(Online Course) GS Concepts : National Initiatives – National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)

Subject : Environment
Chapter : National Initiatives

Topic: National Action Plan on Climate
Change (NAPCC)

Overview

India is faced with the challenge of sustaining its rapid
economic growth while dealing with the glob­al threat of climate change. This
threat emanates from accumu-lated greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere,
anthropogenically generated through long-term and intensive industrial growth
and high consumption lifestyles in developed countries. While engaged with the
international community to collec­tively and cooperatively deal with this
threat, India needs a national strategy to firstly, adapt to climate change and
secondly, to further enhance the ecological sustainability of India’s
development path.

Climate change may alter the distribution and quality of
India’s natural resources and adversely affect the livelihood of its people.
With an econo­my closely tied to its natural resource base and
cli­mate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and forestry, India may
face a major threat because of the projected changes in climate.

India’s development path is based on its unique resource
endowments, the overriding priori­ty of economic and social development and
poverty eradication, and its adherence to its civilizational legacy that places
a high value on the environment and the maintenance of ecological balance.

In charting out a developmental pathway which is ecologically
sustainable, India has a wider spectrum of choices precisely because it is at an
earlystage of development. Our vision is to create a pros­perous, but not
wasteful society, an economy that is self-sustaining in terms of its ability to
unleash the creative energies of our people and is mindful of our
responsibilities to both present and future genera­tions.

Recognizing that climate change is a global challenge, India
will engage actively in multilateral negotiations in the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change, in a positive, constructive and for­ward-looking manner. Our
objective will be to establish an effective, cooperative and equitable global
approach based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilites and
respective capabilities, enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC). Such an approach must be based on a global vision
inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s wise dic­tum—The earth has enough resources to meet
peo­ple’s needs, but will never have enough to satisfy people’s greed. Thus we
must not only promote sus­tainable production processes, but equally,
sustain­able lifestyles across the globe.

Finally, our approach must also be compati­ble with our role
as a responsible and enlightened member of the international community, ready to
make our contribution to the solution of a global challenge, which impacts on
humanity as a whole. The success of our national efforts would be signifi­cantly
enhanced provided the developed countries affirm their responsibility for
accumulated green­house gas emissions and fulfill their commitments under the
UNFCCC, to transfer new and additional financial resources and climate friendly
technologies to support both adaptation and mitigation in devel­oping countries.

  • Effecting implementation of programmes through unique
    linkages, including with civil society and local government institutions and
    through public­private-pa rtnersh i p.

  • Welcoming international cooperation for research,
    development, sharing and transfer of technologies enabled by additional
    funding and a global IPR regime that facilitates technology transfer to
    developing countries under the UNFCCC.

Maintaining a high growth rate is essential for increasing
living standards of the vast majority of our people and reducing their
vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. In order to achieve a
sus­tainable development path that simultaneously advances economic and
environmental objectives, the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC)
will be guided by the following principles:

  • Protecting the poor and vulnerable sections of society
    through an inclusive and sustainable devel­opment strategy, sensitive to
    climate change.

  • Achieving national growth objectives through a
    qualitative change in direction that enhances eco­logical sustainability,
    leading to further mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Devising efficient and cost-effective strategies for end
    use Demand Side Management.

  • Deploying appropriate technologies for both adaptation
    and mitigation of green-house gases e­missions extensively as well as at an
    accelerated pace.

  • Engineering new and innovative forms of market,
    regulatory and voluntary mechanisms to promote

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The NAPCC addresses the urgent and critical con­cerns of the
country through a directional shift in the development pathway, including
through the enhancement of the current and planned pro­grammes presented in the
Technical Document. The National Action Plan on Climate Change identifies
measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits
for address­ing climate change effectively. It outlines a number of steps to
simultaneously advance India’s develop­ment and climate change-related
objectives of adap­tation and mitigation.

The Way Forward: Eight National Missions

In dealing with the challenge of climate change we must act
on several fronts in a focused manner simul­taneously. The National Action Plan
hinges on the development and use of new technologies. The implementation of the
Plan would be through appropriate institu-tional mechanisms suited for effective
delivery of each individual Mission’s objec­tives and include public private
partnerships and civil society action. The focus will be on promoting
understanding of climate change, adaptation and mitigation, energy efficiency
and natural resource conservation. There are Eight National Missions which form
the core of the National Action Plan, represent­ing multi-pronged, long-term and
integrated strate­gies for achieving key goals in the context of climate change.
While several of these programmes are already part of our current actions, they
may need a change in direction, enhancement of scope and effectiveness and
accelerated implementation of time-bound plans.

National Solar Mission

A National Solar Mission will be launched to signifi­cantly
increase the share of solar energy in the total energy mix while recognizing the
need to expand the scope of other renewable and non-fossil options such as
nuclear energy, wind energy and biomass. India is a tropical country, where
sunshine is available for longer hours per day and in great inten­sity. Solar
energy, therefore, has great potential as future energy source. It also has the
advantage of permitting a decentralized distribution of energy, thereby
empowering people at the grassroots level. Photovoltaic cells are becoming
cheaper with new technology. There are newer, reflector-based tech­nologies that
could enable setting up megawatt scale solar power plants across the country.
Another aspect of the Solar Mission would be to launch a major R&D programme,
which could draw upon international cooperation as well, to enable the cre­ation
of more affordable, more convenient solar power systems, and to promote
innovations that enable the storage of solar power for sustained, long-term use.

