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Climate Change and Sustainable Development

The governments of the world has decided to agree on a new post 2015
development agenda which includes Sustainable Development goals, replacing the
Millennium Development goals. The worlds largest two emitters of Carbon dioxideUSA and China have decided to reduce their emissions. The United States of
America targets to reduce around 28% of what it emitted in 2005 and China intends
to achieve the peak of its emissions before 2030 and then cut down its emissions.
Indias national solar mission is being scaled up fivefold and the clean energy cess
on coal has been doubled to Rs. 100/Tonne.

Climate Change
Findings from The IPCC fifth assessment report
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change asses the information produced
worldwide relevant to climate change. The 5th assessment report(2014) has
observed that there has been an increasing trend in anthropogenic emissions of
greenhouse gases since the advent of Industrial revolution with about half of the
CO2 emissions occurred in the last 40 years. The period of 1983-2012 is likely to be
the warmest 30 year period of last 1400 years and this is widely due to the emission
of Greenhouse gases. The climate change has an adverse impact on the economy,
livelihood, cropping pattern and food security. The change in climate could affect
the production of rice, maize, wheat in the tropical temperate zone. The IPCC has
estimated that for the temperature to remain below 2 degree Celsius of preindustrial levels, the world can emit only 2900 giga tonnes of CO2 till 2900. The
problem is that the world has already emitted 1900 giga tonnes of CO2 and hence
theres only 1000 giga tonnes remains to be used for the rest of the century. Hence,
the issue is to reduce emission and hence design a commitment on how to
reallocate the remaining sparse carbon budget between countries in a fair and
achievable manner. This should be on the basis of the historical cumulative
emissions of the countries. So far, Indias contribution to global CO2 emissions is a
meager 3% when compared to 21% by the USA and 18% by the European Union.
The pathways to this would require substantial reduction of emissions in the next
few decades and nearly zero emissions of CO2 by the end of the century. Since
2000, the green house gas emissions have been growing in all sectors, except
agriculture, forestry, and other land use. In terms of absolute CO2 emissions from
fossil fuel use and cement production in 2013, China, the USA, and EU hold the first
three positions respectively with India a distant 4 th.

Indias progress on Climate Change

The National Action Plan on Climate Change(NAPCC) outlines the policies directed at
mitigation and adaption to combat climate change in India. India is also on its path

to reduce its emissions intensity of GDP by 20-25% by keeping 2005 as the base
year. India is also taking initiatives in enhancing energy efficiency and expanding
renewables to combat climate change. Some of its key priorities are adaption
measures in agriculture, water resources and urban areas. India, now aiming for
new scientific methods and technological advances, has undertaken additional
interventions in areas like mitigation of Green House Gases in power generation.
India is also striving its way to use other renewable sources of energy, protection of
coastal areas, exploring possibilities of new missions on wind energy, waste to
energy and redesigning the National Water Mission and National Mission on
Other than the NAPCC, in 2009 all the states were asked to prepare State Action
Plans on Climate Change. These commissions have to address both mitigation and
adaptation components to address climate change impacts. A combined budgetary
requirement of Rs 11,33,692 crore has been estimated for implementation of the 31
state commissions.

Progress in expanding the share of Renewable Energy in

Indias total renewable power installed capacity as on 31 December 2014 has
reached 33.8 GW. Wind energy continues to dominate this share accounting for 66
per cent of installed capacity, followed by biomass, small hydro power, and solar
power. As the countrys renewable nergy is primarily driven by the private sector,
the government has been promoting private investment in renewable energy with
an attractive mix of fiscal and financial incentives. They are given capital subsidies,
accelerated depreciation and nil/concessional excise and custom duties. The level of
subsidies varies from region to region and also depends on the source of renewable
energy. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched in 2010 and it
seeks to establish India as a global leader in solar energy. The aim of this mission is
to create policy conditions for its diffusion throughout the country. As per a report
there was an investment of US$ 6 billion in renewable energy in India. Proposals for
next 5 years are likely to generate business opportunities of worth around US$160
billion. Indias major immediate plan on renewable energy include scaling up
cumulative installed capacity to 170 Giga Watt of solar power by 2022 and to
establish a National University for Renewable Energy.

