Reiterating India’s commitment to carbon emission reduction, Union Environment, Forests & Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said India, along with 100 other nations would ratify the COP 21 Global Climate Agreement on April 22.
The pact, COP 21, reached at Paris summit in December 2015 would be ratified at a high level signing ceremony to be convened at the UN Headquarters in New York. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track by limiting global warming below 2 degree Celsius.
Speaking at a Symposium “COP 21 – Building Synergies, Shaping Actions” organized in the University of Mumbai, Javadekar said, “All countries have decided to walk the green path as per their common but differentiated responsibilities… India was always perceived to be a naysayer and negative in its approach and took a corner seat in most of the international conferences. But in Paris, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the concept of climate justice driving home the message of sustainable development.”
The minister said climate change by 1 degree rise in temperature caused by 150 years of uncontrolled carbon emission by the developed world needs to be reversed. He said while 30% of cumulative contribution was that of the United States, 50% by Europe, Canada and other developed world and 10% by China, India was responsible for only 3% carbon emission but still “it wants to be part of the solution.”
Highllighting some pro-active measures to discourage use of fossil fuels in a bid to reduce carbon foot print by levying Rs 400 per tonne green cess on coal, he said: “If the developed world followed India’s example and levied higher taxes on coal, billions of dollars would accrue to pursue clean energy programmes.”
Further the proposed Compensatory Afforestation Funds Bill 2015 would unlock Rs 40,000 crores for the ‘Green India’ initiative and other plans to control vehicular pollution by moving to Bharat VI emission norms, policies on waste management, Swachch Bharat initiative, Ganga rejuvenation among others would contribute to contain climate change, said the minister.
Union Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power, New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said his portfolios put him in an awkward situation. “I am a polluter as well as a pollution container”, he said. On solutions undertaken to contain climate change, he said India has launched the world’s largest renewable energy programme by scaling up the target for solar energy.
“The solar energy mission envisaged 20,000 Mw of solar electricity generation by 2022. But this target has been pushed ahead by the Prime Minister to 1,00,000 Mw (1Gw),” Goyal said. But all renewable energy programmes will be sustainable only if they become economically viable, he noted.
“While one is aware of pollution caused by the thermal power plants, their importance cannot be overlooked. Therefore, our thrust is on adopting clean coal technologies” he added.