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency

The Energy Conservation Act of 2001 provides a legal mandate
for the implemen-tation of the energy effi­ciency measures through the
institutional mecha­nism of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in the Central
Government and designated agencies in each state. A number of schemes and
programmes have been initiated and it is anticipated that these would result in
a saving of 10,000 MW by the end of 11th Five Year Plan in 2012.

To enhance energy efficiency, four new ini­tiatives will be
put in place. These are:

  • A market based mechanism to enhance cost effec­tiveness
    of improvements in energy efficiency in energy-intensive large industries
    and facilities, through certification of energy savings that could be
    traded.

  • Accelerating the shift to energy efficient appliances in
    designated sectors through innovative measures to make the products more
    affordable.

  • Creation of mechanisms that would help finance demand
    side management programmes in all sectors by capturing future energy
    savings.

  • Developing fiscal instruments to promote energy
    efficiency

National Mission on Sustainable Habitat

A National Mission on Sustainable Habitat will be launched to
make habitat sustainable through improvements in energy efficiency in buildings,
man­agement of solid waste and modal shift to public transport. The Mission will
promote energy efficien­cy as an integral component of urban planning and urban
renewal through three initiatives.

  • The Energy Conservation Building Code, which addresses
    the design of new and large com­mercial buildings to optimize their energy
    demand, will be extended in its application and incentives pro­vided for
    retooling existing building stock.

  • Recycling of material and Urban Waste Management will be
    a major component of ecologi­cally sustainable economic development. India
    already has a significantly higher rate of recycling of waste compared to
    developed countries. A special area of focus will be the development of
    technology for producing power from waste. The National Mission will include
    a major R&D programme, focus­ing on bio chemical conversion, waste water
    use, sewage utilization and recycling options wherever possible.

  • Better urban planning and modal shift to public
    transport. Making long term transport plans will facilitate the growth of
    medium and small cities in ways that ensure efficient and convenient public
    transport.

In addition, the Mission will address the need to adapt to
future climate change by improving the resilience of infrastructure, community
based disas­ter management, and measures for improving the warning system for
extreme weather events. Capacity building would be an important component of
this Mission.

National Water Mission

A National Water Mission will be mounted to ensure integrated
water resource manage-ment helping to conserve water, minimize wastage and
ensure more equitable distribution both across and within states. The Mission
will take into account the provisions of the National Water Policy and develop a
framework to optimize water use by increasing water use effi­ciency by 20%
through regulatory mechanisms with differential entitlements and pricing. It
will seek to ensure that a consi-derable share of the water needs of urban areas
are met through recycling of waste water, and ensuring that the water
requirements of coastal cities with inadequate alternative sources of water are
met through adoption of new and appro­priate technologies such as low
temperature desali­nation technologies that allow for the use of ocean water.
The National Water Policy would be revisited in consultation with states to
ensure basin level man­agement strategies to deal with variability in rainfall
and river flows due to climate change. This will include enhanced storage both
above and below ground, rainwater harvesting, coupled with equi­table and
efficient management structures. The Mission will seek to develop new
regula­tory structures, combined with appropriate entitle­ments and pricing. It
will seek to optimize the effi­ciency of existing irrigation systems, including
reha­bilitation of systems that have been run down andalso expand irrigation,
where feasible, with a special effort to increase storage capacity. Incentive
struc­tures will be designed to promote water-neutral or water-positive
technologies, recharging of under­ground water sources and adoption of large
scale irrigation programmes which rely on sprinklers, drip irrigation and ridge
and furrow irrigation.

National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem

A Mission for sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem will be
launched to evolve management measures for sustaining and safeguarding the
Himalayan gla­cier and mountain eco-system. Himalayas, being the source of key
perennial rivers, the Mission would, inter-alia, seek to understand, whether and
the extent to which, the Himalayan glaciers are in reces­sion and how the
problem could be addressed. This will require the joint effort of
climatologists, glaciol­ogists and other experts. We will need to exchange
information with the South Asian countries and countries sharing the Himalayan
ecology.
An observational and monitoring network for the Himalayan environment will also
be estab­lished to assess freshwater resources and health of the ecosystem.
Cooperation with neighbouring countries will be sought to make the network
com­prehensive in its coverage.

The Himalayan ecosystem has 51 million peo­ple who practice
hill agriculture and whose vulnera­bility is expected to increase on account of
climate change. Community-based management of these ecosystems will be promoted
with incentives to com­munity organizations and panchayats for protection and
enhancement of forested lands. In mounta-inous regions, the aim will be to
maintain two-thirds of the area under forest cover in order to prevent erosion
and land degradation and ensure the stability of the fragile eco-system.

