New Delhi, Jan 1 (GCCurrentAffairs) In the year slipped by, India took green strides adopting a proactive approach to tackle extreme weather conditions starting with never-ending heatwaves, air pollution, flash floods in several states, cyclones and biting cold winter spells unseen in decades.
As the year slipped by, India has been paying heed to the dire warnings of climate change and taking green
strides by adopting a proactive approach despite little progress being made at the UN climate talks in Madrid in the year just gone by.
With environmentalists warning that 2020 was the world’s last chance to tackle climate change, India launched a time-bound national level strategy for pan-India implementation to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner in the form of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) on January 10, 2019.
In a significant first, New Delhi piloted resolutions on two important global environment issues relating to single-use plastics and Sustainable Nitrogen management at the fourth session of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) which was held in Nairobi from March 11 to 15, 2019. UNEA adopted both the resolutions by consensus.
In March this year, India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) was launched and the country was one of the first in the world to develop a comprehensive Cooling Action plan which has long-term implications to address the cooling requirement across sectors and lists out actions to cut the cooling demand. Cooling requirement is cross sectoral and is required across different sectors of the economy such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries.
The country told the world leaders gathered in New York in September for the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Climate Action Summit that it would increase share of non-fossil fuels to 175 GW by 2022 and further take it to 450 GW.
Drawing attention towards India’s efforts in always following a climate sensitive sustainable development pathway by mainstreaming climate change concerns in development policies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India is going to increase the share of non-fossil fuels to 175 GW by 2022, and further take it to 450 GW.
The Global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure was also launched.
India hosted the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from September 2-13, 2019 at Greater Noida. During the Conference, the Prime Minister announced ‘India would raise its ambition of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from twenty-one million hectares to twenty-six million hectares between now and 2030’.
In 2019, the country also leapfrogged from Bharat Standard IV to Bharat Standard VI for vehicle emission norms and from April 1, 2020, vehicles will be BS VI-compliant. There is also a strong push for use of e-vehicles by introducing multiple policy interventions and incentives.
To strengthen the implementation of environmentally-sound management of hazardous waste in the country, the Ministry amended the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 keeping the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and boosting ‘Make in India’ initiative by simplifying procedures under the Rules.
The Ministry handed over Rs 47,436 crore of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, CAMPA funds to various states in August. Important activities on which the fund will be utilised will be for the Compensatory Afforestation, Catchment Area Treatment, Wildlife Management, Assisted Natural Regeneration, Forest Fire Prevention and Control Operations, Soil and Moisture Conservation Works in the forest, Improvement of Wildlife Habitat, Management of Biological Diversity and Biological Resources, Research in Forestry and Monitoring of CAMPA works.
On the positive side, the country’s total forest and tree cover rose 24.56 per cent of the geographical area of the Country.