|1 year 10 months||
At the central level, Hon.Prime Minister, Mr. Modi has already taken two dramatically important steps: he has streamlined energy decision-making, and also environmental decision-making. India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests is now the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Domestically, he has put the experienced and effective Suresh Prabhu as the head of a high-level panel on reorganizing the various energy ministries — an “Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy.” The new consolidated energy ministries offer the promise of an integrated approach to clean energy.
Internationally, the challenge for Modi will be the upcoming UN Special Summit on Climate Change – and India’s negotiating stance in the next Paris meeting of the UN climate negotiation in 2015.
Historically, India has held fast to “equity” – that is, an emphasis on the industrial world’s historic role as the greatest greenhouse gas polluter and contributor to global warming, and India’s still relatively low per-capita emissions. And as Jairam Ramesh pointed out, some Indians are suspicious of a “covert political agenda” among climate scientists. Indians have, as a result, been reluctant to lay down any national goals for greenhouse gas emissions that would sacrifice the nation’s international sovereignty in a legal sense, and that would inhibit its economic growth.
India can still be mindful of those objectives. Yet it now faces growing domestic attention to climate change impacts, as well as a more complex international picture. The United States has signaled that it will implement ambitious greenhouse gas regulations, and China appears to be doing the same.
If Modi wants to project an image of an India “that actively engages with the world” and which wants to lead, as he said in his inaugural address, he may be willing to go beyond old-line climate change talking points. The new environment minister Prakash Javadekar still uses the language of “common but differentiated responsibilities” – still a relevant concept when India’s level of economic development and per-capita emissions are well below the United States or Europe. Yet how those responsibilities are taken within India remains an issue of both Indian and global importance.
Internationally, Prime Minister Modi has an opportunity for India to step forward to lead a new low-carbon approach to development – and in the process to demonstrate that India can be a global environmental leader without sacrificing economic growth.
As climate change unleashes coastal flooding, erratic rainfall, heat waves and increased glacier melting in the Himalayas, the need for India’s corporate sector to play a greater and more proactive role in mitigating and adapting has never been more critical.
Experts say that aggressive measures by businesses will remain the pivot for sustained action on climate change. The India Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Programme is one such initiative which provides businesses a standardized method to measure and manage their GHG emissions.
n response, the Indian government launched the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in 2008. The initiative identifies eight core “national missions”, which deal with mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change as well as adaptation to climate change effects. In 2009, India also committed to reducing the country’s emissions intensity by 20-25% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. By itself, Indian industry had already reduced its emissions intensity by an estimated 17.6% between 1990 and 2005 as it became more productive.
To curb expected increases in GHG emissions, Indian industry needs focused efforts to increase the efficiency with which it uses resources, he adds. It should reduce consumption by adopting more recycling and reuse of existing resources, and accelerate the adoption of clean technologies with an objective to optimize life cycle cost.
Geothermal energy is not new to India. As early as 1973, the Indian government submitted a report on geothermal hotspots of the country. This happened after the Geological Survey of India (GSI) performed shallow drilling exploration, which showed the potential hot springs and geothermal locations. It is estimated that India has the potential to generate 10 GW of geothermal power.
Deep inside the earth’s crust, heat radiates from a sea of molten rocks. Sometimes, they erupt as volcanoes or flow out as hot springs. The idea is to tap at least a fraction of this massive amount of heat energy, and convert it into electricity.
First, scientists locate geothermal hotspots; then, they identify fractured rock surfaces through which heat can be released. Next, wells are dug to release heat energy in the form of steam and hot water, and are used to drive turbines, which, in turn, produce electricity.
Geothermal energy is considered renewable because the heat emanating from the earth’s interior is essentially limitless and is expected to remain so for billions of years. Further, unlike solar and wind, it is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It emits around 80% fewer greenhouse gases compared to coal and oil. A geothermal plant works non-stop, unlike wind and solar.Puga Valley in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir was one of the areas which showed significant potential for geothermal energy. Puga lies in the south-eastern part of Ladakh and forms a part of the Himalayan geothermal belt. This zone shows evidence of geothermal activity in the form of hot springs, mud pools, sulphur and borax deposits.
For every one unit of electricity saved, 600 grams of carbon emission is saved. , “Where a normal fan runs for 13 hours and consumes one unit of electricity, Superfan runs for 29 hours, consuming the same one unit of power.” For every Superfan purchased, coal consumption is reduced by 73 kg, and carbon emission is reduced by 90 kg every year.
