The 1,400-odd Green House Gas (GHG) mitigation projects approved by the government are expected to attract foreign investment worth $ 16 billion and neutralise 10 per cent of the current levels of emissions by 2012, Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, said here.
Inaugurating the India Carbon Market Conclave 2009, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Ministry of Environment and Forests on Friday, Mr. Ramesh said India had decided to ramp up its afforestation programme from 1 million hectares of land annually to 2.5 million hectares to check climate change.
‘Strong and growing’
“India’s green house gases mitigation efforts are strong and growing. In two years from now, we will put into place mandatory fuel efficiency standards for the transportation sector, starting with voluntary labelling process and gradually moving to mandatory standards for all types of vehicles on the roads,” he said.
The government, Mr. Ramesh said, had initiated a major scientific assessment of the impact of climate change on different sectors of the economy and in different regions. The details of the study, which involves 127 institutions and 220 scientists, would be released in November 2010. The study will also unravel what was happening to the Himalayan glaciers, he added. In this context, he emphasized the need for enhancing India’s research capacities to understand its ecosystem for adaptation and mitigation efforts.
‘Adaptation and mitigation’
Mr. Ramesh said the National Action Plan on Climate Change was mix of “adaptation and mitigation” efforts for which “we have initiated a series of steps. It was therefore, unfair to say that India was focusing merely on adaptation projects.”
The Minister released a FICCI-ICF International Knowledge Paper entitled ‘From Copenhagen to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi’.
Gireesh Pradhan, Additional Secretary Power, underlined the need for the creation of a global technology fund on carbon reduction under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “If we are serious about climate change, it is vital that such a fund be raised and clean technologies be made available to the non-Annex I countries,” he said.
Mr. Pradhan said the Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), was a market-based mechanism to enhance the cost effectiveness of improvements in energy efficiency through certification of energy savings that could be traded.
Harsh Pati Singhania, President, FICCI, pointed out that industry expected the Copenhagen outcome to not only provide the space needed for accelerated social and economic development, but also to create a global regime that supported a strengthened market-based mechanism and provided greater incentive to developing countries to engage in GHG reduction on a sustained basis.