Clean Energy Cess on Coal

India entered the list of countries who charge taxes on carbon by introducing a
clean energy cess on coal in 2010. The cess on coal which feeds the National Clean
Energy fund has been increased from Rs 50 to Rs. 100 per tonne in 2014-15. Total
collection till 2014-15 under the Fund is Rs. 17,084.45 crore and 46 clean energy
projects worth Rs. 16,511.43 crore have been recommended for funding out of the

National Clean Energy Fund till September 2014.

Progress in Adaptation activities

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is Indias
National Implementing Entity for the Adaptation Fund. NABARD is only such
organization in the Asia Pacific Region. Nabard has generated several feasible
proposals on climate change adaptation, five of which have been amounted upto
US$7.3 million and have been submitted to the adaptation fund. NABARD has
sanctioned 2 projects for promoting climate resilent agriculture systems in West
Bengal and enabling the fisheries sector in Andhra Pradesh. NABARD is also
planning to implement several development projects to promote sustainable
development livelihood through Natural resource management. It has sanctioned
Rs. 21 crore on climate change adaptation in Mahrashtra to develop knowledge,
strategies and approaches that will allow vulnerable communities to adapt to
climate change policies. NABARD has also been financing green investments in solar
power generation and improvement of electricity distribution networks. A sum of Rs.
100 crore has been set up to support adaptation actions to combat climate change
in the budget of 2014-15.

Domestic Carbon Market Mechanisms

The National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efiiciency has implemented the Perform,
Achieve & Trade (PAT) scheme for the designated industries. PAT would provide new
opportunities in the markets as it leads to ecological sustainability in the end. The
scheme covers 478 plants in eight energy intensive industrial sectors. It targets a
reduction of 4.05% during the first cycle of PAT(1 April 2015- 31 March 2015).
Renewable Energy Certificates, an initiative of the National Solar mission, seeks to
address the mismatch between the availability of renewable sources of energy and
also the requirements of the entities to meet their requirements. One REC is equal
to 1MW of electricity injected into the grid from renewable sources of energy. As per
the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry of India, a total of 16,58,593 solar RECs
were issued till January 2015.

International State of Negotiations: Twentieth Session of

the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC
The twentieth session of the conference was held in Lima, Peru. It was an important
milestone as it came out with a Lima Call for Climate Action. Indias major concern
was to protect its long terms interests and emphasize the need for growth and
development, space to tackle poverty, providing energy access to everyone and
other priorities.
Key Outcomes of Lima Conference

1. It addresses the elements of mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology,

development and transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and
support in a balanced manner. It will reflect the principle of CBDR in the light
of different national circumstances. The new agreement will be under the
2. The draft text has been finalized and is placed for consideration and adoption
of Parties at COP21.
3. The countries should not backslide from current pledges under the INDCs and
their contribution has to be more than their current commitments.
4. Countries will have to submit quantifiable information on the base year, time
frames, scope and planning process, assessments, etc. This will be published
in the UNFCCC website and a Synthesis report of the aggregate effect is to be
published by November 1, 2015.
5. A decision was taken to accelerate action on enhancing the pre-2020 actions
like early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period. The
targets and conditionalities were revised and the provision of finance,
technology and capacity buildings support by the developed nations to the
developing nations.
Climate Change Issues; Indias Stand
India believes that the climate change agreement of2015 should take into
consideration a whole amount issues such as adaptation, finance, technology,
development and transfer, capacity building etc as mentioned above.
1. Mitigation: The 2015 agreement must ensure that the developing countries
be given their fair share of carbon and development space. The contribution
of developing countries to mitigation efforts is far greater than that of
developed countries and the developed countries should increase their
commitments of providing finance, technology and capacity building support
to developing nations.
2. Adaptation: Since the developing countries are most vulnerable to climate
change and hence equal weightage has to be given to adaptation as it is
essential for reducing vulnerabilities of communities to climate change.
Hence the developing countries are pushing hard to make sure that equal
weightage is given to adaptation.
3. Finance: Financial assistance to the developing nations is to be provided by
the developed nations as mentioned in the UNFCCC. India has been pushing
hard along with other ddevloping nations to make sure that finance is
provided by the developed nations.
4. Technology transfer: Technology is a major component of when it comes to
taking decisions on climate change. Appropriate mechanisms of smooth
transfer of clean technology from the developed nations to the developing
nations have to be agreed up on. The intellectual property rights tag should
not come in the way of such technology transfer.

