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India all action to meet Copenhagen Targets

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DQI Bureau
New Update

The Copenhagen Summit is over and the next summit is still far from

sight.... so, what has been the effect of the summit and what serious actions

have nations and companies taken? Whether companies and the Indian government

made the right noise still remains a big question. So, in view of all these

perspectives, its time to put the moves of various authorities under the

scanner.

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Indian Hues



India has been participating in various global meetings that have been held

post the Copenhagen Summit to try and move towards a consensus so that a fair,

ambitious and binding global deal can be reached in December 2010, in Mexico

City, that will limit global warming to 2 C, as necessary. Locally, India has

set up an expert group housed in the Planning Commission that will prepare an

action plan to move India towards a low carbon economy, which will be

implemented during the 12th Five Year Plan.

As part of this Plan, India aims to cut emissions intensity by 20-25% by

2020 on the 2005 levels. As part of this target, India is also committing to a

very ambitious plan on clean energy sources, informs Nisha Agrawal, CEO, Oxfam

India. Indias current emission level is 1.1 tonne per capita per year and if

India has to reduce emission by 20% then it has to work out a 0.22 per capita

per year decrease till 2020. Whereas, if the same is compared with that of the

US whose current level stands at 20 per capita per year, which if treated to 20%

reduction will result to 4 tonne per capita per year, is comparitively higher.

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The key debate post Copenhagen for India, according to Kishore Butani,

founder, www.carbonyatra.com, is the issue of carbon space left in the

atmosphere to occupy. He says, India and other emerging economies are being

asked to make larger emission cuts than normal. A global deal is now unlikely at

the next big climate conference in Cancun at the end of this year. The US was to

pass a climate bill, but that too is stuck at the drafting stage. So all these

factors mean that Indian renewable energy developers, are not sure about the

viability of their carbon credits sale post 2012.

Government Support



The Government of India in various forums and in its communication to United

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has made it clear that

it supports the Copenhagen Accord but looks at it as a step towards

strengthening the Kyoto Protocol and the UNFCCC and not as a substitute to the

two track process.

Climate Change Vows
  • India aims to cut emissions intensity by 20-25% by 2020 on the 2005

    levels
  • IT companies shall set carbon reduction targets in line with the

    nations target
  • No internal goals have been set but more diligence has been adopted by

    the government while approving large or major projects
  • Cheaper and greener technology expected to be made available to

    companies in all nations
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Apart from that India, China, Brazil and South Africa have decided to reopen

the climate debate at a special session in Brazil in June.

The EU and the US want India to announce some adherence measures, which

includes monitoring and verification of cuts in GHG emissions, but the US

currently has no carbon legislation in place.

Environment ministers of the BASIC countriesnamely, Brazil, South Africa,

India and Chinahave said that a legally binding global agreement to limit

climate change is needed to be completed by 2011, and have now said that they

are not willing to wait for the US to announce some legislation. Butani adds,

Remember that the Kyoto carbon market is a success story for Indian companies

and this was accomplished without the US on board. The world should now move

ahead with or without the US, since the US has never and will never enter the

compliance carbon market.

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Remarkable Moves
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has become the first bank in the country to

    venture into the generation of green power by installing windmills for

    captive use. SBI seeks to install 100 MW of wind power within five years

    time
  • CLP Power India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Stock Exchange

    listed CLP Holdings, aims to develop wind power projects to the tune of

    200 MW every year. Apart from this, it is also mulling to set up its first

    ever solar power project in India. To set up 1 MW of wind energy it costs

    approximately Rs 6 crore
  • A number of diamond merchants from Mumbai are also seeking to set up

    wind farms in the range of 20-25 MW in Maharashtra
  • A large number of private companies in India have announced ambitious

    plans to invest in solar and wind farms post Copenhagen

Under the Scanner



The reaction to the Copenhagen Summit can be broadly classified as that of

inaction and action. Inaction can be described on the part of the Environment

Ministry as a statement was issued but there have been not much happenings on

the companies front and even the country as a whole. In other words, there has

been a sort of non-commitment towards making things legally binding. Though the

government has said that they will reduce carbon footprint by 20% but no steps

have been taken in this direction to make it legally binding.

India aims to cut emissions intensity by

20-25% by 2020 on 2005 levels

Nisha Agrawal, CEO,

Oxfam India

Cheaper and greener technology should be

made available to companies in all nations

Akash Chander,

lead business development & head, sustainability initiative, Logica India

The world should now move ahead with or

without the US, since the US has never and will never enter the compliance

carbon market

Kishore Butani, founder,

www.carbonyatra.com

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In fact there have been no specific goals set by corporates from any sector,

say for instance even the IT sector. But if you consider IT companies in the

Europe, the US, etc, they have set internal targets for themselves that are in

line with the countrys target, informs Akash Chander, lead business

development and head, sustainability initiative, Logica India. There is no real

push given to the industry.

Transfer of technology from the developed countries to the developing

countries will help bring the latter on a similar platform as the former. Apart

from this there shall be a similar carbon budget across nations. In fact

cheaper and greener technology should be made available to companies in all

nations. Availability of technology at reasonable costs for India will enable to

bring down emissions in an altruistic manner, elaborates Chander.

Currently, in India no specific action has been taken on this front. No

internal goals have been set but more diligence has been adopted by the

government while approving large or major projects. Even the government has not

made specific moves. Tax benefits and subsidies are being offered but this is

not an outcome of the summit but it existed beforehand.

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As far as companies are concerned, they are trying to make the right moves by

being a part of the best practices forum and environment friendly forum.

The Road Ahead



According to Butani, When the carbon market expires in 2012, and if there

is no new market post 2012, exporters from India and China could be subject to a

carbon tax when supplying goods to the EU. Though, India will continue to

engage the US and EU in climate change talks, but will take a leaf out of China

when it comes to acting on climate change. India plans to launch a public

database of the countrys worst polluters, as being done by China. Only when

the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last

fish is caught, will they realize that you cant eat money.

Shilpa Shanbhag



shilpas@cybermedia.co.in

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