With a determined effort, the National Action Plan on climate change unfurled on the eve of the G8 Summit in Japan, can become something more than a formal force to the concerns of the international community.
Thus, India can be said to have brought up the rear in this respect.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 30, 2008 released India’s National Action Plan on Climate change. This National Action plan has focused attention on eight priority national missions such as:
(i) Solar energy
(ii) Enhanced energy efficiency
(iii) Sustainable habitat
(iv) Conserving water
(v) Sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem
(vi) A green India vision
(vii) Sustainable agriculture
(viii) Strategic knowledge platform for climate change
The plan also emphasized that the shift to solar energy will be the core of the strategy to meet the challenge of the climate change. The work on the action plan was also started in 2007, when the fourth assessment report of UN intergovernmental panel, headed by R.K. Pachauri made it clear that time is running out for the planet unless drastic and urgent measures need to be taken to arrest the climate change caused by global warming due to human activities.
Intergovernmental panel on climate change report has said that, already enough amount of these green house gases has been emitted in the atmosphere to cause the rise of temperature around 2°C by 2050. Consequently, a high level council on climate change headed by the Prime Minister himself had been set up to draw up the country’s strategy to meet the challenge of both mitigation and adaptation to the inevitable climate change.
The action plan is positive only in the sense that it can help set targets for the future through individual mission. On the paper the “national policies” covering solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat and agriculture, water, ecosystem, green cover and strategic knowledge building but the real task before the central government is to convince the states and local bodies which implement policies in these areas, to get fully involved.
The climate action plan also addresses transport related emission. Strategy talks of hydrogen, biodiesel and recycling of water auto wastes. Although effective national policy on green house gas emissions can achieve a lot through these action plan. Adopting clear coal technologies will translate immediately into big reductions in a sector that contributes the emissions in energy production.
Promoting mass transport and the goal of the National Urban Transport Policy can bring about a transformation. But, the reality is that few states have responded with policy changes in this area to infuse massive capital for scaled up service and the modernization of transport system.