India’s INDC:Towards Climate Justice

India couldn’t have chosen a better day to release their INDC  (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions)to the public. Oct 2 is Gandhi Jayanthi and Mahatma Gandhi is invoked in the INDC right away; we should act as ‘Trustees’ to our natural resources. I wouldn’t compare our INDC to the rest of the world as there have been some major articles already.(Ref Economist’s Catching up with China). The INDC can be rated highly for its comprehensive effort in encompassing all the concerned ministries and dept. concerned even though Climate Change falls under the ambit of Ministry of Forests. A significant point of view conveyed through the INDC is “India was not part of the problem, but it is willing to be part of the solution” which is a swipe at all the biggies.

MajorTargets

Key highlights

  • India plans to cut emissions by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
  • India projects to achieve a renewable energy capacity addition of 175GW by 2022 and increase the renewable energy in the mix to 40% by 2030. It seeks funds explicitly from the Green Climate Fund. (The fund the developed countries agreed to create for projects in under developed/developing countries).
  • To create a carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through forests and trees by 2030.
  • India estimates its Climate Change mitigation plan will cost $2.5Trillion between now and 2030.RE 2014

Some challenges

  • Enforcing policy regulations.
  • Creating a finance mechanism that utilizes the coal cess, Renewable Purchase Obligation(RPO), Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) etc.
  • Creating a Green Energy Corridor (est. $6Bil) to facilitate power evacuation from renewable energy plants.
  • Not to compromise on Human Developmental Index of the nation. 300Million people in India still have no access to electricity. Hopefully we achieve the national target of ‘Electricity for All’ by 2019.
  • A need to cut subsidies and increase tax in fossil fuels.
  • Securing fuel for proposed 63GW of nuclear power projects.

And opportunities..

cover

  • To create mass transit systems in major cities and encourage them.
  • Developing new cities to house 40% of India in 2030 through smart city projects.
  • Creating sustainable habitats that adhere to building codes.
  • To set up manufacturing hubs through ‘Make in India’ campaign that could be the most energy efficient.
  • To link up ‘Swach Bharat’ and waste to energy projects.

The Minister, Prakash Javadekar who has overseen the entire exercise hosted a public hangout  to talk about the INDC and address queries.

The minister reinforced his thoughts on the INDC that the document was titled ‘Climate Justice‘ because even though we haven’t harmed the planet as much we would like to make it a better place to live.  Some of the discussions that people shared included being Indigenous (Not Jugaad) and embracing our native principles which emphasizes on preserving our ecosystem. Social entrepreneurship could be a big winner in our fight against climate change.

India is in a tricky position, faced by developmental targets and aspirations which require enormous energy and infrastructure year on year. However this also gives it a significant opportunity to develop as nation like no other. Overall India’s INDC is challenging yet achievable.

References: INDC India Overview, Draft

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