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Intent is above board, it is time for delivery

| | in Oped

The present generation has a responsibility to act sensibly on climate issues before it is too late

The forthcoming Paris summit on getting a global agreement on climate change in December, is going to be a milestone, as it is expected to bring a legally binding international commitment for low carbon future. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon observed, “I challenge you to bring to the summit, bold pledges. Innovate, scale up, cooperate and deliver concrete action that will close the emission gap and put us on track for an ambitious legal agreement.”

Various countries were expected to submit their proposed plans on targets by March this year. These plans were to be reviewed in advance of the Paris summit. During the intervening period, 2015-2020, action under the Kyoto Protocol will continue, and once the new agreement is made in the Paris summit, its implementation will begin from 2021.

The entire gamut of human rights, encompassing the Millennium Development Goal of the alleviation of poverty and hunger and building health and security are inextricably linked to climate change. The agreement to be finalised in Paris should enable to dovetail country-specific strategies for reduction in  carbon emission.

The present generation has an inalienable responsibility to act sensibly before it is too late, to leave behind a sustainable global environment with clean air, clean water, flora, fauna and ecological system to the future generations. National mitigation pledges, financial commitments, action plans in critical sectors aiming at energy efficiency, forest preservation and increasing substitution of fossil fuel by renewable energy resources should have been finalised and submitted to the UN in the proposed plan.

The agreement that will arrive at Paris should be legally binding, time-bound, forward looking with credible outcome indicators for removal of poverty and sustainability development, supported by effective monitoring and accountability mechanism. Along with public finance, there should be private sector investment towards a low carbon economy. Involvement of local communities in the decision-making process should be encouraged to ensure restoration of better biodiversity, ecosystem sustainable agriculture and increased climate resilience.

Taking appropriate mitigation action will help protecting the planet and boost the economies. Climate change impacts a whole range of human rights affecting right to food, clean air, safe water, energy security, health, sanitation, livelihood, education, employment, gender equality, income, forestation, ecosystems, biodiversity, consequent displacement, conflict and security related issues. There are economic, health and social opportunities. The Paris agreement is intended to provide financial mechanism rewarding developing countries for protecting natural resource.

As part of the Nationally Determined Contributions, there should be an agreed outcome with legal force. Appropriate measures have been taken to finalise India’s blueprint of action for mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building. The INDC would cover the national missions and other initiatives under National Action Plan on climate change as well as State Action Plans in terms of achieving minimum standards of living.

India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change identifies a number of steps that simultaneously advance the country’s development and climate change related objectives of adaptation and mitigation. The NAPCC is carried through eight National Missions, which form the core of the plan and incorporate long-term integrated strategies for achieving India’s key goals in the context of climate change. Along with low carbon technology based renewable solar and wind energy sources, greater use of public transport and non-motorised transport,

Measures have been identified in India towards reduction in green house gas emission like improvement of urban air quality, forestation, shifting towards public transport, the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, Clean Ganga Plan, scaling up of the National Solar Mission from 20,000 MW to 1,00,000 MW and the development of  100 smart cities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the UN General Assembly in September 2014, “We should be honest in shouldering our responsibilities in meeting the challenges. The world community has agreed on a beautiful balance of collective action — common but differentiated responsibilities. That should form the basis of continued action.” Indeed, now is the time for action.

 
 
 
 
 
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