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Govt sets up panel on climate change

Acting on UN reports on threats of climate change, the Govt has set up a high-level panel to tackle the impact of global warming.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2007 12:40 IST

Acting on UN reports during the outgoing year on threats of impending climate change, the government set up a high-level panel to tackle the impact of global warming.

The first report of the Nobel award winning Inter-Governmental Penal on Climate Change (IPCC) rang the alarm bells predicting that temperatures in the next century are expected to go up by 2.5 to 4.5 degrees Centigrade and that India, along with developing countries, will face a serious shortage of water and threat to food security.

In the midst of a grim scenario painted by IPCC, a council headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will act as a think-tank to decide on India's future course of action in the short term as well as after 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol expires.

A three-member sub-committee to be headed by Nobel laureate and IPCC Chief R K Pachauri will submit its report by early next year. The report will assume significance globally as India has been rated as the 4th largest carbon emitter after the United States, Australia and China.

India's per capita emissions of GHG, a formulation connected to climate change, is 1/20th of USA, 1/15 of EU-15 and 1/12th of Japan.

With a 17 per cent share of the global population, the emissions from India are not high in percentage terms, but they have already started showing their immediate effects on the weather, experts say.

Regarding the steps India plans to initiate to tackle the poisoning clouds looming large over it, Sibal said details were yet to be chalked out "as the Bali was only a process to prepare a road-map."

"We would give sufficient time to our industries and other stakeholders to become energy efficient. It would not be at the cost of our growth. We have made clear to the world that poverty eradication is our first priority and we will not move away from it," Sibal said.

India has also decided to aggressively harness wind power -it was one of the five countries of the world that added more than 1,000 MW capacity in 2006-07.

The country has launched a major afforestation programme called 'Green India' and decided to convert six million hectares of degraded forest land into green areas. It also has the largest number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects aimed at reducing net emissions of GHG.