Combating Climate Change: Problems, Policies and Latest Developments

Combating Climate Change: Problems, Policies and Latest Developments

Q. What are the problems, current policy and latest developments in the field of combating climate change in India?

A. Major Problems

1. Lack of finance

• Green Climate Fund only at USD 10 billion
• Less funding for mitigation and adaptation

2. Lack of technology transfer

• Issue of intellectual property rights

3. Growing argument over responsibility between developed and developing world

• Issue of historical responsibility
• Problem of common but differentiated responsibility

4. Developed nation's stance

• Refusal of countries like UK to allocate funds separately for combating climate change
• Only development aid for climate actions to be given
• Emerging economies like India cannot be treated at par with rest of developing world
• India and other such nations must bear equal responsibility for emissions cut

5. Breakdown of climate talks

• Bare minimum agreed to at Lima COP meet for climate change in 2014
• Refusal of developed worlds to see eye to eye with developing nations
• Issue of rich versus poor nations and who should bear emissions cut more
• Disagreements regarding financing of the climate change movement

B. Current Policy for Curbing Climate Change: National Action Plan on Climate Change

• This plan has eight missions. It was formulated in 2008 and will continue till 2017, unless revised.

Eight National Missions

1. National Solar Mission

• Promotion of solar energy
• Use of Photovoltaic cells and solar technology
• R&D
• Decentralised distribution of solar power

2. National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency

• Trading energy savings
• Measuring cost effectiveness and improvement in energy efficiency
• Using energy efficient appliances
• Devising fiscal instruments to promote energy efficiency

3. National Mission on Sustainable Habitat

• Improve energy efficiency in buildings
• Better solid waste management
• Modal shift to public transport
• Use of Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC)
• Recycling material, use of urban waste management

4. National Water Mission

• Integrated water resource management
• Waste minimisation
• Distribution in equitable manner across and within states
• Optimise water efficiency through regulatory mechanisms
• Recycling of waste water
• Better management of water in coastal areas
• Use of low temperature desalination for ocean water
• Optimise efficiency of existing irrigation systems
• Promotion of water neutral technologies
• Use of water positive technologies
• Recharging underground water resources
• Use of large scale irrigation programmes

5. National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem

• Observation system for checking freshwater resources
• Monitoring method for meeting the needs of the ecosystem
• Assessment of the health of the ecosystem
• Community based management to combat ecological issues

6. National Mission for Green India

• Enhancing ecosystem services through carbon sinks
• Green India campaign for afforestation of degraded forest areas
• Corpus of INR 6000 crore for the National Mission implementation

7. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

• Make Indian agriculture resilient to climate change
• Identify new resilient crops
• Develop thermal resistance crops
• Devise alternative cropping patterns
• Adaption of agriculture to climate change
• Improving productivity of rain-fed agriculture

8. National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change

• Research and technology development
• Open source platforms
• Funding of high quality
• Focused research on various aspects of climate change management
• Climate Science Research Fund

C. Recent Developments

1. Prime Minister’s National Council on Climate Change Re-Constituted:

• Ratan Tata and Sunita Narain were dropped from council
• Pachauri was retained
• Experts in the field of climate change were added
• Council meeting to decide on revision of existing schemes

2. Upcoming US President’s Visit

• Visit expected to establish agreements in renewable energy sector
• Pact for sharing clean technologies as well

3. India's Commitment to Combating Climate Change

• India aims to reduce energy intensity of GDP by 20-25% by 2020
• Government has enforced and made stricter norms for cement industry
• New norms for fuel emission will be introduced
• Schemes to be revised for better impact
• Inclusive and sustainable development strategy
• Active efforts to mitigate GHG emissions
• Efficient and cost effective strategies for combating climate change
• Developing clean energy technologies
• Promotion of LED through “Prakash Path” and solar mission schemes
• Linkages with civil society and local governments to combat climate change
• Research and transfer of technologies for combating climate change


When it comes to combating climate change, commitment matters. Developed and developing nations have to work hand in hand for combating the menace of climate change.
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