“Currently, the energy efficiency of Superfan is 56%, and we want to push it by an additional 18%”, The Indian company is working on technologies to achieve this efficiency.
|1 year 10 months||
According to N.H. Ravindranath, a Senior Scientist with Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore eighty-five percent of the forest grid will undergo drastic changes in the forest type. the higher impact will be on the savannah biomes. Teak and Sal forests of central and east India and temperate biomes of the Himalayas. Moist and dry savannahs are likely to be replaced by tropical dry forests and seasonal forests. By 2050 we will feel a significant impact.
The impact will be lower on the evergreen rainforests of the Western Ghats and the northeast.
The composition of species and their dominance could also be altered and large-scale forest depletion and loss of biodiversity shall take place.
An augmentation in timber production in the short and medium term is expected but there would be a disruption in timber supply in the long run. Loss of biodiversity will result in loss of livelihood for forest-dependent communities.
Climate change, however, can cause an irreversible damage to unique forest ecosystems and biodiversity rendering several species extinct. Some species which are currently classified as “critically endangered” could become extinct with a quarter of the species estimated to be at the risk of extinction. It is predicted that half of the world’s plant and animal species shall become extinct due to climate change by the end of the present century.
Another important fact to be remembered here is that not only climate change affects Biodiversity, the loss of biodiversity actually contributes to climate change (www.ukindia.com) . As the biodiversity is degraded or lost through human activities, we may be losing some of our best tools for coping with global climate change as well.
According to Sodhi et al. (2004), natural resource utilization could intensify in several parts of Asia due to increasing demand to cope up with developmental activities. In South-East Asia which includes India intensification of forest utilization can intensify deforestation that could lead to the loss of much of its original forests and biodiversity by 2100.
Some of the key predictions(for the next 100 years) with regard to water resources and biodiversity from this study are :
1. Regional climate models suggest a 2.5 - 50C rise in mean surface temperature. Within India northern India will become warmer.
2. A 20% increase in summer monsoon rainfall and instances of extreme temperature and precipitation are expected to rise.
3. Within India northern India will become warmer.
4. All Indian states will experience increased rainfall, except Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu where rainfall will decrease.
5. Extreme precipitation will increase particularly along the western coast and west central India.
6. The country’s hydrological cycle will most likely be altered. Drought and flood intensity is likely be altered. The Krishna, Narmada, Cauvery and Tapi river basins will experience severe water stress and drought conditions, and the Mahanadi, Godavari and Brahmani will experience enhanced flooding.
Forests and Biodiversity
1. Climate change will cause drastic changes in 85% of the forest grids in India.
2. The impact shall be very high on savannah biomes & Teak and Sal forests of central and east India and temperate biomes of Himalayas.
3. Moist and dry savannahs are likely to be replaced by tropical dry forests and seasonal forests.
4. Major impact on forests shall be felt around 2050.
5. The impact shall be lower on the evergreen rain forests of the Western Ghats and the north-east.
6. Large scale forest depletion and losss of biodiversity is predicted.
7. Loss of biodiversity in turn shall contribute to climate change further.
8. Timber production in the coming five six decades is likely to increase. Acceding to the IPCC 4th assessment report by 2020 +5 to +15% growths in timber is expected. Further growth shall be +20 to +40.0 % by 2050 and +20.0 to 60.00 % by 2080 with regional variations.
9. Higher timber growth may lead to more deforestation and shall discourage forestation activities.
|1 year 10 months||
Major conclusions with regard to water
1. Climate change shall bring about an increase in the extreme rains in north-west India during summer monsoons.
2. Kutch and Saurashtra which constitute about 1/4th area of Gujarat and also 60% area of Rajasthan shall face a situation of acute water scarcity.
3. Manyother river basins shall face serious shortage of water.
4. Severe floods are predicted for the basins of Godavari, the Brahmani and Mahanadi basins.
5. Thirty eight percent of Himalayan glaciers have already disappeared. By 2035, the total glacial area may shrink from 5, 00,000 km2 to 1, 00,000 km2
6. Half a billion people in Himalaya- Hindukush region shall be affected by climate change.
7. Increased salinity of surface and groundwater’s is predicted especially in coastal areas.
8. Incidents of excessive precipitation of the like of July 2005 rain of Mumbai shall increase, this coupled with low in rivers/other water bodies shall lead to a rise in water pollution of both organic and toxic kin. This will affect water usage further bringing down availability of water. A rise in water borne diseases is also predicted by many studies.
