TERI presents 100 days agenda to tackle green issues

| | New Delhi
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TERI presents 100 days agenda to tackle green issues

Sunday, 09 June 2024 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

As the new Government settles in for its five-year term, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a policy research body  working in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainability has presented a comprehensive 100-day green agenda aimed at tackling pressing environmental issues while fostering sustainable development.

By embracing these initiatives, the government can effectively address climate challenges and fulfill its commitments to sustainable development and environmental protection, said Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI.

Key proposals include the introduction of green budgeting to align public spending with environmental priorities, and the inclusion of climate vulnerability in the devolution formula to provide additional resources for climate change adaptation at the state level. Strengthening green public procurement and promoting plastic neutrality are also prioritized to reduce environmental impact across sectors.

Furthermore, the agenda emphasizes the need for sectoral net zero targets and the finalization of the new National Water Policy to address water management challenges. Initiatives such as promoting tree planting outside forests and integrating pyrolysis oil into oil refineries aim to enhance carbon sequestration and promote clean energy production.

Additionally, the agenda calls for policies to incentivize biofertilizers, enhance soil remediation initiatives, and empower MSMEs to participate in carbon markets. Integrated approaches like establishing decentralized biogas plants for material recovery underscore the importance of maximizing resource efficiency and reducing waste. The 16th Finance Commission can include climate vulnerability (as part of environment criteria) in the devolution formula to states to create a climate fund and provide additional resources to state governments to address climate change, suggested RR Rashmi, a prominent climate change expert with the TERI.

At the same time, Dhawan emphasized that the government should strengthen regulations and integrate environmental considerations into various sectoral and non-sectoral policies which will also help in achieving our national and international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Net Zero by 2070 target.Syamal Sarkar, senior consultant with the organisation pitched for a national policy for resource efficiency. Efficiency in use of material resources such as timber, plastic, steel, metals, textiles, construction materials (sand, earth, bricks, cement, etc) and their recycling, reuse needs to be promoted through mandates as well as incentives to sustain a circular economy. A draft policy has been in the making for almost five years with the Union Environment Ministry.

Also, the Government can establish decentralized biogas plants and material recovery facilities in an integrated manner so that energy generated from biogas plants can be used for operation of material recovery facilities. This will also reduce cost of operations and improve viability. The government can mandate diversion of wet and dry wastes from the landfills and maximize resource recovery, said the experts.

There are no policy or regulation mandating cities to collect GHG inventories or conduct climate risk assessments, nor are there targets, incentives, or guidelines for local government involvement in national climate action planning. A proposed solution is to launch a national mission similar to the Smart City Mission, focused on climate action and can be informed by spatial planning tools, they added.

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