Developed countries need to ‘walk the talk’ on climate change: India

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India’s Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar told the United Nations Climate Summit 2014 that India is committed to pursuing a path of sustainable development through eradication of poverty, both of income as well as energy.

More than 120 heads of states and government, including US President Barack Obama, participated in the day-long climate change summit where the UN Secretary General warned that the “human, environmental and financial” cost of climate change is “fast becoming unbearable” and called on the world leaders to cut emissions so that by the end of this century the world becomes carbon neutral.

If the developed world walks the talk, then we can certainly achieve the targets that we have set ourselves collectively, Javadekar said.

The new Indian Government believes in action-oriented policies for addressing climate change. The political will is enough to act, noted the minister.

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The Clean Energy Cess on coal was doubled to raise more revenue for clean energy technologies. If finance and technology support and capacity building is ensured, developing countries like India can perform well, added the Minister.

Over $15 million have been allocated to the ‘National Adaptation Fund’; $ 80 million for Ultra Mega Solar Projects; $100 million for Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology and $16 million for the development of 1 MW Solar Parks.

This is just the beginning. Approx. 6 billion dollars is kept aside for afforestation and once budgeted, outlays for such initiatives will always increase, explained the minister.

One hundred Smart Cities with integrated policies to reduce the vulnerability of urban areas to climate change is another initiative under process.

The key challenge is to manage higher energy consumption of Indian consumers balanced with lower carbon intensity. The target is to achieve a reduced Emission Intensity of GDP by 20-25 percent by 2020 over 2005 level, assured the minister.

Doubling the installed wind energy capacity over the next five years, solar capacity to over 20000 MW by 2020, achieving 10,000 MW of Energy Efficiency savings by 2020 are some of the initiatives currently being pursued.

In addition, enhancing the energy efficiency of coal based power generation, Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) for the design of new commercial buildings, energy standards on high energy consuming appliances, an innovative Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) program to reduce the energy consumption in industry, and finally, Corporate Average Fuel Savings standards for new vehicles which are estimated to save over 20 million ton of fuel by the year 2025 are other initiatives taken by government.

The cement industry is placed under strict norms and action plan for cleaning River Ganga is anticipated to bring multiple benefits of pollution reduction and climate adaptation.

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