HC seeks Centre’s stand on plea for implementation of India’s promises on climate change

April 21, 2022 01:19 am | Updated 01:19 am IST - new delhi

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the constitution of an expert committee to be tasked with laying out a roadmap for achieving the commitments made by India at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2021.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla gave the direction on a plea by advocate Rohit Madan who stated that India had made certain commitments before the UNFCCC to reduce carbon footprint.

“These targets include long-term, mid-term, and short-term targets. These pledges form part of and are in pursuance of the Paris Agreement to which India is also a signatory. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to reduce the rise in global average temperature to below 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” Mr. Madan said.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, said that the Centre has already set up several committees, such as the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, which is focusing on meeting the international obligations.

Mr. Madan, in his petition filed through advocate Akshay R., stated that these commitments involve a shift to renewable and green energy from current coal-based energy. He said all businesses in India will have to adjust their practices, and, make necessary changes anticipating the shift.

He said a perusal of the power generation data as on January 2019 reveals that fossil-based energy generation constitutes close to 2/3rd of India’s power needs. He argued that the data of the past seven decades shows that the executive has been lackadaisical in adapting to this shift.

“Time and again, it has been proven that unless the Courts step in, there can be no scope for alleviating pollution and reducing carbon footprint at all stakeholders’ level including industries, railways, government, citizens, etc.,” the plea said.

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