A week before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to attend G-8 summit on climate change in Japan, he unveiled a climate change action plan in New Delhi on Monday reiterating India's commitment for a sustainable development using clean technologies without setting any target for greenhouse gas reduction.
The National Action Plan on Climate Change stated that India’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions will “at no point exceed that of the developed countries”. The plan will be implemented through eight missions, which represent multi-pronged, long-term and integrated strategies for achieving key goals in the context of climate change.
The eight missions focus on increasing share of solar energy in the total energy mix; implementation of energy efficiency measures; launching sustainable habitats; effective water resource management; safeguarding Himalayan glacier and mountain eco-system, enhancing eco-system services; making agriculture more resilient to climate change and setting up a Strategic Knowledge Mission for research in the area. “The government would pool its scientific, technical and managerial talents with sufficient financial resources to develop solar energy as a source of abundant energy to power the economy and transform the lives of people," the PM said.
As per action plan, carbon sinks called green India will be launched to enhance eco-system services. “Forests play an indispensable role in the preservation of ecological balance and maintenance of bio-diversity. Green India mission will be taken up on degraded forest land through direct action by communities, organised through joint forest management committees,” says the action plan.
The Prime Minister said success in this endeavour would change the face of India. “In pursuing this and other ambitious goals, I believe we have the greatest assets in the wisdom, creativity and enterprise of our people. The plan intends to go beyond government to draw upon these assets,” he said.
Civil society groups have expressed disappointment at the way the National Action Plan on Climate Change was brought forth. In a letter to the Prime Minister, the groups, including the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and National Fish Workers Forum, claimed the document needed more discussions. “We are disappointed with the complete lack of transparency and the closed manner in which the plan has been prepared,” the letter states.