12th July, 2016, Hotel Le Meridien, Sovereign Hall II, New Delhi, India.
July 14, New Delhi: Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe) an autonomous advanced research institute and a think tank based in New Delhi successfully organised a National conference on “Post Paris Climate Action” on 12th July, 2016, Hotel Le Meridien, Sovereign Hall II, Gate no. 2, New Delhi, India.
At the 21st meeting of the Conference of Party (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, held in Paris in late 2015, each member country presented its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). India’s ambitious INDC pledges to 35% reduction of GHG intensity (defined as GHG emitted per unit of GDP) and achieve 40% share from non-fossil source of power capacity such as renewables (solar, wind) hydro power, nuclear and bio-mass by 2030. IRADe had conducted a modelling exercise prior to COP 21 pertaining to India’s INDC till 2030 and 2050 supported by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change (MoEFCC). At the national conference on “Post-Paris Climate Action”, IRADe aimed to bring deeper discussions into the diverse issues surrounding the long term scenarios to meet the INDCs and their implementation challenges.
Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development who inaugurated the conference reminded the audience of the important role that India played under Prime Minister’s leadership which drove consensus among parties for the Paris Agreement. Taking forward India’s commitment, he pointed out that an environmentally conscious youth and sustainable practices among students were part of the long term plan for climate change mitigation. He stressed, “Imparting the value system of sustainable practices to our students, is one of our missions“.
The conference saw a versatile panel of experts, leaders and policy makers who shared the critical issues, and also the opportunities in achieving India’s INDCs. Meeting INDC target has upfront cost implication to the economy and society and there is a need to understand, analyse and assess the cost implications of government targets. The country urgently needed innovative ways for mobilizing climate finance, especially considering that financial resources are limited. Both fiscal and market instruments are required to strategically tap public and private investment and further blending of public and private resources. The experts pointed out the key to meeting the targets lie in more active involvement of states and urgent effective implementation of the state action plans on climate change. Given the scarcity of financial resources, developing effective implementable state level programmes will be critical. Without rapid reform in the power distribution sector the nation will see a stalemate situation in the much required speedy adoption of renewable energy and hence stalling the INDCs’ goals. Coal shall continue to play an important role in India’s energy future and there is a need to rapidly accelerate the adoption of ultra-super critical coal technology that can result in a higher efficiency of 45 to 50 %. While transitioning to cleaner technologies, it is already proven that energy efficiency measures can create viable saving and emission reductions. However, energy efficiency measures need upfront investment of both finance and management. These are particularly difficult for small enterprises to spare and mechanisms need to be developed to provide them needed support.
India also needs to design innovative implementation strategy for meeting INDCs such that it also leads to poverty reduction. Renewable energy grid integration pose various challenges. However the conference concluded that the challenge of load variability can be addressed as we have done in the past but we need balancing supply options and a mix of technical and commercial mechanisms, which incentivises all grid users. As energy access continues to be a challenge in India, more efforts are needed to be made across expanding LPG networks, expanding City Gas distribution as well as availability of electricity at the village level particularly during the evening peak hours to overcome the energy access challenges. The discussions also pointed out the need to assess long term potential future cost trajectories of nuclear energy-based electricity. With the civil nuclear agreement, the scope for mobilizing nuclear power has improved substantially, however the higher safety standards for nuclear energy have proven to be increasingly expensive. Also from INDC’s perspectives and energy security considerations, the role of nuclear energy in India’s climate policy has to be highlighted as a source of non-fossil energy. The risk perceptions need to be addressed to increase public acceptance of nuclear energy. Increasing the share of electric rail based passenger and freight transport and simultaneously decarbonising energy use needs innovative operations strategies. Though the Ministry of Railway is taking various steps to set up the needed capacity, the challenges of attracting traffic to railways and the need for innovative mechanisms were underlined. The role of an electricity based rail system in India’s climate policy was also emphasized.
The INDCs can benefit from Climate Friendly Technologies (CFTs), Partnership and Technology Transfer and hence India must strategically forge technology partnerships. While following its path for meeting INDCs, the country needs an effective ecosystem for advanced research and development on Climate Friendly Technologies (CFTs) such as Solar, Carbon Capture and Storage, Energy Storage Systems and Energy Efficiency with the specific aim on improving the efficiency of these CFTs for accelerating their commercialization and expanding their scope. To this end domestic R & D on climate friendly technologies should be prioritized by the country.
Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Railways participated in his valedictory address shared his views and perspective on climate change and stressed on the need for focus on Climate Adaptation given the vulnerability of India’s large population to climate change. Hon’ble Minister shared various green initiatives taken by the Ministry of Railway as well as to promote more freight through railways. He also highlighted the important need for climate finance and urged that both developed and developing countries should work more proactively in the area of climate finance.
The conference saw active participation across key stakeholder groups from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; Public Sector Institutions such as National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) , Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) , Energy Efficiency Service Limited (EESL), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC), NITI Aayog, Private sector institutions, USAID & Grant agencies and Multilateral Development Banks, reputed experts and other stakeholders to deliberate and discuss.
For more details please contact: [email protected] ,Rajiv Ratna Panda, Head-Technical, IRADe