Two secretaries of the government on Thursday assured that India will soon have a national climate change mitigation programme, for which, the work has already begin.
The announcement by Dr PS Goel, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Dr T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology was made in the presence of Dr RK Pachauri.
He heads the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that predicted a gloomy future for the entire world because of faster rate of climate change.
Goel said the government is looking at a pan-India approach by asking scientists from different fields to prepare a 'national plan' for climate change mitigation.
"Scientists from all over the country will formulate the new plan," he told HT, clarifying it was too early to given details of the proposed plan.
Ramasami said his department has sought five times increase in allocation for research project on climate change impact and environment friendly technologies. "I believe there would be a significant increase of allocation in the budget," he said, while refusing to divulge the figure asked from the Planning Commission. He, however, said the government has selected seven key areas including renewable energy, clean technologies and solar power for new research projects.
The threat of global warming on receding Himalayan glaciers has apparently prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to direct the Department Science and Technology to open a new institute for research on glaciers. "We are looking into the proposal," Ramasami replied, when asked about the fate of the directive. But, was quick to add, that no one can imagine Ganga turning into a seasonal river because of receding glaciers.
The Earth Sciences ministry is working on setting up an Institute for Environment Technology. The mandate of the institute would be to develop environment friendly technologies in collaboration with many partners like European Union. The government on Wednesday signed a 500 million Indo-EU environment framework with the union. "Scientists from both the countries will work under the framework," Ramasami said.
Earlier, Peteri Taalas of World Meteorological Organisation and Pachauri gave elaborate presentations on the possible impact of global warming on Indian economy, especially on agriculture. Taalas said that temperature is expected to increase by four to five degrees by the end of century resulting in substantial decrease in rainfall and many glaciers going missing from Himalayas. West India will face more drought, whereas floods would be rampant in northern and eastern India, he said.
Pachauri added that his institute (TERI) and Finnish Meteorological Institute would soon conduct a study to examine the cost wise impact of climate change in different parts of the country and on India's economy.