National Action Plan on Climate Change
In its first meeting on July 13, 2007, the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, set up during the tenure of Dr. Manmohan Singh, said it was necessary to prepare “A National Document compiling action taken by India for addressing the challenge of Climate Change, and the action it proposes to take.” The Council subsequently released the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) on June 30, 2008.
The NAPCC updated India’s climate change programmes and suggested measures to promote development as well as climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation. The NAPCC sought to meet these objectives through these eight missions: National Solar Mission, National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, National Mission on Sustainable Habitat, National Water Mission, National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, National Mission for a Green India, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
This document describes each of these missions and, more generally, India’s approach to international cooperation on climate change. It also outlines how these missions will be implemented by different ministries, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, the Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog), and experts from various fields.
According to a 2007 report by the World Bank Environment Department, India’s per capita carbon dioxide emissions in 2004 stood at 1.02 metric tonnes, well below the world average of 4.25 metric tonnes. The per capita CO2 emissions per year of developed nations such as the USA and Japan were 20.01 metric tonnes and 9.87 metric tonnes, respectively.
The National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency aimed to save 10,000 megawatts of energy by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012).
One of the aims of the National Mission for a Green India was the afforestation of 6 million hectares. When the NAPCC was prepared, 23 per cent of the country’s land was under forests and tree cover, while the mission’s target was to raise it to 33 per cent.
India receives an average of 5.5 kWh (kilo watt hour) of solar radiation on one square metre of its surface area per day. If power is generated using solar energy, only 1 per cent of the total land area can help meet the entire country’s electricity requirement till 2030.
A 2004 report by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change titled India’s Initial National Communication to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, states that the direct CO2 emissions from industrial sources accounted for nearly 31 per cent of India’s total CO2 emissions. (This data is based on calculations with 1994 as the base year.)
India has a significantly higher rate of recycling municipal solid waste (70 per cent) than developed countries, such as the USA (30 per cent) and Germany (47.3 per cent), according to a 2006 TERI report. The country also has comparatively low levels of greenhouse gas emissions from municipal solid waste (4 gm/US$ 1,000 in comparison to the USA (23gm/US$ 1,000) and Germany (8gm/US$ 1,000).
India receives a total annual precipitation of 4,000 billion cubic metres, of which only 1,000 billion cubic metres is available as surface and ground water. Many parts of India are water-stressed (less than 1,700 cubic metres of water is available per person per year in those areas), and the country is likely to be water-scarce (less than 1,000 cubic metres of water will be available per person per year) by 2050.
Forests meet nearly 40 per cent of India’s overall energy needs, and over 80 per cent of the energy needs of rural areas.
Out of a net cultivated area of approximately 141 million hectares, about 85 million hectares (60 per cent) are in dryland/rain-fed zones.
When the NAPCC was prepared in 2008, fossil fuels accounted for 66 per cent of the total energy use in India, followed by hydropower at 26 per cent, wind and solar power at 6 per cent, and nuclear power at 3 per cent.
Focus and Factoids by Anupam Krishnamurthy.
Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
30 Jun, 2008