TWO STEPS TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
India has taken two important steps on August 3, 2022, to display its willingness to fight climate change and fulfill its commitments made at COP 26 Glasgow UK held from 12 October to 12 November 2021. One is the Introduction of the Energy Conservation Bill in the Lok Sabha (Lower Parliament) to amend the already existing Law and the other is Approving NEW Climate Targets and updating NDCs.
THE ENERGY CONSERVATION AMENDMENT BILL,2022
The government of India introduced this amendment bill in the parliament with a provision for mandatory minimum use of non-fossil sources including 1)Green hydrogen and Green Ammonia Biomass and Ethnol for energy and feedstock, 2) setting up carbon trading markets, 3) bringing large residential buildings under energy conservation ambit 4) enhancing the scope of Energy Conservation Building Code; 5) amending penalty provisions; 6) increasing members in the Governing Council of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and 7) empowering the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions to make regulations for smooth discharge of their functions.
The Energy Conservation Act 2001 was earlier amended earlier in 2003 and 2010. A need has arisen to further amend the Act to facilitate the achievement of COP-26 commitments for promoting renewable energy, domestic carbon trading, and introducing new concepts like mandating the use of non-fossil sources to ensure faster decarbonization of the Indian economy.
Currently, only commercial buildings can be mandated to follow the energy efficiency code. The proposed code will now be applicable to new residential complexes consuming a 100 KW load, typical societies with 201 BHKs or above. The new proposal is likely to save Rs.1,20,000 crore worth of electricity by the year 2030 avoiding the generation of 300 billion units. However, this is expected to increase the cost of construction by 2-3% but the recovery will occur slowly within 4-5 years through reduced electricity bills.
NEW CLIMATE TARGETS AND NDCs
The Union Cabinet approved India's updated climate targets on August 3, 2022, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP-26 Glasgow Conference. India now intends to reduce emission intensity by up to 45% of its GDP by 2030 from the 2005 level and achieve about 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity for non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030 as per new nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
India's NDCs do not bind it to any sector-specific mitigation obligation or action. It will aim at reducing overall emission intensity and improving the energy efficiency of the economy over time and protecting vulnerable sectors of the economy and segments of society. The updated NDC will also be key to India's shift to renewable energy and will lead to an overall increase in green jobs in the field of renewable energy, clean energy industries, manufacturing of low emission products, and innovative technologies such as green hydrogen, etc,.
This commitment will soon be communicated to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The updated NDC (2021-2030) will be implemented through various schemes of Central, State and Union Territories. This will help India achieve its net-zero goal by 2030.
RESPONSIBILITIES, CLIMATE JUSTICE & CLIMATE FINANCES
India's position on differentiated responsibilities, climate justice, and finances should be well known to all stakeholders. India's climate actions have so far been financed from domestic resources but providing additional financial resources will lead to an overall transfer of technolgy for addressing global climate change challenges should be the commitments and responsibilities of developed countries under the UNFCC and the Paris Agreement.