The Indian government has sanctioned $6.4 billion to finance the efforts to mitigate the perspective impacts of climate change on the environmentally sensitive and populous areas of the country.
These funds will be used to achieve the targets and goals mentioned in the National Action Plan on Climate Change released by the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change in 2008. The plan of action to mitigate the impacts of climate change have been subdivided into eight broad categories covering the most critical areas.
These areas include energy efficiency, solar energy, sustainable agriculture, water conservation, sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem and building a knowledge base for understanding climate change and its impacts better.
Answering a question in the Parliament, the Environment and Forest minster Mr. Jairam Ramesh said that India would be among the most gravely affected areas in the world because of the changing climate. He said that the government needs to be more responsible and should bear in mind the possible adverse impacts climate change while negotiating for an international climate treaty.
Flow of Funds
The government has announced several initiatives through which this multi-billion dollar fund would be constituted. The government will soon launch the energy efficiency certificate trading mechanism. Under this initiative, energy efficiency standards will be mandated for over 700 industries and if the industries fail to achieve the standards they would have to buy certificates to compensate for the exceedance.
Another initiative, the renewable energy certificate program would also be launched soon. The government has mandated states to buy a minimum amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources failing which, they would have to buy renewable energy certificates from authorized renewable energy power projects. This would ensure a steady and partially self-sustainable growth of the renewable energy sector.
The Clean Energy Fund is yet another financial resource at the government's disposal. From July 1, 2010, the government started levying INR 50 ($1.1) on every tonne of coal mined or imported. This year an estimated $650 million is likely to be generated which could increase to over $2 billion by 2015.
These funds would be simultaneously used for funding various clean energy, pollution control and environment management projects. Projects like the National Solar Mission, afforestation projects to increase the carbon offsetting capacities of the Indian forests, projects associated with coastline management to counter rise in sea levels, eco-restoration of sensitive areas in the Himalayan ecosystem, improving the condition of the water resources and switching to energy efficient lighting systems are some of the projects that will benefit from this climate change mitigation fund.
The views presented in the above article are author’s personal views and do not represent those of TERI/TERI University where the author is currently pursuing a Master’s degree.