Prelims level : Environment Mains level : GS-III Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment and Disaster Management
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Why in News:

  • Celebrating the Earth day on April 22


  • Saving the diversity and abundance of life on the earth may cost $100 billion a year, say scientists who have proposed a policy to prevent another mass extinction event on the planet.
  • There have been five mass extinctions in the history of the earth. Scientists now estimate that society must urgently come to grips this coming decade to stop the very first human-made biodiversity catastrophe.
  • “The sixth extinction is on our society’s shoulders; it really is,” ecologist Greg Asner, of Arizona State University in the U.S., said in a statement on the occasion of Earth day.

Reasons of the Climate Change:

Climate change programme taken by Indian government: Climate Change Programme

  • The Government of India launched National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) on 30thJune, 2008 outlining eight National Missions on climate change. These include: National Solar Mission
  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency National Mission on Sustainable Habitat National Water Mission
  • National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system National Mission for a Green India
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
  • National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change
  • The Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology was entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating two out of these eight national missions on climate change. These are:
  • National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC)

Internationally made agreements for climate change:

  1. Paris Agreement:

  • The aims of Paris Agreement is as below:
  • Keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre- industrial level.
  • Pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Paris Agreement (2015) vs Kyoto Protocol (1997)

  • Paris Agreement is the world’s first comprehensive climate agreement. Although developed and developing countries were parties to Kyoto Protocol, developing countries were not mandated to reduce their emissions.
  • This means that while Paris Agreement is legally binding to all parties, Kyoto Protocol was not.
  • Paris Agreement was reached on the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP).

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

  • The national pledges by countries to cut emissions are voluntary.
  • The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally
  • determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
  • This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
  • In 2018, Parties will take stock of the collective efforts in relation to progress towards the goal set in the Paris Agreement.
  • There will also be a global stock take every 5 years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties.

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

  • India’s INDC include a reduction in the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level.
  • India has also pledged to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • India will anchor a global solar alliance, INSPA
  • (International Agency for Solar Policy & Application), of all countries located in between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
  • Frameworks under Paris Agreement Technology Framework
  • Capacity Building Framework Transparency Framework

2.             International solar alliance:

  • International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an initiative proposed by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was launched by him at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris along with the President of France. It is an alliance of the “sunshine countries” i.e., the countries lying in between the two tropics- Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn with an objective of efficient utilization of the solar energy. The alliance was formed with the intent to reduce the dependence on the non-renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels. Modi, referred to the sun rich countries as “Suryaputras” and spoke about the huge potential of these countries to make use of the abundant natural resource, the solar energy.
  • International Solar alliance is based on a treaty and is an inter-governmental organization. In November 2016, The Framework Agreement on International Solar Alliance was opened for acceptance and was signed by 121 countries. The countries that do not fall within the Tropics are also allowed to join the alliance but do not enjoy the voting rights.
  • The objectives of the alliance are expected to be achieved by focusing on key areas such as promoting research & development in solar technologies, formulating programmes to publicize solar applications, evolving an innovative financial mechanism that reduces the cost of capital, framing a common knowledge e-portal, providing a conducive atmosphere for promotion and absorption of solar energy technologies.

India’s Role:

  • The interim secretariat of ISA is located at Gwalpahari in Gurugram, India and its headquarters is also proposed to be built on the campus of National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram.
  • India has announced its ambitious targets of generating 175 Giga Watts of renewable energy by the year 2022 as a part of its commitment to reduce global warming and resist climate change, out of which 100 Giga Watts is expected to be from Solar Energy.
  • A large part of energy capacity to meet its targets would come from large scale renewable energy plants connected to national electricity grid and installation of rooftop solar energy. IESS 2047 – India Energy Security Scenarios 2047 calculator, a tool to calculate and investigate the potential renewable energy scenarios was launched by India.

Way ahead:

  • A cleaner and healthier environment, along with improvements in quality of life, can all support a world of increasing action on climate change.
  • India has been a key partner in the quest for reducing emissions and should continue to take the lead in efforts to protect the planet from climate change.
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