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This article is written by Samaradhi Pandey from Banasthali Vidyapith and edited by Gitika Jain. The article emphasizes the National Action Plan on Climate Change, 2008 describes the major mission and submissions included in it along with the Ministries in charge. 

Introduction

“Nature has enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Nature has been providing its resources to us since the beginning of time. It is us, humans who decide how much to use these resources in a manner that fulfills present requirements and sustains the resources for future generations as well. Such an initiative is the National Action Plan on Climate Change that focuses unilaterally on the development of the environment with the view of sustainable development. The article impresses upon the policies and schemes under NAPCC and their importance. 

National Action Plan on Climate Change

The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)  (India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change), is a policy document prepared by the PM’s council on climate change keeping in respect with India’s economic need to understand the natural resources needs to be equated with the need to maintain ecological balance. It maintains a fine balance between the need to maintain the use of present resources and how much should one use them. 

Following the principle of sustainable development, the action plan is diverse among several departments of ministries, each with their own resolution and mission to make the best use of its resources with the view of sustainable development. The NAPCC was released on 30 June 2008, directing various ministries to start doing their substantial work by December with the guidelines of the Council in mind.

Objectives

Presently, the world faces environmental threats which if not taken care of immediately will lead to the destruction of the human race. The objective of NAPCC is to ensure safeguarding the country and to make the world a better place, by providing certain measures that accelerate the sustainable growth of the country. 

In respect to such changing and challenging times faced by our environment, the NAPCC aims at the following principles:

Protection 

The NAPCC aims to protect the poor and vulnerable class of society with the use of inclusive development strategy. Inclusive Growth, also called “pro-poor” growth, has become an important idea in the development discourse in India. It has widespread support because it combines the two most important ideas in development: income growth along with a progressive (or more egalitarian) distribution. The term was first embraced in the early 2000s by the UPA-1 government under PM Manmohan Singh. It has since been taken up by the NDA government under PM Narendra Modi. The present government sheds light through the policy of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” 

Achieving national growth

This factor aims to focus on national growth both economically and socially with the suggestive points on quantitative change and economic direction that enhances ecological sustainability. National Growth has always been the ultimate goal, but the government of the country aims to achieve national growth with the idea of sustainable development in mind.

Demand Side Management 

Energy demand management, also known as demand-side management (DSM) or demand-side response (DSR), is a step to bring change in the consumer demand for consumption of energy in peak hours which will help in reducing the cost. The techniques involved are making the consumer aware of the use of resources through education and giving financial incentives to the establishments which contribute to it. 

Better Technology 

With the help of better technology, the mission aims in deploying appropriate technologies for both adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions extensively as well as at an accelerated pace. So as it keeps a record in situations such as where a natural resource has been overused or improved and preserved for the upcoming generations. It hinges on better technological use.

Market Mechanism 

Engineering new and innovative forms of market, regulatory, and voluntary mechanisms to promote sustainable development are such market mechanisms which when implemented would provide an experience of the plan to the general public at a basic level.

Inclusivity

This factor aims to invite teaming up with civil societies and local government bodies so as to spread the idea, objectives and goals to more and more people, to help the government in achieving the goal to create awareness. It also promotes public-private partnerships. 

These elaborated objectives of NAPCC are used by different ministries also indirectly focuses on to climate change like sustainable habitat, energy need, focus on renewable energy, enhanced energy efficiency, clean drinking water, sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, conserving and creating green spaces, better agriculture and knowledge creation about climate change. 

India is actively engaged in multilateral negotiations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under this India is determined to keep its per capita greenhouse gas emissions lower than that of developed countries.