9. Groundwater recharge in several river basins shall be reduced to a significant level.
10. The annual per capita availability of water in India shall decline from 1990 m3 in 1990 to 1235 m3 in 2050.
11. Decreased water supply is predicted from snow-caps for major small holder irrigation systems particularly in the indo-gangetic plains.
12. Sea-level rise shall extend areas of salinization of groundwater’s and estuaries resulting in a decline in freshwater availability for humans and ecosystems in coastal areas.
13. Increased precipitation intensity and variability is projected to increase the risk of flooding and drought in many areas.
14. Overall, the impact on water resources shall be myriad and complex. The population dependent on glaciers or snow-melt fed river basins shall be severally hit.
15. The adverse impact of climate change on freshwater systems aggravates the impact of other stresses such as population growth and increased affluence.
16. The current water management practices are likely to be inadequate to reduce the negative impact of climate change.
|1 year 10 months||
India’s role is considered to be crucial in addressing global issues on mitigating climate change,”Systemic thinking is urgently needed to build cities and their infrastructure to increase resilience to cope with the challenges they face. Inda faces huge challenges in their municipalities, from inadequate infrastructure to vulnerability to disaster risks. But in the place of insufficient services and facilities is firm determination to deliver more and to innovate towards results. Indian city’s plans to ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions by preparing a bus rapid transit system, enacting regulations to control air pollution, promoting non-motorized transport options, and investing in new infrastructure through PPPs. India platform intends to be a multi-sectoral partnership for knowledge-sharing and building capacity of state-level actors, and to link investments with technical assistance required to generate bankable projects. The initiative is expected to complement existing national urban initiatives, including the Smart Cities program, which promotes energy efficiency, resilient infrastructure, and compact and mixed-use development for 100 cities across India.
City leaders can customize the Urban Sustainable Framework to identify the policy options that are most politically, technically, and fiscally feasible, to invest in cities that are more resilient to climate change and embody urban management that is both participatory and inclusive,”
|1 year 10 months||
Climate change could effectively negate India’s economic progress, pushing 45 million Indians into extreme poverty over the next 15 years, according to a World Bank report published last month.
There are three main factors triggered by climate change that could drive people into poverty: a drop in crop yields, natural hazards, poor health and labour productivity.
THE FIRST FACTOR: Climate change could see crop yields dropping (the worst-case scenario has global crop yield dropping by 5% by 2030) because of which food becomes costlier.
People then end up spending less on other things or cutting down on how much food they have.
THE SECOND FACTOR is poor health and productivity. “Warming of 2-3 degrees Celsius could increase the number of people at risk from malaria by 5% and diarrhoea by 10% [around the world],
Another impact we could see is of stunting as food becomes less affordable and people are unable to meet their nutritional needs.
THE THIRD FACTOR is the increasing occurrence and intensity of natural hazards such as droughts, river flooding and higher temperatures.
The government has to take suitable steps to mitigate the above cited three factors.
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Challenges in education due to climate change
Climate change proofing of educational infrastructure in order to minimize the risks and associated costs of weather-related damage is clearly an important starting point. This would entail better risk assessment in making decisions about school location and improved building design and maintenance to better withstand severe weather events as well as slower incremental deterioration.
Children (under 15 years of age) growing up in poor and/or nutritionally deprived households also live with a number of layers of deprivations that stifle their freedom to actively participate in and benefit from elementary school education. Lack of health care, limited access to quality schooling and the opportunity cost of participation in education are some of these layers.
Increasing child poverty in the age group 10 to 14 in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Orissa, MP, and Delhi has serious implications for the potential increase in child labor and potential violation of Compulsory Elementary Education Laws unless corrective policy measures are taken.
While services and industry have grown at double-digit figures, agriculture growth rate has dropped from 4.8% to 2%. About 60% of the population depends on agriculture whereas the contribution of agriculture to the GDP is about 18%.
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Which are the challenges for reaching these goals and targets in your community (city, state, country)?
I have just focussed the challenges faced by India in reaching SDG in India.
With regard to education, increased prevalence of vector- and water-borne diseases
physical death or injury due to climate change is observed.
