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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Leena Srivastava Says India Is At Least A Decade Ahead Of Time In Fulfilling The NDC Commitments

  • IWB Post
  •  December 5, 2018

As the 24th Conference of Parties (COP) brings together leaders from all around the world, the ongoing discussions revolve around how the world “is at a crossroads” when it comes to global warming. Thus, the discussions also point towards the need for some “decisive action” that needs to be taken by the leaders and which should be directed towards “protecting those most vulnerable to climate change”.

In a recent interaction with The Quint, Leena Srivastava, vice chancellor of the TERI School of Advanced Studies, talked about how India is faring in terms of its fight against global warming, the measures that need to be taken, and what the latest IPCC report has in store for India.

Here are the excerpts: 

On what the latest IPCC report on global warming has in store for India

“The biggest takeaway is that the extreme events we are talking about are increasing both in frequency and intensity. So, from a preparedness point of view, we can’t look at historical experiences; rather, we have to be able to simulate what is likely to happen and then prepare. That is something that we have not been doing. So if you look at the Kerala floods as an example, you cannot say explicitly that the floods were on account of climate change because that had not been studied.”

On the things that need to be done to effectively fight global warming

“There has to be a coherent approach to dealing with these extreme events. Today we have institutions that are doing their own things, but, we do not have communication channels among government entities, whether, at the national or state levels, that will allow us to effectively minimise the impact of extreme weather events.”

“The use of coal will have to be halved globally from 2010 levels over the next 12 years to 2030 and it should reach net zero by 2050, to limit global warming to the 1.5°C level, according to the IPCC report. What does this mean for India’s energy Industry? India is the second largest consumer of coal in the world (after China), and coal powers 60 percent of India’s power sector even while it has about 15 million households to electrify (as on 11 October 2018).”

On where India is heading in the energy perspective

“From an energy perspective, India has still got its act fairly right. We are supposed to be 2°C compliant. Given the fact that we are likely to meet our NDC commitments – which were up to 2030 – pretty much now, that means we are at least a decade ahead of our time.”

“Reducing emissions from the transportation sector has been more difficult for us. We need to transform the entire infrastructure because by nature the electricity industry and transportation industry are very different. The transport sector will require a lot more investment.”

On the biggest challenge

“The biggest challenge is going to be agriculture, because to a large extent our infrastructure for training and capacity building has been diluted over a period of time. But we need to know what are going to be our intervention strategies to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector as well, so that will require a lot more effort and organisation.”

On the things to do as India builds climate-resilient cities

“The primary thing is the green cover. Look at what we are doing now with the Aravallis, where a lot of people are protesting [in the last week of October, thousands protested against the government’s plan of building a road through the Aravalli Biodiversity Park.] It is a proven fact that adequate green cover can improve the ambient air situation, among other things. We have done nothing about the urban heat-island situation.”

“To minimise the urban heat-island effect, we must examine the high heat-generating activities in cities and either move these out or introduce technological changes.”

H/T: The Quint

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