Climate proposal

GS 3 ENVIRONMENT : Environmental pollution and degradation, Renewable Energy, Initiatives in India

Introduction

        Climate change describes a change in the average conditions — such as temperature and rainfall — in a region over a long period of time.

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Green House Gas Emission:

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Contemporary Issue:

         The UN Secretary General António Guterres’s call for India to give up coal immediately and reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 is a call to de-industrialise the country and abandon the population to a permanent low-development trap.(called on India to make no new investment in coal after 2020.)

Paris Agreement:

  • brings all nations into a common cause
  • to combat climate change and adapt to its effects
  • to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change-by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
  • to put forward their best efforts through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
  • all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
  • Parties shall communicate their NDCs every 5 years and provide information for clarity and transparency.
  • developed countries to support the efforts of developing country Parties to build clean, climate-resilient futures
  • provides that the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, including the Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Target for Paris Agreement:

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Renewable Energy Programme:

  • India is one of the few countries with at least 2° Celsius warming compliant climate action
  • one of a much smaller list of those currently on track to fulfilling their Paris Agreement commitments.
  • India’s annual emissions, at 0.5 tonnes per capita(below the global average of 1.3 tonnes)
  • India’s contribution by 2017 was only 4% for a population of 1.3 billion(European Union- with a population of only 448 million, was responsible for 20%.)

climate mitigation:First World environmentalist opinion:

  • Commitments into the future set the world on a path for almost 3°C warming, they have diverted attention by fuzzy talk of “carbon neutrality” by 2050.
  • while unable to summon up the domestic political support for climate action, have turned to pressure developing countries to bear the brunt of climate mitigation.
  • strategies-
    • demonising of coal mining and
    • coal-based power generation
    • promoting claims that immediate climate mitigation
    • ensure climate adaptation
    • promoting Third World natural resources as active sites of mitigation
  • Promoting theories of “de-growth
  • neglect of industrial and agricultural productivity for the pursuit of climate change mitigation.
  • increasing appeals to multilateral or First World financial and development institutions to force this agenda
  • global and international inequalities
  • promote the undifferentiated rhetoric of a climate emergency
  • UNFCCC reported that between 1990 and 2017, the developed nations have reduced their annual emissions by only 1.3%.(amounts to practically nil, given the inevitable errors in such accounting.)

Consequences if India indeed ceases all coal investment:

  • roughly 2 GW of coal-based generation is being decommissioned per year(which implies that by 2030, India will have only 184 GW of coal-based generation.)
  • 2030 electricity consumption-target of 1,580 to 1,660 units per person per year,increase of the current decadal growth rate, will require between 650 GW to 750 GW of renewable energy.
  • Unlike the developed nations, India cannot substitute coal by oil and gas.
  • None of this will really drive industry, particularly manufacturing(since renewables can meet residential consumption and some service sector.)
  • fossil fuel-based energy is a necessity, both technological and economic, for the transition to renewables.
  • providing 70% to 80% of all generation capacity is possible through renewables depends critically on technology developments such as 
    • improvements in the efficiency
    • conversion of energy from its source into electricity
    • in the management of the corresponding electricity grids
    • advance in storage technologies.

Conclusion              

Apart from implementing a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030,all together amounts to asking for the virtual de-industrialisation of India, and stagnation in a low-development trap for the vast majority of its population and reiterate its long-standing commitment to an equitable response to the challenge of global warming.

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