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Rising emission levels worry environmentalists

Rising emission levels worry environmentalists
Highlights

Rising Emission Levels Worry Environmentalists. Environmental experts and climate change activists have flagged the rising levels in India’s emission levels, expressing concerns about the potential threat to the multifarious ecosystem in the sub-continent and the dangers it ultimately poses to its people.

Guwahati: Environmental experts and climate change activists have flagged the rising levels in India’s emission levels, expressing concerns about the potential threat to the multifarious ecosystem in the sub-continent and the dangers it ultimately poses to its people.

Ajita Tiwari, National Facilitator of the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC) who was recently in the city deliberating on climate change, said that India is currently the third largest emitter of Green Houses Gases (GHG) after China and the US. However, what needs to be noted is that its per capita emissions are still very low at 1.8 t carbon equivalents. India emissions were at 5.7 billion tonnes in 2012 compared to china 29 billion tonnes and US 16 billion tonnes. This figure point out to a huge gap between the India’s emissions and the emission of China which was 5 times more and America’s which was 2.5 times higher (2012).

“In next 12 years India’s electricity requirement is expected to grow 2.5 times or its commercial demand by 72% over 10 years. But for the fact that India’s emissions are set to increase further given its focus on coal and other fossil fuels for pushing growth, it needs to seriously consider to switch on to renewable energy source, bring about energy governance reforms and bring in efficiencies in energy production and generation systems for its own sustainability,” she said.

Referring to the expectations from Lima CoP for climate activists, which will be held towards the end of the year at Lima, Peru, Tiwari said eyes will be set on to seek ambitious pledges on emission reductions from the developed countries as well as the so called emerging economies. According to her, concrete decisions on closing the pre 2020 ambition gap should be one of the key focus that climate activists from the south are demanding. Southern civil society is demanding adequate capitalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) from public sources to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.

India along with other countries will present their INDCs (Intended nationally determined contributions) by the first quarter of next year. Pointing out that at this point in time there is no clarity on what and how much of contributions will be placed on the table by the global community to restrict temperature rise to 2 degree, she said that the upcoming Ban Ki Moon Summit in New York is expected to indicate the seriousness of commitments by the governments to tackle the crisis. The role of the civil society hence becomes vital in this context to enable countries make meaningful contributions which is fair, ambitious and equitable keeping the common but differentiated responsibilities in perspective, Referring to the situation in India, she said India should first put its house in order before forging the way ahead in this whole issue over climate change. It should have a top down approach for mitigation and bottoms up approach for adaptation which is the need of the hour. It should aim to embark on an approach which is a low carbon inclusive growth targeting the bottom 30% of the have-nots. This approach will help it walk the talk on equity.

Internationally, it needs to subscribe to the carbon budget approach and frame its equity stance from this perspective. It is to be recalled that India lost its credibility on championing the cause of equity at Warsaw and needs to reclaim its equity space and therefore needs to have a framework in hand, she opined.

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