International Climate Finance Flows

The UNFCCC has placed the responsibility of providing climate finance to the
developing countries on the developed countries. The Global Environmental Facility
is one of the operating entities under the financial mechanism. It funds projects in
energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable development etc. India has
received an allocation of US$130.58 million for the cycle from July 2014-June 2018
of which US$87.88 million is for climate change. Other than that, till date India has
accessed US$477.3 million of which US$284.2 million is for climate change
mitigation projects and US$10 million for climate change adaptation projects The
Green Climate fund is another operating entity of the financial mechanism. It is
expected to mobilize a significant share of the US$100 billion climate finance from
developed to developing countries in the coming years and help the developing
countries to combat climate change and adjust their development pathways to a
climate friendly one. It follows the 50:50 mitigation : adaptation allocation. India has
moved forward in regard to GCF by selecting the Ministry of Environment, Forests
and Climate Change as Indias Nationally Designated Authority, which will
recommend to the Board of the GCF funding proposals in the context of climate
change. Given the country driven approach of the GCF, it depends on the country to
decide how to use the resources accessed from the organization. Indias is building
on its institutional capacity for effectively accessing resources from the GCF.

International Carbon Markets

Indias participation in the carbon market is a story of success. India has been an
active member of the Clean Development Mechanism(CDM) established under the
Kyoto Protocol. India has the second highest number of CDM registered projects in
the world. As on 31 December 2014, the National CDM Authority in India has
accorded approval to 2941 projects facilitating an investment of more than Rs.
5,79,306 crore in the country. These projects are in the sectors of energy efficiency,
fuel switching, industrial processes, municipal solid waste, renewable energy, and
forestry. In the second commitment of the Kyoto protocol, the CDM projects have
come down drastically. The second commitment of the Kyoto protocol wasnt
successful as some major players pulled out of it. Also, the world bank, in its report.
says that the supply of CO2 is more around 3-5 times of the expected demand. The
proposals to augment the demand for carbon credits and a price stabilization
mechanism are being negotiated currently.

Sustainable Development
Ecological footprint mentions of the pressure which the human activities put on eco
systems. Which when compared to bio capacity, tells us if we are running in surplus
or deficit. The data of several reports suggest that we are living in a situation of
ecological overshoot. In 2010, the worlds ecological footprint was 18.1 billion global

hectares while the planets capacity being 12 billion global hectares. Since the bio
capacity is not spread evenly across the world, the low-income countries suffer the
greatest ecosystem losses. The UN scenarios suggest that if the trends of
consumption continue, we would need two earths by 2030. As per a Mckinsey
report, Indias population is expected to double by 2030 and its largest cities will be
more populated than many of the major countries. This when combined with the
challenges of water scarcity, poverty, food and energy security, urban waste
management will put pressure on countrys limited resources. This will add to
greater energy needs and lead to increase in emissions. Indias young population
can be the deciding factor. As half of the India of 2030 is yet to be built, India has an
opportunity to avoid depending on fossil fuels. A conscious policy framework which
takes into account both development and environmental considerations could help
India go through this period.
A 30 member working group mandated by the document, The Future we want- of
the UN conference held in June 2012 at Rio came out with a set of 17 Sustainable
Development Goals in July 2014.
They are
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote
sustainable agriculture
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long
learning opportunities
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for
7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and
productive employment, and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable
industrialization, and foster innovation
10.Reduce inequality within and among countries
11.Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
14.Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for
sustainable development
15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems,
sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land
degradation and halt biodiversity loss
16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,
provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive
institutions at all levels

17.Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership

for sustainable development.
These goals cover the issues of sustainable development and a=focus on the means
of implementation of the same.
India has been working towards environmental safety without compromising rapid
economic growth. It is giving equal weightage to development and environment.
The country is working on conservation of rivers, improvement of urban air quality,
enhanced forestation, increase in capacity of renewable energy technologies, shift
towards public transport etc. Some of the recent and key initiatives include;

Swachh Bharath Mission

Clean Ganga Plan
Scaling of National Solar Mission fivefold
Development of 100 smart cities with the concept of sustainable
5. Preparation for developing a National Air Quality Index and Air Quality

Submitted by,
Shubham Kalia
I M.A Economics