A lot of disturbances in coastal areas is identified due to the climate change effect on education.
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Climate change, caused primarily by our reliance on fossil fuels for energy is a frightening challenge facing humanity, this century. The way India address this problem will have massive ramifications for the global society, economy and environment. Climate change, therefore, needs to be factored into every decision of the governments, especially in all decisions pertaining to the energy policies. All countries need to have a proactive and forward-looking energy policy, which progressively facilitates the smooth transition from the current unsustainable fossil fuel energy system to an ecologically and economically sustainable system based on alternative sources of energy. The overall challenge is an energy “revolution”, a restructuring of our economies, in order to “de-carbonise”,
Worldwide, fossil fuels are the most heavily subsidised energy sources, totalling an estimated USD 180 to 200 billion per year. There are some who hold that the bulk of energy subsidies worldwide result in a lower price for fossil fuels to end users, causing more of those fuels to be consumed, increasing carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions and contributing to climate change23 . Therefore, they call for reform in the national energy policies with a focus on efficient and sustainable energy pricing. According to this perception, “efficient energy pricing is the inescapable principle on which rests the future of sustainable economic growth”24 . There is also a counter view, which suggests that only reduction of fossil fuel subsidies cannot be a viable deterrent of energy-intensive activities and carbon emissions. In the developed countries, increase in per capita income and enhanced standards of living of the people have, to a great extent, resulted in an intensive use of fossil fuel and other high energy-intensive activities. Change in the pattern of energy usage could be affected more by a change in the lifestyle and change in the outlook, but certainly not by reducing the subsidies. In the interest of sustainable energy security, all countries need to pursue the goal of efficient energy pricing, keeping in view the objective conditions prevalent in their economies. But, bringing about reform in energy pricing is not an easy task. Implementing energy-subsidy reforms remains a formidable challenge, as in many instances, governments have been faced with social and economic compulsions, besides strong resistance from the affected sections and their advocacy bodies. The endeavour should be to prioritise the state subsidies in a way so as to support more of the renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies, which would eventually help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Targeted subsidies to clean energy can play an important role in reducing emissions.
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India’s hitch with water scarcity is not new. Despite India’s rapid development and urbanization, industrial and domestic water users in India consume 10 percent and 8 percent respectively, while the agricultural sector consumes 82 percent of total supply. But the consumption needs of the middle class will continue to drive domestic as well as industrial demand at a high clip. This express growth, combined with limited water supply and the continuing importance of agriculture, illustrates the critical need for improved WUE in India.
States like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, have made substantial headways in reforming their water institutions and governance structures by adopting legislation to promote participatory irrigation management. Presently, the deliberation in India is focused on how to negate the existing irrigation inefficiency and low crop yields and how to restructure irrigation departments so that they can become competent to improve water delivery process. Understanding best practices from other countries and India’s own community-based interventions models will help present policy thinkers and planners to enhance governance structures and understand key indicators that can assist in data-driven decision-making.
A comprehensive multidisciplinary effort is necessary to enhance the efficiency of institutional reform and therefore help the agricultural sector maximize efficient water use and distribution.
The worth of the know-how of the hydrological cycle is fundamental to solving a variety of water management problems. For a long-term institutional change, a basin or watershed perspective needs to be maintained. A key feature of decentralization should be an increasing importance being attached to river basin or watershed irrigation management. Basin WUAs can be designed and formulated on hydrologic rather than on administrative boundaries. Understanding and interpreting the hydrology is important for water management institutions and/or subsequent reform because it allows for an integrated approach to management as well as for resolving regional water allocation conflict. There is a latent need to incorporate more scientific data measurements, data management, and dissemination to improve long-term WUE beyond basic administrative institutional reform. Scientific data collection and monitoring (including field reconnaissance) should be undertaken before reform is considered both during management implementation and within consistent intervals post-reform. Some of these data collection efforts should include:
Another point that needs wider acceptance is the time-scale variability of various natural (hydrologic) processes. For example, in the case of rainfall, effects such as water-level increases in rivers at various intervals can be observed, since, in large basins, change can be days, weeks or months. Individual cases for WUE can also vary distinctly. In some cases, hydrologic changes occur very quickly such as during flash floods or short period rainfalls when the effects appear immediately and water levels in aquifers and rivers have dramatic changes. In these situations, measurement training to effectively help deal with irrigation management, particularly distribution, will be necessary.
