- Category: Asia
26 Jul 2012
- Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 12:04
- Hits (876)
India’s climate strategies demonstrate effectiveness in solar and energy efficiency but, generally, major changes still have to be done, according to a new study that assessed India’s climate missions incorporated in its policies.
In 2008, the Prime Minister’s Council initiated the National Action Plan on Climate Change that aims “to state India’s contribution towards combating climate change.”
It includes eight national missions that would help advance the country’s development while upholding sustainability. These are the National Missions concerning Sustainable Agriculture, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Green India, Sustainable Habitat, Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change, Solar, and Water.
These missions are expected to be fulfilled by 2017.
An evaluation of India’s national action plan on climate change by think-tanks Center for Development Finance, the Institute for Financial Management and Research, and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, tackles intertwining issues spanning these missions, which covers their individual strengths, challenges and weaknesses based on the perspectives of experts and authorities.
According to the report, the country is missing out some critical opportunities such as formulating a long-term plan, setting more “step-wise” schemes and integrating activities across these missions, all of which could help promote social development.
“One good starting place might have been a long-term big picture from which medium-term goals and plans and then missions could have been derived,” the study states.
Experts observed that the missions regarding water, green India and agriculture are big areas rooted in existing development concerns, which would entail dealing with long-standing difficulties and setting priorities among various needs.
However, these missions weren’t able show such prioritization, and this could eventually result into a “striking directional shift in the development pathway.”
Meanwhile, the solar and energy missions are sharp, clear and relatively focused, as described by the experts.
While the problems covered by the Green India and water missions have been there for decades, the report noted that they cannot be solved with a climate mission, though these initiatives have been working to curb these problems.
Apparently, the Himalayan and Strategic Knowledge missions are considered too broad for singular goals that they intend to mitigate. These need to be modified and be more specific.
The big picture
With all the observations and findings about India’s climate missions, experts and authors suggest for a cross-cutting or multi-agency approach that could help achieve their goals. However, there would be implementation challenges within the existing ministries that have to be overcome in able to do so.
Moreover, the mission frameworks have to be revised to make them comprehensive and dynamic.
“Unless the country is able to do these things, our goals and aspirations for ‘climate-proof’ development will not be attained,” said the experts.
India is the world’s fourth largest economy and fifth among the largest carbon emitters, responsible for nearly 5 percent of global emissions. Its emissions rapidly increased by 65 percent between 1990 and 2005 and are predicted to raise another 70 percent by 2020.
“India has been under pressure to develop a robust climate policy that addresses its rising greenhouse gas emissions that are likely to accompany its impressive economic growth,” according to the report.
In an effort to address climate change, the country has a number of policies, like many other countries that contribute to mitigation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The study seeks to provide policy makers, researchers, civil society groups and other important stakeholders a “snapshot of the climate missions as perceived by the experts in the country at this time.”
Its results can be helpful in sharpening the country’s strategies on long-term economic development along with its climatic impacts.
“India and the rest of the global community will have to continue to develop climate-friendly policies to reduce emissions and address development concerns and simultaneously adapt to living in a world whose climate will be distinctly different from that of the last century,” stressed in the report.
“The challenge of climate change is here to stay with us for decades, if not longer, and for many generations to come.” (Catherine Dominguez)