On June 30, 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released India’s first National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlining existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation.
The NAPCC consists of several targets on climate change issues and addresses the urgent and critical concerns of the country through a directional shift in the development pathway. It outlines measures on climate change related adaptation and mitigation while simultaneously advancing development. The Missions form the core of the Plan, representing multi-pronged, long termed and integrated strategies for achieving goals in the context of climate change.
Emphasizing the overriding priority of maintaining high economic growth rates to raise living standards, the plan “identifies measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively. . The plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through 2017.
National Solar Mission: The NAPCC aims to promote the development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses with the ultimate objective of making solar competitive with fossil-based energy options. The plan includes:
- Specific goals for increasing use of solar thermal technologies in urban areas, industry, and commercial establishments.
- The Mission will adopt a 3-phase approach, spanning the remaining period of the 11th Plan and first year of the 12th Plan (up to 2012-13) as Phase 1, the remaining 4 years of the 12th Plan (2013–17) as Phase 2 and the 13th Plan (2017–22) as Phase 3. The first phase of this mission aims to commission 1000MW of grid-connected solar power projects by 2013.
- objectives include the establishment of a solar research center, increased international collaboration on technology development, strengthening of domestic manufacturing capacity, and increased government funding and international support.
National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Building on the Energy Conservation Act 2001, the plan recommends:
- Mandating specific energy consumption decreases in large energy-consuming industries, with a system for companies to trade energy-savings certificates;
- Energy incentives, including reduced taxes on energy-efficient appliances; and
- Financing for public-private partnerships to reduce energy consumption through demand-side management programs in the municipal, buildings and agricultural sectors.
National Mission on Sustainable Habitat: To promote energy efficiency as a core component of urban planning, the plan calls for:
- Extending the existing Energy Conservation Building Code;
- A greater emphasis on urban waste management and recycling, including power production from waste;
- Strengthening the enforcement of automotive fuel economy standards and using pricing measures to encourage the purchase of efficient vehicles; and
- Incentives for the use of public transportation.
National Water Mission: With water scarcity projected to worsen as a result of climate change, the plan sets a goal of a 20% improvement in water use efficiency through pricing and other measures.Coordinated by the Ministry of Water Resources, the Mission receives an additional funding requirement of Rs 28, 651 crores (USD 6.14 billion), divided between the Centre and States. The mission has five goals:
- Collect comprehensive data on water resources, develop water resources information system by 2011, make information available in the public domain, assess the impacts of climate change on the country’s water resources by 2012.
- Includes expeditious implementation of irrigation projects, minor irrigation schemes, groundwater development, mapping flood-affected areas, capacity-building and awareness
- Focused attention on over-exploited areas – intensive rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge programmes, pursuing enactment of groundwater regulation and management bill
- Increasing water use efficiency by 20 percent – both on the demand side and the supply side, particularly in the agriculture and commercial sectors.
- Promote basin-level integrated water resources management – basin-level management strategies, review of National Water Policy in order to ensure integrated water resources management, appropriate entitlement and appropriate pricing.
National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem: The plan aims to conserve biodiversity, forest cover, and other ecological values in the Himalayan region, where glaciers that are a major source of India’s water supply are projected to recede as a result of global warming.
National Mission for a “Green India”: Goals include the afforestation of 6 million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23% to 33% of India’s territory.
National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: The plan aims to support climate adaptation in agriculture through the development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanisms, and agricultural practices.
National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change: To gain a better understanding of climate science, impacts and challenges, the plan envisions a new Climate Science Research Fund, improved climate modeling, and increased international collaboration. It also encourage private sector initiatives to develop adaptation and mitigation technologies through venture capital funds.
The NAPCC also describes other ongoing initiatives, including:
Power Generation: The government is mandating the retirement of inefficient coal-fired power plants and supporting the research and development of IGCC and supercritical technologies.
Renewable Energy: Under the Electricity Act 2003 and the National Tariff Policy 2006, the central and the state electricity regulatory commissions must purchase a certain percentage of grid-based power from renewable sources.
Energy Efficiency: Under the Energy Conservation Act 2001, large energy-consuming industries are required to undertake energy audits and an energy labeling program for appliances has been introduced.
Ministries with lead responsibility for each of the missions are directed to develop objectives, implementation strategies, timelines, and monitoring and evaluation criteria, to be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. The Council will also be responsible for periodically reviewing and reporting on each mission’s progress. To be able to quantify progress, appropriate indicators and methodologies will be developed to assess both avoided emissions and adaptation benefits.
(References: Press information bureau, India Climate Portal, C2ES)