Coping with Climate Change: An Analysis of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change; Volume I
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fourth Assessment Report, which warned of a ‘dangerous’ increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, especially in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The IPCC also urged countries to step up action on climate change. In response, the Indian government set up the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change (PMCCC) that same year.
The PMCCC formulated the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in 2008, which proposed eight missions to deal with climate change adaptation and mitigation: the National Solar Mission, the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, the National Mission for Sustainable Habitat, the National Water Mission, the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, the National Mission for a Green India, the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, and the National Mission for Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change.
This 2018 report by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment assesses the implementation of these missions against their stated goals. The report says that the NAPCC’s approach lacks specificity and that most missions (some of which were formed only 3-4 years ago) have made “uncertain” progress. Additionally, financial constraints, inter-ministerial coordination, a lack of technical expertise and project clearance delays have impeded the efficient implementation of the missions.
The National Solar Mission has been the most active and successful of all the NAPCC’s missions. It promotes the use of solar energy, which is seen as an effective solution for household electrification but isn’t very cost-effective. On the whole, the mission faces challenges, such as grid integration, and intermittent supply of solar energy and its storage.
The National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency aims to meet the country’s energy demands and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of its four projects, Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) is the most notable. From 2012 to 2015, PAT helped to reduce India’s total emissions by 1.93 per cent, and it is being adopted by industry at a fast pace.
The National Mission for a Green India, which aims to increase forest and tree cover and improve the quality of the existing forest cover and ecosystem services (such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity, for instance), has been the most slow-moving mission.
The National Solar Mission, the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency and the National Mission for a Green India have mitigation components, but the National Water Mission, the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem and the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture only address adaptation.
The missions covering sustainable habitats, water, agriculture and forests (or the Green India mission) are overlapping and involve multiple sectors and government departments. They are ‘advisory and holistic’ and have been slow-moving.
Monitoring systems for many of the missions are either ineffective or absent. Progress reports for the solar, energy efficiency and water missions are available in the public domain, but mapping progress for the other missions has been difficult because they cut across many sectors.
This report finds that the NAPCC has ineffective in tackling the impact of climate change in India and suggests that the missions be revamped.
Focus and Factoids by Keiu Kikas.
Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi
16 Feb, 2018