A new study by Oxfam India and the Centre for Budget and Government Accountability (CBGA) has called for a National Adaptation Fund to provide dedicated financial resources to sectors vulnerable to climate change.
“Adaptation to Climate Change in India: A Study of Union Budgets,” disputes the government’s claim that its expenditure on climate change adaptation in 2006-07 was more than 2.6 per cent of the GDP. It was only 1.7 per cent, says the study.
In fact, the allocation in the 2009-10 budget was 2.68 per cent, it says.
In real money terms, this percentage figure still works out to a sizable Rs.1.56 lakh crore, including 146 government schemes from 22 ministries, covering all the sectors identified in the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC).
However, the study points out that if this figure is broken up, a large portion of the expenditure is allocated to programmes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) which are focussed on general poverty alleviation.
There is no clear linkage to the NAPCC’s policy statements focussing on sustainability of ecosystem services or any indication of how poverty alleviation could be integrated into the overall adaptation framework, says Yamini Mishra, executive director of CBGA.
She adds that it is not clear if the NAPCC missions will subsume existing measures such as NREGS or whether additional measures will be supported by additional budgetary allocations. In light of this, a separate fund, under the oversight of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, can help provide and oversee additional resources meant specifically for adaptation, the study says.