A climate change narrative that India can steer (GS-III, Environment-Biodiversity and Disaster Management)

A climate change narrative that India can steer (GS-III, Environment-Biodiversity and Disaster Management)

CONTEXT: In a speech on September 8, R.K. Singh, Union Power Minister for New and Renewable Energy stated, “Environment is something we are trustees of and have to leave behind a better environment for our children and great grandchildren.”

INTRODUCTION: Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the central place of the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive NDCs, it intends to achieve and to outline, communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs. 

Recent Initiatives of the Government of India w.r.t. its INDCs :-

  • Revisiting national missions, creating  new missions and enhancing targets etc.

 Mitigation Initiatives 

  • The target of Renewable Energy(175 GW) & National Solar Mission from 20 to 100 GW

  • Kochi Airport- now, worlds’ first airport powered by solar energy

  • Solar powered toll plazas

  • Delhi Metro & other MRTS 

  • National Smart Grid Mission & Green Energy Corridor for efficient transmission & distribution network 25

  • Swachh Bharat Mission

  • 100 smart cities

  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation And Urban Transformation, urban renewal of 500 cities

  • The Zero Effect, Zero Defect policy- to enhance energy & resource efficiency.

  • Launching of Green Highways Policy- to develop 140,000 km long tree-line along the highways

  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid electric vehicles (FAME) as another one.

  • Country’s 1st passenger vehicle fuel-efficiency standards finalized 

  • National Air Quality Index launched.

 26 Adaptation Strategies

  • Paramparagat KrishiVikasYojana – organic farming

  • P.M. Krishi Sinchayee Yojana – efficient irrigation.

  • Neeranchal – watershed development. • Namami Gange 

  • NICRA- The National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture

  • Bureau for Water Use Efficiency 

  • Lifestyle & culture of sustainability 

27 Climate Finance Policies 

  • NationalAdaptation Fund 

  • Reduction in fossil fuel subsidies.

  • The Coal Cess is increased from INR 50 to INR 200 per ton.

  • The Tax free infrastructure bonds are introduced for renewable energy

According to a recent report, by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” , India has warmed up 0.7° C during 1901-2018.

 The decade 2010-2019 is claimed as the hottest, with a mean temperature of 0.36° C higher than average. 

MoES reports- India to experience 4.4° C rise by the end of the century.

The meeting of Glasgow COP 26 provides New Delhi an opportunity to update its INDCs to meet the targets.

India has also suffered 2/10 most expensive climate disasters in the last 2 years:- For Ex.

  • Super-cyclone “Cyclone Amphan ‘‘ (2020)

  • In early 2021, India suffered two more cyclones: Cyclone Tauktae (the west coast) and Cyclone Yaas hitting the east.

India’s rising IDPs

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, India’s Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs) are increasing because of the damage in climatic events. 

  • The people of Uttarakhand started deserting their houses after the Kedarnath floods in 2013 due to heavy precipitation. Upto 2050, rainfall may rise by 6% and temperature by 1.6° C.

  • India lost about 235 km square to coastal erosion due to sea-level rise, erosion and natural disasters such as tropical cyclones between 1990-2016.

  •  In coastal areas, about 3.6 million out of 170 million were displaced between 2008-2018.

  • Due to Cyclone Amphan, 3.9 million were displaced in 2020.

  • India’s Deccan has witnessed 8 out of 17 severe droughts since 1876 in the 21st century (2000-2003; 2015-2018).

 For Example-

  •  In Maharashtra as well as Karnataka, numerous families deserted homes in 2019 due to an acute water crisis.

  •  Hatkarwadi, a village in Beed district of Maharashtra, hardly had 10-15 families left out of 2,000 people earlier.

Good policies, weak practices

India held the top 10 position for the second year in a row in 2020’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). The country got credit under all of

CCPI’s performance fields except renewable energy. India vowed to work with COP21 by signing the Paris Agreement to limit global warming and submitted the NDCs with a goal of reducing emissions intensity of GDP by 33%-35% and developing green energy resources to 40% of the installed electric power capacity by 2030.

International Solar Alliance (ISA), India + France — a coalition of about 120 countries with solar rich resources— aiming at mobilising USD1 trillion in investments for the deployment of solar energy at affordable prices by 2030. 

Inspite of leading ISA, India’s performance is least in renewable energy. 

  • India can achieve the 2° C target of COP15 Copenhagen in 2009, as calculated by Experts, with the risks of falling short. 

  • According to India’s carbon emission trajectory, India is to achieve only half of the pledged carbon sink by 2030. 

  • To achieve the Paris Agreement’s NDC target, India needs to produce 25-30 million hectares of forest cover by 2030 — a third of current Indian forestation and trees.

  •  It seems India has over-promised on policies and goals as it becomes difficult to deliver.


India is expected to be the most populated country by 2027, overtaking China, contributing significantly to the global climate through its consumption pattern.

Being one of the observer states of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and an influential member of COP26, India has the ability to improve its global positioning by leading a favourable climate goal aspiration for the world to follow. It has the opportunity to not only save itself from further climate disasters but also be a leader in the path to climate change prevention.



Faculty of HISTORY OPTIONAL and G.S. 


24nd september 2021 current Affairs Download

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