CURRENT UPDATES- CLIMATE ISSUES- PART 3

Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

  • INDCs are plans by governments communicated to the UNFCCC regarding the steps they will take to address climate change domestically.
  • As per the COP 19 decision (Warsaw 2013), all Parties were requested to prepare their INDCs and communicate them well in advance of COP 21.
  • Accordingly, India submitted its INDC to the UNFCCC on 2 October 2015.
  • India’s INDC is comprehensive and covers all elements, i.e. adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building. It also covers concerns to protect the vulnerable sectors and segments of its society.
  • The principle of equity and CBDR, historical responsibilities and India’s development imperatives and enhanced adaptation requirements have been recurring themes in the INDC document.

 

Important points in India’s INDC:

  • To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent of the 2005 level by 2030.
  • To achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel- based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost international finance including from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
  • To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq.) through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

Multilateral Climate Funds

  • International climate funds can either be multilateral or bilateral depending on the participating countries.
  • Funds may further be classified according to their area of focus, namely mitigation , adaptation or REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation).
  • Currently, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the largest, with pledges amounting to US$10.2 billion.
  • The second largest is the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) with pledges amounting to US$5.3 billion.
  • The GCF was established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC in 2011 and is expected to be a major channel for climate finance from developed to developing countries.

 

International Carbon Markets

  • The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), created multilaterally under the UNFCCC is one of the mitigation instruments under the Kyoto Protocol. Lack of mitigation ambition in the pre-2020 period has slowed its momentum.
  • Moreover, low ambition for emissions reductions expressed by developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol and some major players pulling out of Kyoto Protocol has further suppressed the demand for certified emissions reduction (CER) credits. At present, the CDM is facing its most severe crisis since it was set up a decade ago.
  • In addition to the multilateral market-based mechanisms, many regional and national market mechanisms are under implementation.
  • There are at least 19 major emissions-trading schemes under implementation at national and regional levels across the world. The major regional emissions-trading scheme currently under implementation is the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS).

 

Domestic Actions on Climate Change

  • A major component of India’s domestic actions against climate change is the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
  • In addition to the existing eight missions under NAPCC, some new missions would be added.
  • Considering the adverse impacts that climate change could have on health, a new Mission on Climate Change and Health is currently under formulation and a National Expert Group on Climate Change and Health has been constituted.
  • The National Mission on Coastal Areas (NMCA) will prepare an integrated coastal resource management plan and map vulnerabilities along the entire (nearly 7000-km-long) shoreline.

National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change

  • A National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) has been established with a budget provision of Rs.350 crore for the year 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.
  • It is meant to assist in meeting the cost of national- and state-level adaptation measures in areas that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Progress on the Renewable Energy Front in India

  • India is currently undertaking the largest renewable capacity expansion programme in the world.
  • The total renewable energy capacity target has been increased to 175GW by the year 2022, out of which 100GW is to be from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydro power projects.
  • The Indian Prime Minister launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at COP 21 in Paris on 30 November 2015.
  • The ISA will provide a special platform for mutual cooperation among 121 solar-resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
  • Another ambitious programme of the government is the Development of Solar Cities Programme under which 56 solar cities projects have been approved. The government has also approved a scheme for setting up 25 solar parks, each with the capacity of 500 MW and above, and ultra-mega solar power projects to be developed in the next five years in various states.
  • Another major renewable energy policy initiative is the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy 2015 to help in offshore wind energy development, including setting up of offshore wind power projects and research and development activities in waters, in or adjacent to the country, up to the seaward distance of 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the country from the base line.

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