India’s climate vision integrally linked to country’s vision of development: Eco Survey

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India’s climate vision is integrally linked to the country’s vision of development that foregrounds the goals of poverty eradication and guaranteeing basic well-being as an immediate necessity to meet the challenge of global warming, the Economic Survey 2021-22 said on Monday.

Along with domestic actions, equally important are the country’s initiatives at the international stage, which the Economic Survey elaborated in detail.

In order to coordinate India’s response on climate change, an institutional framework of a high-level inter-ministerial Apex Committee for the Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA) has been created.

“The purpose of AIPA is to generate a coordinated response on climate change and ensure that India is on track towards meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement. Year 2021 marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the Paris Agreement and the constitution of AIPA is central to strengthening the institutional arrangements for implementation and monitoring of climate actions,” the Economic Survey said.

India submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on a “best effort basis” keeping its developmental imperatives in mind and committed to reduce the emission intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 as compared to 2005 level; create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030; and achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel energy resources by 2030.

Against these targets, during 2005-2016, the country had reduced emission intensity of its GDP by 24 per cent.

According to the ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’, released in January 2022, the total carbon stock in the country’s forests is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes, which shows that the carbon stock in forest has increased by 79.4 million tonnes as compared to the last assessment of 2019.

According to the Central Electricity Authority, as on December 31, 2021, the share of non-fossil sources in installed capacity of electricity generation was 40.20 per cent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as a part of the national statement delivered at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow in November 2021, had announced ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030 to enable further reduction in emissions.

The initiatives at the international level include Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE), the One-Word Movement as proposed by Prime Minister Modi at the annual climate change conference in November 2021.

LIFE or, the Lifestyle for Environment, calls for coming together with collective participation, to take lifestyle for environment forward as a campaign and as a mass movement for environmentally conscious lifestyle in a manner that revolutionizes many sectors and diverse areas such as fishing, agriculture, wellness, dietary choices, packaging, housing, hospitality, tourism, clothing, fashion, water management and energy.

The other initiatives include the joint Green Grids Initiative One Sun One World One Grid (GGI -OSOWOG) launched at the World Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow in November 2021; Permanent Observer Status to the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the UN General Assembly; increasing acceptance to Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, which is evident in the pledges by the UK, the US and the Netherlands; the launch of the third International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) in March 2021 and in November 2021, the launch of the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS), a dedicated initiative for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

“Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) was launched by India and Sweden, with the support of the World Economic Forum at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019, as one of the nine action tracks identified by the UN Secretary-General to boost climate ambitions and actions to implement the Paris Agreement,” the Economic Survey said.

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