Indian climate mitigation policies


Climate change is an urgent issue that India must address. The World Bank Group commissioned the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics to study the potential impacts of a temperature increase of 2-4ºC due to climate change in India. This could have a devastating effect on agriculture, water resources, cities and coastal ecosystems.

Agriculture is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it relies heavily on weather patterns and temperatures. An increase in temperature could lead to decreased crop yields, increased water stress, and higher levels of pests and diseases. Water resources are also at risk from climate change as rising temperatures can cause more frequent droughts or floods, leading to water shortages or contamination. Cities are also at risk from extreme weather events such as heat waves, storms and floods which can cause damage to infrastructure and put lives at risk. Coastal ecosystems are also threatened by sea level rise which can lead to erosion, flooding and destruction of habitats.

It is therefore essential for India to take action to reduce its emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. This can be done through a variety of measures such as increasing energy efficiency, promoting renewable energy sources, improving agricultural practices, and protecting forests and other natural ecosystems. India has already taken some steps in this direction with the launch of the National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008 and the Paris Agreement in 2016 by taking several measures to mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce its carbon footprint. The Union Budget announced in 2022-23 has included sovereign green bonds to raise funds for climate-friendly infrastructure. This is an important step towards increasing the size of India’s green bonds and exploring India’s blue bonds to enhance climate action. The Government of India has also taken initiatives to mainstream climate change in India’s budget across sectors, such as the National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008.

National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)

The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is India’s framework for addressing the challenges posed by climate change. It was launched in 2008 by the Prime Minister of India with the aim of promoting sustainable development and reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The NAPCC consists of eight missions, each addressing specific areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, forestry, agriculture, and water. These missions are:

National Solar Mission

The National Solar Mission, also known as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, was launched in India in 2010 with the goal of promoting renewable energy, particularly solar energy, in the country. The mission aims to increase the use of solar energy in India to achieve energy security and reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency

The National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) is a key initiative of the Government of India under the NAPCC. It aims at reducing the country’s energy intensity, thereby mitigating the adverse impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment.

The NMEEE focuses on promoting energy efficiency in various sectors and seeks to increase the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices, thereby reducing energy consumption and costs. The mission involves various stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector organizations, and civil society groups. It is supported by various programs and initiatives, including the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), the Perform Achieve Trade (PAT) scheme, and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).

National Mission on Sustainable Habitat

The National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (NMHS) is a government initiative in India aimed at promoting sustainable and inclusive urbanization. Launched in 2008, the mission seeks to create healthy, livable and resilient cities and towns through a sustainable and integrated approach to planning and development. The goal of the NMHS is to ensure that urban areas are developed in an environmentally sustainable, socially inclusive and economically viable manner. To achieve this, the mission focuses on three key pillars: improving the quality of life in cities and towns, promoting sustainable urbanization and ensuring that urbanization is inclusive and equitable. The mission is being implemented through various programs and initiatives such as smart cities, energy efficiency, urban transport, solid waste management and urban governance reforms.

National Water Mission

The National Water Mission is a flagship program of the Indian government aimed at ensuring the sustainable development and management of water resources in the country. It seeks to address the challenges of water scarcity, water quality degradation, and flood management.

Water treatment plant

The mission’s main objectives are to conserve and develop water resources, enhance water use efficiency, increase water recharge and ensure equitable distribution of water resources. It also aims to promote rainwater harvesting and integrated water resources management practices.

The mission focuses on various sectors including agriculture, domestic, industrial, and environmental, and adopts a participatory approach, involving stakeholders such as farmers, women, and youth. It also seeks to improve access to water resources, promote sustainable water management practices and address water-related health issues.

National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem

The National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) is an ambitious initiative launched by the Government of India in 2013 to address issues related to the health of the Himalayan eco-system holistically. The mission aims to build human and institutional capacities in the different existing/new institutions in the Himalayan region, identify national knowledge institutions, and develop new methods for assessing the health of the ecosystem. It also seeks to assess and quantify changes in the Himalayan ecosystem attributable to climate change as a result of global emissions and human activities in the region. The exploration of linking traditional and formal knowledge systems for the sustainability of the Himalayan ecosystem is also part of this mission.

National Mission for a Green India

The National Mission for a Green India (GIM) is a flagship program of the Indian Government, launched in 2014, aimed at increasing the country’s forest cover and promoting eco-friendly development. The mission aims to enhance ecosystem services, biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of people living in and around forests.

The program focuses on increasing forest cover through afforestation and reforestation, conservation of forests and wildlife, and improving the management of forest resources. It also aims to involve local communities in conservation efforts and to promote sustainable livelihoods by providing them with alternative means of income generation.

National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change

The National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC) is an initiative by the Government of India to develop strategic knowledge in key areas such as adaptation and mitigation. The NMSKCC focuses on building national S&T capacities in the area of climate change, with a focus on establishing knowledge networks and data sharing among existing climate science research institutions, setting up global technology watch groups to select risk-minimized technologies for development, and developing national capacity to model regional impacts of climate change on different ecological zones.

National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture

The National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) was launched by the government of India in 2010 as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The main aim of NMSA is to promote sustainable agriculture practices in India that are more resilient to the impacts of climate change and also increase the productivity of crops. NMSA focuses on improving soil health, water management, and the adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices. It also promotes the integration of modern technology and traditional knowledge to improve the livelihoods of farmers.

