Climate Change and Development Context
India is home to approximately 17 percent of the world’s population, and is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. A large proportion of this population lives in rural areas and depends heavily on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and forestry for its livelihood. With rapid economic growth, the demand for goods, services, and energy has increased significantly. The government estimates that the rate of growth of energy demand will be 5.2 percent per year in order to provide energy to all citizens.3 The Indian government emphasizes poverty alleviation and economic development as the country's highest priorities.
Key National Institutions, Policies, and Initiatives
The Indian Constitution provides necessary directives and powers for framing and enforcing environmental legislation. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and line ministries at the national level and the Department of Environment, State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), and other agencies at the state level form the regulatory and administrative core. The Climate Change division within the MoEF is the key point of contact for the UNFCCC and is responsible for submitting National Communication reports to the UNFCCC. The National CDM Authority (NCDMA) and the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) are housed in this office. Launched in 2009, the INCCA is a network comprising 127 institutions and 228 scientists across India that assess drivers and implications of climate change through scientific research, prepare climate change assessments, develop decision support systems, and build capacity for management of climate change-related risks and opportunities. India’s Planning Commission prepares five-year plans that chart out the country’s growth plan including programs, targets, and budgetary outlays for the next five years. As per the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17), a low-carbon growth strategy has been included as a key pillar. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the Ministry of Power (MoP) is the nodal agency for energy efficiency policy making and program implementation. India is also the only country in the world to have a ministry for promoting use of renewable energy; the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
In a key initiative, the Government of India (GOI) has set a goal to reduce its emission intensity by 20 percent to 25 percent between 2005 and 2020. Between 1994 and 2007, India’s emissions intensity declined by more than 30 percent. That decline can be attributed to the host of policies and schemes that the government has recently introduced. In 2008, the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change launched the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which comprises eight missions focusing on sustainability in agriculture, forestry, habitats, the deployment of solar energy, and promoting energy and water use efficiency. While all the missions contain elements of low-emission development through various programs and initiatives, the National Solar Mission (NSM) and the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) are targeted at reducing emissions from the energy sector.
NMEEE has launched four instruments to enhance energy efficiency in the country:
(1) Perform Achieve and Trade: Covering nine types of energy consuming industries called Designated Consumers or DCs, each DC must reduce its specific energy consumption (SEC) by a fixed percentage, based on its current SEC, to be achieved by 2014-15. Energy Saving Certificates (EScerts) will be issued to units exceeding targets which can be traded and used for compliance. The first cycle of PAT targets an annual energy savings of approximately 6.6 MTOE by 2014-15.
(2) Market Transformation for Energy Efficiency (MTEE): This initiative aims to accelerate the shift to energy efficient appliances in designated sectors. Two programs under MTEE are the Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) and Super Efficiency Equipment Program (SEEP).
(3) Energy Efficiency Financing Platform (EEFP): This aims to stimulate necessary funding for ESCOs based on a delivery mechanism by enhancing the comfort of financial institutions (FIs) in lending for energy efficiency projects. MoUs have been signed with financial institutions to support such projects.
(4) Framework for Energy Efficient Economic Development (FEEED): To develop fiscal instruments to promote energy efficiency such as a Partial Risk Guarantee Fund (PRGF) and Venture Capital Fund (VCF). A proposal on “Energy efficiency in Public Procurement” is also being prepared.
The NSM aims to increase the share of the renewable energy sources in India through deployment of 20,000 MW of solar energy by 2022. The total estimated investment requirement to meet the goals set by NSM is approximately $57 billion. The NSM is divided into three phases. Phase I will end in 2013.
In addition, the Greening India mission is a mitigation and adaptation program for the forestry sector. One of the goals of this mission is afforestation of 6 million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23 percent to 33 percent of India’s territory.
In 2010, the Indian Planning Commission’s Expert Committee on Low Carbon Growth released an Interim report on Low Carbon Growth that suggests that by 2020, with determined efforts, India can bring down its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by 23 to 25 percent below the 2005 levels, and with aggressive efforts, it can be brought down by as much as 33 to 35 percent over the 2005 levels if mitigation actions are taken in the power, transport, industry, buildings, and forestry sectors. The second phase of the report is now addressing the costs that are likely to be incurred for various mitigation strategies suggested.
Some of the sector-specific green growth initiatives are described below:
(1) Energy: Initiatives include the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) for promoting energy efficiency, the National Solar Mission (NSM) for deployment of solar energy, the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) trading scheme for encouraging power generation from renewable energy sources, feed-in-tariffs, tax breaks, subsidies, and generation-based incentives for renewables (solar, wind, and biomass). Other initiatives include the voluntary Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC) launched by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), and the National Mission on Sustainable Habitats (NMSH) for promoting energy conservation in the buildings sector.
(2) Transport: The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is an urban modernizing scheme funded by the Indian government for modernizing urban infrastructure. The NMSH includes a strategy for enforcement of fuel-economy standards for vehicles and pricing measures to encourage purchase of efficient vehicles.
(3) Agriculture and Forestry: The National Mission for Green India and National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture support climate adaptation in agriculture through development of climate-resilient crops, weather-based insurance mechanisms, and improved agriculture practices.
(4) Waste: Efforts include the MoEF’s notification of E-waste management and handling rules that mandate responsibility of end-of-life e-waste disposal on manufacturers; draft bi-waste management and handling rules have been released. The NMSH puts emphasis on urban waste management and recycling, including power production from waste.
World Bank: http://data.worldbank.org/country/india
National Portal of India: http://india.gov.in/india-glance/profile
Geography of India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_India
India Climate Portal http://www.indiaclimateportal.org/India-and-Climate-Change
Selected Additional Resources
Economy Wide Model for Low Carbon Strategy for India, by Dr. Jyoti K. Parikh, Dr. Probal Ghosh, Ms. Jayeeta Bhadra – Integrated Research & Action for Development, 2014.
Update on India’s Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) program for Industrial Energy Efficiency, by S.S.Krishnan, Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Bangalore
Low Carbon Society Scenario Bhopal 2035, by Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, School of Planning and Architecture, National Institute of Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Mizuho Information and Research Institute
Indian Climate Change Policy Exploring a Co-Benefits Based Approach, Navroz K Dubash, D Raghunandan, Girish Sant, Ashok Sreenivas
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The Asia LEDS Partnership Steering Committe Member in India is the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP).