IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 7th & 9th November, 2015
TOPIC: General Studies 3
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
India’s climate pledge looks a tall order
India submitted its climate change mitigation action plan called ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDCs) on October 2, coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi’s 146th birth anniversary.
India’s INDC objectives and how it is going to implement it?
Reduce emission intensity by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
Introduce new, more efficient and cleaner technologies in thermal power generation.
Reducing emissions from transportation sector.
Promote energy efficiency, mainly in industry, transportation, buildings and appliances.
Develop climate resilient infrastructure.
Pursue Zero Effect, Zero Defect policy under Make in India programme.
Produce 40 per cent of electricity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, if international community helps with technology transfer and low cost finance.
Install 175 GW of solar, wind and biomass electricity by 2022, and scale up further in following years.
Aggressively pursue development of hydropower.
Achieve the target of 63 GW of installed nuclear power capacity by 2032.
Create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030 through additional forest and tree cover.
Full implementation of Green India Mission and other programmes of afforestation.
Develop 140,000 km long tree line on both sides of national highways.
Develop robust adaptation strategies for agriculture, water and health sectors.
Redesign National Water Mission and National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture.
Active implementation of ongoing programmes like National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture, setting up of 100 mobile soil-testing laboratories, distribution of soil health cards to farmers.
Additional impetus on watershed development through Neeranchal scheme.
Effective implementation of National Mission on Clean Ganga.
Early formulation and implementation of National Health Mission.
Complete Integrated Coastal Zone Management plan. Mapping and demarcation of coastal hazard lines.
Comparing India with China and USA:
It is noteworthy here that India betters China’s renewable energy target of 20 per cent and that of the US of 30 per cent, which are the two world largest emitters of total carbon emissions.
Further, although Beijing’s emission intensity reduction target is 60-65 per cent and India’s is 33-35 per cent, both nations would be at the same level of carbon emission intensity of 0.12 tonnes per billion dollars of GDP by 2030 because India’s carbon emission intensity is much lower than that of China at present.
Also, India’s per capita carbon emissions would be a modest 3.5 tonnes in 2030 (presently 2.44 compared to China’s and the US’s at 12 tonnes — presently 8.13 and 19.86 respectively).
Many other nations such as Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Iran, the EU and Mexico, to name a few, would have much higher per capita emission even in 2030.
Sun and wind energy generation can fluctuate considerably at times, and therefore the grid would require back-up sources and bulk power storage.
We need smart grids and smart sub-stations that will evacuate power and also store it.
Further, it is estimated that we need 5 lakh acres of land for installation of solar panels, the acquisition of which would pose problems in some States and, consequently, contribute to its high cost.
Also, transmission would need to be augmented to evacuate all new solar power.
India’s pledge document talks about increasing nuclear power from 5GW to 63 GW by 2030.
With the liability issue still bogging down nuclear power, our government should deal with this issue.
India needs additional forest and tree cover in order to create a carbon sink to the tune of 680-817 million tonnes by 2030, thus creating a total carbon sink of 2.5-3.0 billion tonnes.
While we should plant trees alongside existing and new highways, this is going to be a daunting task.
At least USD 2.5 trillion (at current prices) required between now and 2030 to implement all planned actions.
USD 206 million required for adaptation actions. Much more needed for strengthening resilience and disaster management.
About USD 834 billion, at 2011 prices, required for mitigation actions till 2030.
How is government mobilizing resources?
A total of INR 170.84 billion collected through cess on coal production is being used for funding clean energy projects.
National Adaptation Fund has been created with initial allocation of Rs 3500 million.
Tax free infrastructure bonds of INR 50 billion being introduced for funding renewable energy projects.
Connecting the dots:
Critically evaluate the strategic INDC action plan submitted by India to reduce green house gas emissions.
Critically examine the various implementation challenges that affects achievement of INDC targets of India.
Explain the various finance options available with India, to finance the new climate action plan.
General Studies 1:Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
General Studies 2: Governance Issues
General Studies 3:Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
Solid Waste Management: Waste not, want not
Solid waste management today forms a basic public service which every citizen must have access to, for health as well as to ensure a good quality of living. ‘Smart Cities’ as a concept can become a reality only when the generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling refuse and residual disposition of solid wastes be handled- in a smart manner.
Inadequate discharges of untreated domestic/municipal wastewater and wastages have resulted in contamination of 75% of all surface water across India. The problem ranges from untreated sewage to growing quantities of chemical waste that inhabits increasingly in our cities.
Study by NIUA (2015) reports that urban areas in India generate more than 100,000 MT of waste every day and an analysis of waste disposal by FICCI (2009) had shown that 14 out of 22 cities sent more than 75% of their waste to dumpsites, indicating a lack of adequate treatment and disposal facilities.
Lack of technical expertise and appropriate institutional arrangements
Lack of Capital & Resources
Continuous upgradation of technology and services
Improper collection, inadequate segregation, transportation, treatment and disposal systems
Not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) Syndrome
Concept of Recycle & Reuse needs to be established
Case Study- Kerala shows the way
Every year comes with a new leap in the quantum of waste being generated which hampers our capacity, which is not in any way at a high level. Kerala, with its high population density, high rates of literacy and growing environmental awareness, has made a turn-a-round in making this process both affordable and sustainable.
Focussed on alternative models of waste management:
Household: Segregate waste (Dry-Wet)à Importance of Segregation at source
Segregation at Source:
Helps the working of Waste-to-Energy Plant
Reduces the cost required to attain the stringent standards for pollution control
Waste: A hidden resource- Recycle & Reuse
Waste into Wealth
Lack of Research & Innovation in everyday basic yet important Sciences
Political Participation to ensure the needs of the poor to be met
Encourage Research and Development
Employ skills of Recycling and Reusing- Generation of ‘safe’ livelihood opportunities
Incentives to informal Recycling Industry for better optimization of the inherent strengths
A proper market for the recycled products
Installation of tracking devices at different sanitation points
Participation & discussion on sanitation-related issues
Training for segregation and basic household Recycling & Reusing
Availability of Data-
Involvement of local people- Participation + Awareness
Development of thematic digital maps – Updates on data
Cutting down on the ‘Human Element’ & Focus on ‘Automated Systems’
Monitoring/Evaluation of Performance + Real time monitoring of Vehicle productivity
Grievances Redressal Mechanism
A long term solution in the form of Automated Waste Collection System (ACS) can be put to use (a sustainable mechanism) as it has the ability to replace conventional methods like door-to-door and community-bin-collections via a chute system from high-rise building wherein the waste can be sucked through pipes; minimizing human intervention and associated risks.
Another waste stream increasing in India is that of E-waste (growth rate of 10% per annum) and is rising exponentially every year. Its unregulated accumulation can endanger human health and therefore, necessary training needs to be provided to the officials to understand the importance of capacity building and put in place better monitoring and compliance practices.
More substantive problems are the attitudinal and behavioural approach of the citizens. Vigorous awareness campaigns, greater fiscal decentralization to local bodies, maintenance of reliable data and encouragement to research can add impetus to the ‘smart’ movement.
Connecting the Dots:
A new stream of ‘construction and demolition’ waste has come into the limelight. What are the actions needed at national level to minimise waste generation from this stream?
‘ICT Innovation for Waste Management’
Incinerator Technology for Waste Management
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)