Climate Change is one of the most important global environmental problems. The Fourth Assessment Report of intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change brought out in 2007, has projected a serious picture of the earth’s future. The Report has stated that global warming may have a devastating impact on the climate of the earth. It is very likely that climate change can slow down the pace of progress towards sustainable development either directly through increased exposure to adverse impact or indirectly through erosion of the capacity to adapt. To give more concrete action plan to combat climate change, Parties to the United National Frame Work Convention on Climate Change in 1997 adopted the Kyoto Protocol in recognition of necessity for strengthening developed country commitments under the convention in furtherance to the objectives of the Convention. The Kyoto Protocol commits the developed countries, including economies in transition, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels during 2008-2012. The Kyoto Protocol came into force on 16 February 2005. India is a party to the Kyoto Protocol.
Meetings of National Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Authority were held periodically to consider the CDM Projects for grant of Host Country approval. Till December 2007, the National CDM authority has approved 772 projects in the field of Biomass based Cogeneration, Energy efficiency, Municipal Solid Waster, Renewable such as Wind, Small Hydro projects etc. These projects would generate 433 million certified emission reductions (CERs) by the year 2012. If all these projects successfully get registered with the CDM Executive Board.
In pursuance of the announcement made by the Hon'ble Finance Minister while presenting the Union Budget 2007-08, the Government set up the Expert Committee on Impacts of Climate Change on 7th of May 2007 under the Chairmanship of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India. The Terms of Reference of the committee are to study the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on India and to identify the measures that we may have to take in the future in relation to addressing vulnerability to anthropogenic climate change impacts. The Expert Committee includes eminent persons from academia, science and also from various Ministries and Departments concerned.
A coordination committee chaired by Prime Minister called prime Minister’s Council on Climate change was constituted in June. 2007 to coordinate national action for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The first meeting of the Council was held in July, 2007 and the second meeting of the Council was held in November 2007. One of the important decisions, among many other decisions, has been to prepare a National Document compiling action taken by India for addressing the challenge of climate change and the action that it proposes to take, be prepared as India's National Report on Climate Change.
The Inter-governmental Panel on climate change (IPCC) has brought out the Fourth Assessment Report on climate Change in November 2007. It is based on the three working group reports released during the year; the first on science of climate change, the second on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability to Climate and the third on mitigation of climate change.
The Phase-II of Indo-UK collaborative research on climate change under the aegis of Structured Dialogue on Climate change was initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), India and the UK Department of Environment. Food and rural Affairs (DEFRA) have jointly devised a three year research programme on the impacts and adaptation to climate change in India. The project has been built on India’s existing expertise to assess the sectoral impacts of climate change; reduce the uncertainties in current climate change prediction models; and contribute to the science of climate change.
Ozone Layer Protection
The Government of India has entrusted the work relating the ozone layer protection and implementation of Montreal Protocol to the Ministry. The Ministry has set up the Ozone Cell as a National Unit to look after and to render necessary services to implement the Protocol and its (ODS) phase-out programme in India. The Ministry has established an Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) chaired by the Secretary (E & F) which is supported by the Standing Committees. These Committees are responsible for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol provisions. Review of various policy and implementation options, project approvals and project monitoring.
India has met the following compliance dates as per the control schedule of the Montreal Protocol:-
- Freeze of CFC production and consumption in July, 1999 at 22588 ODP tons and 6681 ODP tons respectively.
- Freeze of Halon production and consumption on 1.1.2002
- Total phase-out of halon production and consumption in 2003.
- 50% reduction of CFC production and consumption in 2005 (production from 22588 MT to 11240 MT and consumption from 6681 MT to 1640 MT).
- 85% reduction of CTC production and consumption in 2005 (production from 11525 MT to 1508 MT and consumption from 11537 MT to 1493 MT).
- The Thirteenth International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was celebrated in Delhi on 16th September, 2007. The theme of this year’s International Ozone Day was 'Celebrating 20 Years of Progress'. Around 500 school children attended the function organized at Sri Satya Sai Auditorium. New Delhi. On this occasion poster, painting, skit competitions were organized among school children. Prizes for best 3 in each competition were given. Ozone Cell publication ‘Montreal Protocol India’s Success Story’, was released and distributed to the participants.