrove cover by 364 sq. km. in 2021, as a result of various regulatory and promotional measures to protect and conserve mangroves.

Transition to Renewable Energy: India is progressively becoming a favored destination for investment in renewables. During the period 2014 -2021, total investment in renewables stood at US$ 78.1 billion in India.

– The likely installed capacity by the end of 2029-30 is expected to be more than 800 GW, of which non-fossil fuel would contribute more than 500 GW, resulting in the decline of the average emission rate of around 29 per cent by 2029-30 compared to 2014-15.

National Green Hydrogen Mission, approved by the government to make India an energy-independent nation and to decarbonize the critical sectors, thereby resulting in 3.6 Giga tonnes of cumulative CO2 emission reduction by 2050.

Finance for Sustainable Development: The survey throws light on the efforts that India has taken towards mobilizing private capital:

– Green Bonds: The issuance of Sovereign Green Bonds will help the government to tap the requisite finance from potential investors for deployment in public sector projects aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of the economy. 

– A Green Finance working committee has been set up to oversee and validate key decisions on the issuance of Sovereign green bonds.

Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR): SEBI has issued new sustainability reporting requirements under the BRSR which are more granular with quantifiable metrics in line with the principles ensconced in the ‘National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct’.BRSR was made mandatory for the top 1000 listed entities (by market capitalisation) from 2022-23.

India at COP 27: India has updated its Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) by advancing its target of installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuels ahead of 2030, to 50%.  The Survey mentions India’s Long-Term Low Carbon Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) which focuses on the rational utilization of national resources with due regard to energy security.

Initiatives related to other environmental issues:

The survey highlights the achievement of India in doubling the tiger numbers in 2018, four years before the targeted year 2022. The population of Asiatic Lions has also shown a steady increase, with a population of 674 individuals in 2020, higher than the 523 lions in 2015.

New Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022, & E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 have also been notified to promote the circular economy.

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