oppn parties Climate Action: PM Modi's Commitments Need To Be Backed By An Updated NAPCC

News Snippets

  • Centre sanctions Rs 15000cr for Covid19 emergency response, part of it immediately and the rest over a period of four years in mission mode
  • RBI says Covid-19 has "drastically altered" the growth outlook in India
  • Third coronavirus death in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai
  • Odisha becomes the first state to extend the lockdown until April 30. Schools and colleges in the state to remain closed until June 17th
  • The Supreme Court orders all coronavirus testing, including by private labs, to be done for free, says will look into the matter of reimbursement for private players at a later date
  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
Total Covid-19 cases rise to 5734 on Thursday and the death toll stands at 166, says the health ministry in its daily briefing
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Climate Action: PM Modi's Commitments Need To Be Backed By An Updated NAPCC

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

At the Global Climate Action Summit in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unambiguously said that "by 2022, we plan to increase our renewable energy capacity to much beyond 175 GW, and later to 450 GW." He also showed India's commitment to making the country free of single-use plastic by curbing its manufacture and sale. But is the ground reality conducive to meeting the renewable energy (RE) commitments?

At the Paris Climate Pact, India made several commitments regarding increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix, But to meet the pledged installation, the country will have to add more than 20GW of RE every year, which is more than double the rate achieved in the last four years. At this rate, the commitments are unlikely to be met.

The problem lies in the lack of concerted action. When activists accuse politicians of uttering empty words, they are not off the mark. Take India's case, for example. There has to be an internal framework for putting the policy to work. The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), India's internal framework, is more than 10 years old. It does not have the necessary legal bite to ensure that India can reduce by one-third the emissions intensity of economic growth by 2030, as the country has committed under the Paris Agreement. Hence, the NAPCC needs to be urgently updated and made stronger.

Then, the problem of land acquisition and funding needs to be addressed fast. Land acquisition for any project in India has wide political ramifications making all governments shy from legislating on it. Solar projects need vast land tracts and given the inertia in legislating on land acquisitions, it seems improbable that India can increase its RE capacity at desired levels in the time frame committed in Paris.

While the Prime Minister's concern for the climate and reiterating India's commitment towards being a responsible nation is laudable, it will not mean much if not backed by an updated action plan and political will in solving the land problem and generating the enormous funds required. While things are moving on RE in India, the pace leaves a lot to be desired.