“ETHICS AND EQUITY ARE AT THE CORE OF DEBATE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. DEBATE HAS TO MOVE FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO CLIMATE JUSTICE” - Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi on climate change in India –

“ETHICS AND EQUITY ARE AT THE CORE OF DEBATE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. DEBATE HAS TO MOVE FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO CLIMATE JUSTICE”

India is a highly populated and developing country. Being in the tropical sphere India sees a vast difference in climate across its length and width. Just like the climate, even its adversity is affecting the country in a contrasting manner. The coastal areas face floods and waterlogging. Severe water shortage, droughts in the mainland and irregular flooding in the northern region due to the melting of glaciers. Climate change in India is a grave matter of concern.

Past takes of India:

While earlier in 2015, the government authority denied accepting climate change and said it was indeed human tolerance that has gone down. However, later on, 12 Dec 2015, India along with 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement. The Paris agreement had a goal to limit global warming to preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to the Union environment minister, Prakash Javadekar India’s contribution to climate change in the last 200 years has been just 3%. He also pointed out that developed nations owe such developing nations, impacted by climate change, a sum of $1.1 trillion to help mitigate disasters.

CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN INDIA:

While India is a heavily agricultural economy, exploitation of land and natural resources is rampant. Widespread mining activities, deforestation to build infrastructure, huge buildings lead to heavy exploitation of land. Industrial processes emit various hazardous gases, causing air pollution. Unchecked discharges from industries, cleaning activities on river banks in rural areas give rise to water pollution. Pollution is a pervasive cause of climate change in India.

Tolerant government policies, unchecked hazardous emissions, illegal destruction of nature, unsustainable practices by the poor and affluent habits of the rich are aggravating climate change in India.

EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN INDIA:

Effects of climate change are more than evident in India. According to worldbank.org India is going to face extreme heat, changes in rainfall patterns, droughts, groundwater instability, glacier melts, sea-level rise, no security for agriculture and food, no clean energy or water security, health problems and increased threats from migration and conflict. All these effects are going to be a spiraling circle.

GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AND BODIES:

NAPCC - National Action Plan on Climate Change

India has taken some serious measures to form government authorities, for more than a decade. It has both external and domestic dimensions to approach the climate change policy. There are two key documents pursuing it. The first one is the National Action Plan on Climate Change(NAPCC), adopted on June 30, 2008.

The second one is India’s Intended Nationally Determined Commitments(INDC) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Oct 2, 2015. The first one is essentially more of a domestic focus while the latter is a statement of global intent. India, with various other countries, shares similar goals. It is also involved in various multilateral agreements such as the Paris Agreement, Conference Of Parties(COP), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC). The nation is part of bilateral relations with various developed countries to tackle the problem.

About the internal solutions, the ministry has sought various missions to promote sustainability in different sectors. India is one of the developing few countries that are on track to meet the Paris target. First, it has already reduced the intensity of emissions by 21% out of 33-35% by 2030. Secondly, 38% of the non-fossil fuel capacity is replaced already. The third goal is to achieve 2.5- 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in forest cover by 2030. However, this goal still needs a lot of work.

Read about: India’s Climate change and environmental laws

DOMESTIC GOALS:

On a personal front, India is aiming at 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030. Moreover, there are low tariff rates on solar produce. Tax exemptions and schemes worth $1.4 billion to move with electric vehicles. Meanwhile, there has been an integration of 14 key ministries to engage businesses, agriculture, infrastructure and other stakeholders in further projects. 

Read about: India’s stand on climate change  

Solar Plant project - Climate change in India

1. FINANCE:

Developing countries need to take hold of a different strategy. They need to address these concerns at the Conference of Parties’26. For developing countries like India, some viable solutions can be: 

Finance: Developing countries face problems of finance to help mitigate climate change. Out of the climate finance drawn from sources, there is hardly anything for them. The poor and vulnerable require additional finance. India needs an estimated cost of $180-$300 billion, alone. Overcoming the financial gap seems to be the most immediately impactful solution.

2. ‘LOSS AND DAMAGE’ COMPENSATION:

There is a rise in sea-level because of increasing global temperature. Resulting in the loss of land and in turn, culture and heritage. Such countries should ask for compensation for their loss.

3. MEASUREMENT AND UNDERSTANDING:

There should be a standardized measure for all countries for better understanding and adaptation. The absence of the same can lead to a shortage of finances from actual donors.

4. ESG CHECK:

There needs to be a check on the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). The current ESG investments are at $40 trillion, but there is no physical evidence for the same. However, the methane emissions are still high and overall social indicators don’t seem to be improving. 

5. CARBON PRICING:

India needs to strictly consider adopting carbon pricing. This will be a checkpoint for carbon outflow and inflow. It will also lead to a more detailed understanding of the impact from social and industrial processes.

6. FINAL SOLUTIONS:

A detailed list of innovations and evidence on what works and helps to curb climate adversity is important. More innovation and understanding is needed. Technology and data from developed countries need to be harnessed more.

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, climate change is a global phenomenon but it has adverse local CONS. Delaying in timely action is no longer an option. India is advancing to ensure a more sustainable future at the state, national as well as global levels. There should be active awareness in society about it as well. Hope that all countries spur together to raise the action to meet this global challenge.

Read about: Global climate laws

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