Third, for small-scale irrigation users, a contractor from the village should be used for repairs and other maintenance issues. This will create a sense of ownership and belong among the users, improve maintenance of the infrastructure, bring financial discipline, cost recovery, better regulation and overall sustainability. This also alleviates the financial burden of the government in terms of subsidies and manpower reduction. The most efficient method of accomplishing the contracting method is to give incentives leading to water use improvements in the first year as this policy requires minimal technological investment for reducing overall water use. The contractor would then incorporate WUAs into the management of the irrigation operation. This is a cost-effective way to maintain efficient functioning of irrigation systems and can lead to better performance without additional investment.
In order to implement PIM by reforming existing institutions in India, governments must understand that the primary goal is to increase water use efficiency and how to measure its success. Therefore, to assess the efficacy of the transfer of irrigation management to WUAs, the performance of the irrigation system must be measured. Some of the criteria could be to measure the maintenance expenditure per metre of the canal and the changes in water fee collection. Also, it should be assessed as to what extent, water fees covers the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs.
Central governments or irrigation departments should also promote training for WUAs, assign the roles and responsibilities to different actors, and extend technical support towards management of the irrigation system. Although this involves transaction costs, in the long run this would vastly improve the efficiency and sustainability of the irrigation system. If farmers were convinced that the associated benefits of their participation exceed the costs, they would extend their active cooperation and be willing to pay the irrigation charges provided they are assured of dependable supply.
If institutional reform measures are undertaken in areas where any management system does not exist, then two additional performance indicators could be taken into consideration. First, dependability of irrigation interval can be tracked that would determine whether the interval between irrigations is either planned (such as in a planned irrigation rotation regime) or dictated by the crop’s soil moisture status. This indicator allows irrigation planners during reform projects to determine whether a crop is contributing to the inefficient use of water based on the environmental conditions of the region. Second, water delivery efficiency should be measured at main canal intakes and offtakes to the tertiary unit. This value changes based on the season (monsoon or drought) in which it is measured.
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Climate change is real and unless serious action is taken there is no way back. There is no plan B and unless our space exploration explodes a million fold and we get extremely lucky, we do not have another planet to call home. So climate change is here to stay and will affect everyone -- most of all the marginalised. Within that subset, the vulnerable -- women and children -- are most likely to see its full-blown effects. Throughout the world, natural disasters and severe weather events tend to impact women more than men. In developing countries, this problem is compounded when several other factors such as malnutrition, inequitable distribution of power and gender roles that are unfavourable to women are added to the mix.
In developing countries, especially in rural areas, women rarely work and tend to be economically dependent on men. As livelihood is threatened and food shortages are faced, women often prioritise the basic needs of their men and children and often go hungry, making them weak and exposing them to malnutrition and other health problems.
Malnutrition becomes an even greater threat when a woman is pregnant or of child-bearing age. Research has shown that health risks increase exponentially when women go longer between meals, making the child more vulnerable to premature birth and other problems and impacting the mother's ability to lactate.
Reduction in family income could also mean that girls' education is given less emphasis -- she is pulled out of school and expected to take care of family chores. Girls who complete primary and secondary education are likely to earn more income, get married at the early age, get conceived at the early age. When women are deprived of an education, the cycle of dependence on men, both economically and culturally, continues.
Climate change has a significant impact on the availability of fresh water resources. Often in rural areas, it is the job of women or girls to fetch water. In this case as well the needs of men are given precedence and this affects the sanitation requirements of girls and women. Across India, roughly 600 million people (more than 53% of the population) do not have access to toilets. This is not only raises the risk of disease epidemics but also has an impact on the physical safety of women.
Besides water, women in rural areas also depend more directly on local natural resources because they are primarily tasked with securing means of heating and cooking. Climate change can alter how easily those resources are accessed. Also women, historically, have limited access to family's decision-making and economic assets making it harder for them to cope with the effects of climate change. Cultural norms can add to this issue -- women may not be able to travel without a male companion or their clothing might impede their ability to quickly navigate to safety. Besides, not being empowered with information can also hinder their ability to access resources in times of natural disasters or other climate change effects.
Regardless of gender or place of residence, ultimately climate change will affect us all. However, for women and girls, especially in rural India, it will hit harder and faster than for the rest of us.