NMSA is implemented through various programs, such as the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC), National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA), and the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA). These programs aim to provide financial and technical support to farmers to adopt sustainable agriculture practices.

Other key climate mitigation policies in India are discussed below.

Energy Efficiency

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has launched several initiatives aimed at reducing energy consumption in industry and households, such as the star rating program for appliances and energy audits for buildings.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) India was established in March 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. The main objective of BEE is to promote efficient and sustainable use of energy in the country through various initiatives.

Solar panels

Some of the key initiatives taken by BEE to reduce energy consumption are:

  • Energy Efficiency National Mission (EENM) – Launched in 2008, the EENM aims to achieve 20% reduction in energy intensity of the Indian economy by 2020.
  • Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) – The ECBC was developed to promote energy-efficient buildings in India and to ensure that new buildings are designed and constructed to be energy-efficient.
  • Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – BEE has launched various programs to help SMEs adopt energy-efficient technologies and practices.
  • Energy Management Systems (EnMS) – BEE has launched a program to promote energy management systems in various industries and institutions to help them monitor and reduce energy consumption.
  • Energy Labelling – BEE has implemented a star-rating system for appliances and equipment to help consumers make informed choices about energy-efficient products.
  • State Energy Conservation Fund (SECF) – The SECF was established to support state-level initiatives to promote energy conservation and efficiency.

These initiatives are helping to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency in India. According to a report by the Ministry of Power (India), the country’s energy intensity has reduced by 19.6% between 2005 and 2016 due to the efforts of BEE and other organizations (Ministry of Power, India, 2016).

Forests and Wildlife

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has launched several initiatives aimed at protecting forests and wildlife, such as the National Afforestation and Eco-development Board, and the National Biodiversity Act.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in India has been actively taking various initiatives for the protection of forests and wildlife in the country, which in turn promotes sustainability and climate mitigation. Some of the significant initiatives are:

  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: This act provides for the protection of wild animals and plants and makes it an offense to hunt, trap, or trade in wildlife and its products.
  • National Biodiversity Act, 2002: The act provides for the conservation and sustainable use of India’s biological diversity and promotes the equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of such diversity.
  • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA): CAMPA is a mechanism established by the MoEF to provide funds for compensatory afforestation and forest-based livelihood activities.
  • Green India Mission: This mission aims to increase the country’s forest cover to 33% of the total land area and improve the quality of forests through conservation and development activities.
  • Forest Conservation Act, 1980: This act provides for the conservation of forests and wild life and regulates diversion of forestland for non-forest purposes.
  • National Wildlife Action Plan, 2017-2031: This plan outlines the actions required for the conservation and management of wildlife in the country, including the protection of habitats, control of poaching populations, and the management of human-wildlife conflicts.

These initiatives by the MoEF demonstrate the government’s commitment to protecting India’s forests and wildlife and preserving its rich biodiversity for future generations.

Clean Energy Fund

This fund supports renewable energy projects in India, and helps to finance the National Solar Mission and other clean energy initiatives.

India’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a dedicated funding mechanism set up by the Government of India to support the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. The CEF is part of India’s National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), which was established in 2010 with the goal of promoting clean energy initiatives in the country. The NCEF is a non-lapsable fund, which means that the unspent amount from each financial year is carried forward to the next year, and can be used for future projects.

The CEF provides financial support for various clean energy projects and initiatives, including renewable energy projects, energy efficiency measures, and research and development activities. The fund also provides support for the development of new and innovative clean energy technologies and their commercialization.

In addition to the CEF, the NCEF also includes two other funds: the National Clean Energy Research and Development Fund (NCERDF) and the National Clean Energy Demonstration Fund (NCEDF). The NCERDF provides funding for research and development activities aimed at improving the performance, efficiency, and reliability of clean energy technologies, while the NCEDF provides support for demonstration projects aimed at demonstrating the feasibility and commercial viability of new and innovative clean energy technologies.

Some of the key initiatives supported by the CEF and NCEF include the development of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects, wind power projects, small hydro power projects, and bioenergy projects. The funds also support the implementation of energy efficiency measures in various sectors, including industry, agriculture, and transportation.

The CEF and NCEF have been instrumental in promoting clean energy initiatives in India and have helped to increase the country’s installed capacity of renewable energy. According to a recent report by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India’s installed renewable energy capacity stood at 96.7 GW as of March 2020.

Biofuel Policy

The National Policy on Biofuels aims to promote the use of biofuels in India as a means of reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

India has a rich potential for biofuel energy, and the country has been actively working towards increasing its use in the energy mix. Biofuels are produced from renewable organic matter such as crops, waste, and forestry products, making them a clean and sustainable source of energy.

The Indian government has set a target of blending 20% of biofuels into its gasoline and diesel by the year 2030. This is expected to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the most popular biofuels in India is bioethanol, produced from sugarcane and other crops. The country has a well-established sugar industry, making it easier to scale up bioethanol production. Biodiesel, produced from vegetable oils and animal fats, is another biofuel that is gaining popularity in India.

The Indian government has implemented several policies and incentives to encourage the growth of the biofuel sector. The National Biofuel Policy was introduced in 2018 to provide a roadmap for the development of the industry and encourage private investment. The government has also set up several research and development centers to develop advanced biofuel technologies.

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