Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

INDCs are plans by governments communicated to the UNFCCC regarding the steps they will take to address climate change domestically. As per the COP 19 decision (Warsaw 2013), all Parties were requested to prepare their INDCs, without prejudice to the legal nature of the contributions towards achieving the objectives of Article 2 of the Convention and communicate them well in advance of COP 21. Accordingly, India submitted its INDC to the UNFCCC on 2 October 2015.

India�s INDC is comprehensive and covers all elements, i.e. adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building. India�s goal is to reduce the overall emission intensity and improve the energy efficiency of its economy over time. It also covers concerns to protect the vulnerable sectors and segments of its society. The principle of equity and CBDR, historical responsibilities and India�s development imperatives and enhanced adaptation requirements have been recurring themes in the INDC document.

India houses 30 per cent of the global poor, 24 per cent of global population without access to electricity, and 92 million people with its vulnerability in terms of the impact of climate change, this entails that India faces formidable and complex challenges in terms of balancing the sustainable development agenda. Given the challenges it faces, it has prepared an ambitious plan in terms of clean energy, energy efficiency and lower emission intensity while addressing the critical issue of poverty and food security.

India�s INDC sets ambitious renewable energy targets mainly in terms of solar and wind energy. With a potential of more than 100 GW, the target is to achieve 60 GW of wind power and 100 GW of solar power installed capacity by 2022. Given that in 2014 the world�s entire installed solar power capacity was 181 GW, this target is extremely ambitious and clearly places India as a major potential renewable energy player (World Resource Institute, October 2015). India has also launched a historic International Solar Alliance (ISA) which is envisaged as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. Although there is lot of emphasis on boosting the renewable energy sector, the INDC clearly state that coal would continue to be the dominant source of power generation in the future. However, the INDC incorporates a lot of initiatives to improve the efficiency of coal-based power plants and to reduce their carbon footprint. Clean coal technologies would be critical to meeting the demand for power generation in the future.

In addition to mitigation-related activities, the INDC also incorporates adaptation-related activities. Out of the eight National Missions on Climate Change in India, five focus on adaptation in sectors like agriculture, water and forestry. The INDC also highlights India�s major initiatives taken for rural livelihood security and disaster.

Multilateral Climate Funds

International climate funds can either be multilateral or bilateral depending on the participating countries. Funds may further be classified according to their area of focus, namely mitigation, adaptation or REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). Currently, the Green

Climate Fund (GCF) is the largest, with pledges amounting to US$10.2 billion. The second largest is the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) with pledges amounting to US$5.3 billion. With the capitalisation of the GCF and the sunset clause of the CTF, there is ambiguity about the role of the CTF in the climate finance architecture post-2020.

International Carbon Markets

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), created multilaterally under the UNFCCC is one of the mitigation instruments under the Kyoto Protocol. Lack of mitigation ambition in the pre-2020 period has slowed its momentum. Moreover, low ambition for emissions reductions expressed by developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol and some major players pulling out of Kyoto Protocol has further suppressed the demand for certified emissions reduction (CER) credits. At present, the CDM is facing its most severe crisis since it was set up a decade ago.

Domestic Actions on Climate Change

National Action Plan on Climate Change

A major component of India�s domestic actions against climate change is the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The Prime Minister�s Council on Climate Change (PMCCC) has directed the missions under the NAPCC to enhance their ambition in respect of adaptation, mitigation and capacity building and reprioritize them, besides recommending the setting up of some new missions in addition to the existing eight. Considering the adverse impacts that climate change could have on health, a new Mission on Climate Change and Health is currently under formulation and a National Expert Group on Climate Change and Health has been constituted. The proposed waste-to-energy mission will incentivize efforts towards harnessing energy from waste and is aimed at lowering India�s dependence on coal, oil and gas for power production. The National Mission on Coastal Areas (NMCA) will prepare an integrated coastal resource management plan and map vulnerabilities along the entire (nearly 7000-km-long) shoreline. The Ministry of Earth Sciences will provide it scientific and technical advice and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) will manage and implement the NMCA.

�National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change

A National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) has been established with a budget provision of Rs.350 crore for the year 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. It is meant to assist in meeting the cost of national- and state-level adaptation measures in areas that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The overall aim of the fund is to support concrete adaptation activities that reduce the adverse effects of climate change facing communities, sectors and states but are not covered under the ongoing schemes of state and central governments. The adaptation projects contribute towards reducing the risk of vulnerability at community and sector level. Till date, the NSCCC has approved six detailed project reports (DPR), amounting to a total cost of I117.98 crore, submitted by Punjab, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Sustainable Development

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in its 1 7th session in September 2015 has announced a set of 17 SDGs and 169 targets which will stimulate action over the next 15 years. This set of goals replaces the MDGs which were coming to an end in 2015 and will try to work in the areas which could not be completed earlier. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs were adopted after one of the largest consultation exercises in UN history. In the June 2012 RIO+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the UN General Assembly�s Open Working Group proposed SDGs covering a broad range of sustainable development issues, including ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change and protecting oceans and forests, and were adopted by the General Assembly as part of the broader post-2015 development agenda in September 2015. The SDGs are effective from January 2016 and will end in 2030.

Written by princy

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