IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 24th October, 2015
General Studies 3:Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.
General Studies 2:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
The Balancing Act: Paris Agreement
Climate change refers to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather around longer-term average conditions and is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, volcanic eruptions and a range of human activities.
Mitigation and adaptation can together, go a long way in limiting the adverse impacts of the climate change but it requires a more globally-coordinated response as well as series of steps that needs to be taken at a regional level.
The demand for the inclusion of the civil society groups to be allowed back in as green movement partners, by the developing countries have been accepted and has also received accolades at Bonn.
Under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries across the globe, committed to create a new international climate agreement by the conclusion of the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015, by publicly outlining the actions they intend to take, to counter climate change from their end.
For India, it has been more about national sovereignty and wanted adaptation, loss and damage to be taken care of but the final text didn’t mention anything about finance or technology transfer, leading to major disappointment.
Geopolitics of Climate Change
Biggest emitters of CO2
Come under the Common but Differentiated principle (CBDR)- Possesses a larger responsibility for responsible action to allow developing countries to:
Improve energy access
Grow economically and sustainably
Possesses poor technologiesà Burning of fuel inefficiently
Blamed for climate impacts and pushed for tougher climate action
Eg: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report in 2002 highlighted about “Asian brown cloud”
(Conspiracy to shift blames; later termed as ‘Atmospheric Brown Cloud’)
Pollutants and particles from biomass burning and industrial emissions had formed a three-kilometre-thick brownish layer over many regions in Asia
Pollution build-up and disruption in rainfall and wind pattern
10 per cent reduction in solar energy causing a corresponding decrease in the evaporation of moisture that controls summer rainfall
No new commitments:
To reduce emissions in the pre-2020 period
No transfer of Technology
Burden of tackling Climate Change: Shifted on developing countries
Emission Reduction Targets:
Not defined clearly
Will lead to abrupt patterns of rainfall and drought
Agriculture & livelihood of people will suffer
More poverty traps & difficulty in eradication of the sameà Stand to lose developmental gains
Limited Carbon Space
Will get exhausted if used at the present rate by countries like USA and China
Post 2030, if it continues, developing countries might not get enough time to leverage their economic standing and might have to go for emergency cutting of emissions
Widened the Trust-gap
Licence to evade from responsibilities leading to shift of the entire burden on developing countries
No decision on:
Means of Implementation
Capacity Building Support
Supports CBDR: Common but Differentiated Responsibility
Universality does not mean uniformity: No legally binding commitments + Flexibility to choose their action-plan
Developed Countries: Keep away from aligning their business perspective with provision of market access for their MNCs
Public Finance should be used as a primary source of fund to finance ‘Climate Change Mitigation’ initiatives
Responsible Steps taken:
Prepared National Action Plan on Climate Change + State-wise Plan:
Energy efficiency + Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem + Forests + Water & Air + Strategic Knowledge build-up for Climate change
Target of generating 20,000 MW of solar power by2020 out of which achieved almost about 1200 mw
Introduction of PAT: Perform, Achieve and Trade
Voluntary commitment of reducing emission intensity of GDP by 20-25% by 2020
Process to access proposed targets & level of implementation (+ Leadership)
Adaptation: Planning + Guaranteed matching support + Proper International mechanism to address loss and damage
Guaranteed support for technology development + Technology Executive Committee to take care of it
Enhanced and Robust Transparency & Accountability System
Compliance Mechanism: To prevent non-compliance + Enforce & facilitate commitments
Countries linking their national circumstances vigorously, have just postponed any ambitious action that can be taken to collectively fail the deteriorating climate. Aid needs to be increased and a progressively increasing level of effort on part of all the stakeholders needs to be incorporated.
Locking in to weak ambitions because of lack of ambitiousness in national pledges and questions over cash are the biggest barriers to a new global climate deal. Climate change for poorer countries, are a matter of ‘life and death’ and G77 stand on the same is practically justified.
There is a need for the parties now, to stick to the deadlines effectively, meaningfully and engage in a constructive manner. Time is crucial.
Connecting the Dots:
Can technology transfer solve the crisis of the present climate change, being witnessed on a large scale? Identify these prospective technological know-how’s that can help us lessen the adverse impacts.
Reflect on India’s stand on Climate change and the steps India has taken to combat the crisis in view.
TOPIC: General Studies 3
How to revive the PPP model in India?
The moment the public-private partnership model is mentioned in India, the immediate reaction is that it has failed.
There have been failures, such as in some power and metro rail projects, but that is not the complete truth.
There have been significant successes too, in roads, ports and airports.
The PPP model is particularly important in infrastructure projects. In recent years, some of India’s and the world’s best airports have been built through the PPP model.
But these are overlooked as the media focuses on some pain points that are inevitable in projects involving land acquisition, construction, environmental clearances and other contentious issues.
To revive India’s infrastructure sector, three steps will be required.
The first is to kickstart the construction cycle by boosting public spending, which is already under way.
The second is to address the financial stress in the banking system, largely caused due to infrastructure assets. This step is being discussed.
The third is to revisit the PPP model in order to attract investors back to the sector. While some progress has been made here, particularly in national highways, it can serve as a good opportunity to learn from past experiences.
Towards greater efficiency:
With PPPs being a tool to lock in efficiency commitments, its application becomes much wider than for only new build or Greenfield investment.
A fairly large part of government spend, particularly at the State level, is in operations and maintenance.
Here, the scope for improving efficiency is significant.
The use of long-term operations and/or maintenance contracts can bring in performance commitments, and associated payments.
Further, in some sectors, if Direct Benefits Transfer separates subsidy delivery from service delivery, it will become easier to design user-charge based projects.
Undoubtedly, while there are some lacunae in the PPP model, these can be resolved.
The Centre has already tasked the Kelkar Committee to review the policy in order to revitalise infrastructure development.
The committee will analyse the risks involved for PPPs in different sectors and the existing framework for such risk-sharing, suggest an optimal risk-sharing mechanism between private investors and the government, and also suggest steps to improve capacity building in government to effectively implement projects.
It’s time to put these issues behind us and focus on reviving the infrastructure sector in India.
This is imperative, given the ambitious infrastructure plans such as Housing for All, 100 Smart Cities and stiff goals in increasing the capacity of power projects in conventional as well as renewable energy.
Connecting the dots:
Critically examine the importance of PPP model in infrastructure development of India.
Critically evaluate various measures taken by the government in order to overcome the lacunae that PPP model is facing in India.
Discuss the various investment models with special reference to PPP.
Compare and contrast PPP model with EPC model.
Separate, but not different- While India takes stock after Dadri, Pakistan’s minorities continue to languish under the law.