Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today informed that India has submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the period 2021-2030 and its long-term low carbon development strategy which lays out India’s vision and approaches towards reaching net zero by 2070. These documents have been prepared after taking into account the foundational principles of equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC), different national circumstances and our priorities for sustainable development.
The Central Government has taken a number of initiatives for prevention, control and abatement of pollution including enactment of environmental laws and associated regulations; issuance of guidelines on various aspects of environment protection, forests and biodiversity conservation; notification of National Ambient Air Quality and effluent discharge standards; introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels; ethanol blending program; leapfrogging from Bharat Stage (BS) IV to BS VI fuel norms; promotion of cleaner production processes; incentives for production and use of hybrid and electric vehicles; notification of various rules for environmentally sound management of different types of waste-solid, plastic, hazardous, bio-medical, construction and demolition and e-Waste; ban on identified single use plastic; banning open burning of leaves, biomass and waste; monitoring the implementation of notified rules, standards and guidelines; and issuance of directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and under Section 18(1)(b) of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, wherever required; etc. In addition, the Government of India is implementing National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country. Under NCAP, City Specific Clean Air Action Plans for 131 non-attainment/million plus cities have been prepared to improve air quality.
Tree plantation, being a multi-departmental, multi-agency activity, has been taken up in cross sectoral manner under various programmes/funding sources of relevant Ministries and also through State Plans. Some action points suggested in the NCAP for extensive plantation drive are development and execution of city specific plantation plans with targets, prioritization and strengthening of scheme on agro forestry. Further, the States are also preparing State Action Plans which includes schemes for development of green belt/ open spaces and street sides greening on the State highways, etc.
Under the Ethanol Blending Program, the target is to achieve 20% blending of ethanol in petrol by Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2025-26.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the revised environmental standards for brick kilns as 250 mg/ Nm3 from earlier standards of 750mg/ Nm3. All bricks kilns shall use only approved fuel such as piped natural gas, coal, firewood, and/or agricultural residues. Use of pet coke, tyres, plastic, and hazardous wastes shall not be allowed in the brick kilns. Brick Kilns shall construct permanent facility (port hole and platform) as per the norms or design laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board for monitoring of emissions. Brick Kilns shall follow process emissions/ fugitive dust emission control guidelines as prescribed by concerned State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees.
India’s climate targets are enshrined in its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) submitted under the Paris Agreement. The NDCs covers the period 2021 to 2030 and include inter-alia, targets for reducing emission intensity of its GDP by 45% over 2005 levels, 50% cumulative electric installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources and creation of additional carbon sink of 2.5-3.0 billion tonnes. India’s NDC does not bind it to any sector specific mitigation obligation or action. The goal is to reduce overall emission intensity of its GDP and improve energy efficiency of its economy over time and at the same time protecting the vulnerable sectors of economy and segments of our society.
The Government of India stands committed to combat climate change through its several programmes and schemes including the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which comprises missions in specific areas of solar energy, energy efficiency, water, sustainable agriculture, health, Himalayan ecosystem, sustainable habitat, green India, and strategic knowledge for climate change. Thirty-four States / Union Territories, including the State of Bihar, have prepared their State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC) in line with the NAPCC, taking into account State’s specific issues relating to climate change. These SAPCCs inter alia outline sector-specific and cross-sectoral priority actions.