It has been 20 months since the government committed to taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas intensity in the country at an international forum, to arrest climate change through a nationally determined contribution (NDC). But, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), in a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query, has stated that it doesn’t have a plan of action in place.
In an NDC to the Conference of Parties of the United Nationals Framework of Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Paris, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on October 2, 2016, committed to ambitious goals for the country to arrest climate change, promising to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emission per unit GDP by 33 to 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. It had also promised that at least 40 percent of its energy in 2030 would be generated from non-fossil fuel sources. On the agenda was also a vow to rapidly increase forest cover, so that an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion times of carbon dioxide equivalent is created by 2030. While the commitment was celebrated internationally, an RTI by a Pune based activist, Anupam Saraph, has now revealed that everything the country stated has remained on paper. The ministry confessed that it had not issued any notifications or orders to any Union ministry, state government or other entity to make them aware of India’s legally binding commitments to the international community for arresting climate change , as the plan is to be implemented in 2020.
The reply sent to Saraph’s query reads: “The MoEFCC has not issued any notification or orders directing the state to use existing laws to accomplish NDC commitment. The Paris agreement is for post-2020 and the NDC targets under the agreement are for post-2020 period.”