National Mission for a Green India

A National Mission will be launched to enhance eco­system
services including carbon sinks to be called Green India. Forests play an
indispensable role in the preservation of ecological balance and maintenance of
bio-diversity. Forests also constitute one of the most effective carbon-sinks.
The Prime Minister has already announced a Green India campaign for the
afforestation of 6 mil­lion hectares. The national target of area under for­est
and tree cover is 33% while the current area under forests is 23%.
The Mission on Green India will be taken up on degraded forest land through
direct action by communities, organized through Joint Forest Management
Committees and guided by the Departments of Forest in state governments. An
ini­tial corpus of over Rs 6000 crore has been earmarked for the programme
through the Compensatory Afforestaion Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)
to commence work. The programme will be scaled up to cover all remaining
degraded forest land. The institutional arrangement provides for using the
corpus to leverage more funds to scale up activity.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

The Mission would devise strategies to make Indian
agriculture more resilient to climate change. It would identify and develop new
varieties of crops and especially thermal resistant crops and alternative
cropping patterns, capable of withstanding extremes of weather, long dry spells,
flooding, and variable moisture availability.
Agriculture will need to be progressively adapted to projected climate change
and our agri­cultural research systems must be oriented to moni­tor and evaluate
climate change and recommend changes in agricul-tural practices accordingly.
This will be supported by the convergence and integration of traditional
knowledge and prac­tice systems, information technology, geospatial technologies
and biotechnology. New credit and insurance mechanisms will be devised to
facilitate adoption of desired practices. Focus would be on improving
productivity of rainfed agricul-ture. India will spearhead efforts at the
international level to work towards an ecologi­cally sustainable green
revolution.

Natinal Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change

To enlist the global community in research and tech­nology
development and collaboration through mechanisms including open source
platforms, a Strategic Knowledge Mission will be set up to identi­fy the
challenges of, and the responses to, climate change. It would ensure funding of
high quality and focused research into various aspects of climate change. The
Mission will also have, on its research agenda, socio-economic impacts of
climate change including impact on health, demography, migration patterns and
livelihoods of coastal communities. It would also support the establishment of
dedicated climate change related academic units in Universities and other
academic and scientific research institutions in the country which would be
networked. A Climate Science Research Fund would be created under the Mission to
support research. Private sector initiatives for development of innovative
technologies for adaptation and mitigation would be encouraged through venture
capital funds. Research to support policy and implementation would be undertaken
through identified centres. The Mission will also focus on dissemination of new
knowledge based on research findings.

Implementation of Missions

These National Missions will be institutionalized by
respective ministries and will be organized through inter-sectoral groups which
include in addition to related Ministries, Ministry of Finance and the Planning
Commission, experts from industry, acade­mia and civil society. The
institutional structure would vary depending on the task to be addressed by the
Mission and will include providing the opportunity to compete on the best
management model.

Each Mission will be tasked to evolve specif­ic objectives
spanning the remaining years of the 11th Plan and the 12th Plan period 2012-13
to 2016­17. Where the resource requirements of the Mission call for an
enhancement of the allocation in the 11th Plan, this will be suitably
considered, keeping in mind the overall resources position and the scope for re-prioritisation.
Comprehensive Mission documents detailing objectives, strategies, plan of
action, timelines and monitoring and evaluation criteria would be devel­oped and
submitted to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change by December 2008.
The Council will also periodically review the progress of these Missions. Each
Mission will report publicly on its annual performance. Building public
awareness will be vital in supporting implementation of the NAPCC. This will be
achieved through national portals, media engagement, civil society involvement,
curricula reform and recognition/ awards, details of which will be worked out by
an empowered group. The Group will also consider methods of capacity building to
support the goals of the National Missions. We will develop appropriate
technologies to measure progress in actions being taken in terms of avoided
emissions, wherever applicable, with refer­ence to business as usual scenarios.
Appropriate indi­cators will be evolved for assessing adaptation bene­fits of
the actions.

These Eight National Missions, taken together, with
enhancements in current and ongoing programmes included in the Technical
Document, would not only assist the country to adapt to climate change, but
also, importantly, launch the economy on a path that would progressively and
substantially result in miti­gation through avoided emissions.

Institutional Arrangements for Managing Climate Change
Agenda

In order to respond effectively to the challenge of cli­mate
change, the Government has created an Advisory Council on Climate Change,
chaired by the Prime Minister. The Council has broad based repre­sentation from
key stake-holders, including Government, Industry and Civil Society and sets out
broad directions for National Actions in respect of Climate Change. The Council
will also provide guid­ance on matters relating to coordinated national action
on the domestic agenda and review of the implementation of the National Action
Plan on Climate Change including its R&D agenda.
The Council chaired by the Prime Minister would also provide guidance on matters
relating to international negotiations including bilateral, multi­lateral
programmes for collaboration, research and development. Details of the
institutional arrange­ment are at Annexure 1. The NAPCC will continue to evolve,
based on new scientific and technical knowledge as they emerge and in response
to the evolution of the mul­tilateral climate change regime including
arrange­ments

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