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Important provisions

The NAPCC promotes understanding climate change, sustainable development, energy efficiency, and many such ideas through implementing its eight different missions which form the core of the National Action Plan. These eight missions are discussed below in brief with a newly formed mission which officially doesn’t make it to the core plan but it has an important emphasis on the action plan. The eight action plans are as follows:

  • National Solar Mission starting in 2010 the program initially aimed at consuming 20 (GigaWatt) GW solar energy by 2020, but in 2015, the target was increased to 100 GW. India has also pledged to increase the consumption of such clean energy sources by 2030.
  • National Mission for Enhanced Efficiency: Promote the market for energy efficiency by fostering innovative policies and effective market instruments. This program is the source  for  four similar initiatives which are:
    • Perform, Achieve, and Trade Provides energy reduction by targeting industries and factories. Once the Energy reduction target is achieved, the government provides Energy Saving Certificates to the industry or factory.
    • Market Transformation For Energy Efficient: Involves steps like adopting energy-efficient equipment through innovative business models. It sheds lights to the basic two types embodied in it which are :
      • Domestic Efficient Lighting: UJALA YOJNA of the government was such a step in Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) program to promote the use of more efficient LED lighting for households.
      • The Super-Efficient Equipment Program was another step wherein the government gave incentives to the manufacturers for using energy-efficient equipment. This was incorporated in the 12th five-year plan.
    • Energy Efficiency Financing Platform: With the help of the government, such platforms were developed where investors are ready to support energy conserving and efficiency projects. Financial help is available for such developers and even for research and development cells.
    • Framework For Energy Efficiency Economic Development: Promoting energy efficiency initiatives by hedging against investment risks. Under the framework, two kinds of funds are majorly functioning acting as a guarantee for the bankers and investors: 
      • Partial Risk Guarantee Fund for Energy Efficiency (PRGFEE): The fund provides a guarantee to the bankers and investors, in case of fraud or misrepresentation, to compensate upto the value of 50% of the project fund or to compensate upto 10 crore INR, whichever is less as recovery money from the project. 
      • Venture Capital Fund for Energy Efficiency (VCFEE): The fund sheds light onto the smaller projects which are unable to secure funds from large establishments. It guarantees support to such projects and ideas providing help of 2 Crore INR or 15% of the project expenses, whichever is less.
  • National Mission on Sustainable Development: This initiative was added in the year 2010. Its major goals are conservation, extending energy-efficient buildings, better urban planning and transport, and improved management of solids and liquids. It focuses on recycling as well. This mission is managed by the Ministry of Urban Development through various policies like Atal Mission On Rejuvenation And Urban Transformation, Swatch Bharat Yojna, Smart Cities Mission, and Urban Transport Programme.
  • National Mission On Water: The mission is mounted to ensure better-integrated water resource management. This would lead to water conservation, less wastage of water, equitable distribution of water. The mission will also come out with a framework to improve water efficiency by 20%, through regulatory and pricing mechanisms. It also identifies the issue of groundwater management and uses it as an important resource. It also sees the need to study the management of surface water as it not only indicates the status of the environment but it also has a great economic impact. Improving water storage capacities and protecting wetlands form an important aspect that will be looked into by this mission.
  • National Mission on Himalayan Ecosystem: Aims towards protecting, preserving and increasing the diminishing forests in the country responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures. The program works to enhance annual CO2 sequestration by 50 to 60 million tons in the year 2020. The mission will be implemented on both public as well as private lands. The mission will involve local communities in planning, decision making, implementation, and monitoring. This mission also includes a sub-mission which is National Mission On Seabuckthorn, focusing on the Cold desert ecosystems, popularly known as Wonder Plant or Ladakh Gold.
  • National Mission on Green India: Aims at improving crop seeds, using water efficiently, pesticide management, improving farming practices, nutrient management, agricultural insurance, credit support, markets, access to information, and livelihood diversification. One of the components of this mission is the Soil Health Management under which  Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) is used as technique whereby, through judicious use of chemical fertilizers including secondary and micronutrients in conjunction with organic manures and biofertilizers and fertilizer testing facilities to improve soil test based recommendations to farmers. The soil health management program was started in 2015 by proving Soil health cards to the farmers.
  • National Mission for Strategic Knowledge For Climate Change: Identifies and acknowledges present climate changes. It addresses the most immediate challenges. This will be done through open international collaboration and would ensure sufficient funding for this research. This mission would also be entrusted with the dissemination of new knowledge created. It will focus on the following themes:
    • Research in key areas of climate science like monsoon dynamics, aerosol science, etc,
    • Global and regional climate modeling,
    • Observational networks,
    • Creation of research infrastructure. 

