Tuesday, July 26, 2011

India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change

On June 30, 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released India’s first National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlining existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. The plan identifies eight core “national mission” running through 2017 and directs ministries to submit detailed implementation plans to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change by December 2008. Emphasizing the overriding priority of maintaining the high economic growth to raise living standard, the plan “identifies measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively.” It says that these nationals measure would be more successful with assistance from developed countries and pledges that India’s per capita green house gas emissions “will at no point exceed that of developed countries even as we pursue our development objectives.”

National Missions:
National Solar Mission: 
The NAPCC aims to promote development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses with the ultimate objective of making solar competitive with fossil based energy based options. The plan includes:
• Specific goals for increasing use of solar thermal technologies in urban areas, industry, and commercial establishments;
• A goal of increasing production of photovoltaic to 1000 MW/year; and
• A goal of deploying at least 1000 MW of solar thermal power generation.
• Other objectives include the establishment of a solar research centre, increased international collaboration on technology development, strengthening of domestic manufacturing capacity, and increased government funding and international support.

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency: 
Current initiatives are expected to yield savings of 10,000 MW by 2012. Building on the Energy Conservation Act 2001, the plan recommends:
• Mandating specific energy consumption decrease in large energy-consuming industries, with a system for
companies to trade energy-saving certificates;
• Energy incentives, including reduced taxes on energyefficient appliances; and
• Financing for public - private partnership to reduce energy consumption through demand-side management programs in the municipal, buildings and agricultural sectors.

National Mission on Sustainable Habitat: 
To promote energy efficiency as a core component of urban planning, the plan calls for:
• Extending the existing Energy Conservation Building Code;
• A greater emphasis on urban waste management and recycling, including power production from waste;
• Strengthening the enforcement of automotive fuel economy standards and using pricing measures to encourage the purchase of efficient vehicles; and
• Incentives for the use of public transportation

National Water Mission: 
With water scarcity projected to worsen as a result of climate change, the plans sets a goal of a 20% improvement in water use efficiency through pricing and other measures.

National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayas Ecosystem: 
The plan aims to conserve biodiversity, forest cover, and other ecological values in the Himalayan region, where glaciers that are a major source of India’s water supply are projected to recede as a result of global warming.

National Mission for a “Green India”: 
Goals include the afforestation of six million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23% to 33% of India’s territory.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture:
The plan aims to support climate adaptation in agriculture through the development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanism and agriculture practices.

National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change: 
To gain a better understanding on climate science, impacts and challenges, the plan envisions a new Climate
Science Research Fund, improved climate modelling, and increased international collaboration. It also encourage private sector initiatives to develop adaptation and mitigation technologies through venture capital funds.

Other Programs:
The NAPCC also describes other ongoing initiatives, including:

• Power Generation: 
The government is mandating the retirement of inefficient coal fired power plants and supporting the research and development of IGCC and superficial technologies.

• Renewable Energy: 
Under the Electricity Act 2003 and the National Tariff Policy 2006, the central and the state electricity regulatory commissions must purchase a certain percentage of grid based power from renewable sources.

• Energy Efficiency: 
Under the Energy Conservation Act 2001, large energy- consuming Industries are required to undertake energy audits and an energy labeling program for appliances has been introduced.

Ministry with lead responsibility for each of the missions are directed to develop objectives, implementation strategies, timelines, and monitoring and evaluation criteria, to be submitted to Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. The Council will also be responsible for periodically reviewing and reporting on each mission’s progress. To be able to quantify the progress, appropriate indicators and methodologies will be developed to assess both avoided emissions and adaptation benefits.

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