As per the NAPCC, each mission comes under a ministry and these missions will have an institutional setup. The missions will have to determine objectives spanning the 11th and 12th plan periods.

  • National Mission For Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem: It is an attempt to address various problems relating to the Himalayan Ecosystem such as:
    • Himalayan glaciers with hydrological consequences.
    • Biodiversity conservation in the Himalayan ecosystem.
    • Wildlife conservation in the Himalayan ecosystem.
    • Knowledge of traditional societies and livelihood in the region.

In addition to this, the National Bioenergy Mission has been launched more recently than the earlier described missions. The National Bioenergy Mission focuses to push sustainable development in the renewable energy sector. According to estimates, biomass from agro and agro-industrial residue can potentially generate 25,000 MW of power in India.

Suggested reforms

The missions recommended are elaborate. The missions are needed to be efficient and time-bound so other prospective works can also be looked and conserved in the way these missions look at the subject matter under their domain.

Implementation

The mission of NAPCC is implemented through various government policies described below as:

  1. JAWAHARLAL NEHRU NATIONAL SOLAR MISSION, for National Solar Mission governed under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, promotes solar water heaters for buildings, solar off-grid as a solution to the remote village electrification program.
  2. NATIONAL MISSION FOR ENHANCED ENERGY EFFICIENCY, is governed under the Ministry of Power, it ensures supply for energy-efficient goods and products, formulated evaluation and marketing mechanisms.
  3. NATIONAL MISSION FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE,  governed by the Ministry of Agriculture, has strengthened agricultural insurance, developed a system based on GIS, remote sensing to map soil resource and land use, and it also promotes agricultural techniques like minimum tillage, organic farming, and rainwater conservation.
  4. NATIONAL MISSION FOR SUSTAINING HIMALAYAN ECOSYSTEM, governed by the Ministry of Science and Technology, aims at establishing a modern centre of glaciology, standardization of data collection to ensure interoperability and mapping of natural resources in the area, identification, and training of 100 experts and specialists in the area relevant to sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem.
  5. NATIONAL MISSION FOR GREEN INDIA, governed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests enhances carbon sinks in sustainably managed forests and enhances the resilience of vulnerable species and ecosystems to adapt to climate change.
  6. NATIONAL MISSION ON STRATEGIC KNOWLEDGE FOR CLIMATE CHANGES, governed under the Ministry of Science and Technology aims towards a strong strategic knowledge system on climate change.
  7. NATIONAL MISSION ON SUSTAINABLE HABITAT, governed by the Ministry of Urban Development, aims at making urban areas more climate-friendly and less susceptible to climate change need for a multi-pronged approach to not only mitigate climate change but also to adapt to it.
  8. NATIONAL WATER RESOURCE, governed by the Ministry of Water Resource, has channeled its attention to focus on the over-exploitation of water in rural as well as in urban areas.

Conclusion

NAPCC if implemented in full driven force will surely lead to India with abundant power to regulate the environmental challenges and changes. Through NAPCC the country can aim to adapt to such heights that yield benefits and mitigation. 

Though these programs are long termed integrated strategies, the enhancement of scope and effectiveness of the program can be observed soon.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2822162/
  2. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/india-s-national-action-plan-on-climate-change-needs-desperate-repair-61884
  3. https://www.drishtiias.com/to-the-points/Paper2/national-action-plan-on-climate-change
  4. https://www.climateaction.org/news/summary_indias_national_action_plan_on_climate_change

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