India’s INDC:Towards Climate Justice

India couldn’t have chosen a better day to release their INDC  (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions)to the public. Oct 2 is Gandhi Jayanthi and Mahatma Gandhi is invoked in the INDC right away; we should act as ‘Trustees’ to our natural resources. I wouldn’t compare our INDC to the rest of the world as there have been some major articles already.(Ref Economist’s Catching up with China). The INDC can be rated highly for its comprehensive effort in encompassing all the concerned ministries and dept. concerned even though Climate Change falls under the ambit of Ministry of Forests. A significant point of view conveyed through the INDC is “India was not part of the problem, but it is willing to be part of the solution” which is a swipe at all the biggies.


Key highlights

  • India plans to cut emissions by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
  • India projects to achieve a renewable energy capacity addition of 175GW by 2022 and increase the renewable energy in the mix to 40% by 2030. It seeks funds explicitly from the Green Climate Fund. (The fund the developed countries agreed to create for projects in under developed/developing countries).
  • To create a carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through forests and trees by 2030.
  • India estimates its Climate Change mitigation plan will cost $2.5Trillion between now and 2030.RE 2014

Some challenges

  • Enforcing policy regulations.
  • Creating a finance mechanism that utilizes the coal cess, Renewable Purchase Obligation(RPO), Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) etc.
  • Creating a Green Energy Corridor (est. $6Bil) to facilitate power evacuation from renewable energy plants.
  • Not to compromise on Human Developmental Index of the nation. 300Million people in India still have no access to electricity. Hopefully we achieve the national target of ‘Electricity for All’ by 2019.
  • A need to cut subsidies and increase tax in fossil fuels.
  • Securing fuel for proposed 63GW of nuclear power projects.

And opportunities..


  • To create mass transit systems in major cities and encourage them.
  • Developing new cities to house 40% of India in 2030 through smart city projects.
  • Creating sustainable habitats that adhere to building codes.
  • To set up manufacturing hubs through ‘Make in India’ campaign that could be the most energy efficient.
  • To link up ‘Swach Bharat’ and waste to energy projects.

The Minister, Prakash Javadekar who has overseen the entire exercise hosted a public hangout  to talk about the INDC and address queries.

The minister reinforced his thoughts on the INDC that the document was titled ‘Climate Justice‘ because even though we haven’t harmed the planet as much we would like to make it a better place to live.  Some of the discussions that people shared included being Indigenous (Not Jugaad) and embracing our native principles which emphasizes on preserving our ecosystem. Social entrepreneurship could be a big winner in our fight against climate change.

India is in a tricky position, faced by developmental targets and aspirations which require enormous energy and infrastructure year on year. However this also gives it a significant opportunity to develop as nation like no other. Overall India’s INDC is challenging yet achievable.

References: INDC India Overview, Draft

Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index

E&Y recently released its RECAI (Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index) report. The report is highly influential and has been followed closely.


Some of the key points from this report

  • UK slips out of the top 10 and this has created a lot of buzz already. This however was expected owing to lack of policy clarity, issues with subsidies.
  • US and China swap places. The US building on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has claimed the top spot. China’s recent economic issues have not helped its cause even though the annual installed capacity is the highest in China.
  • India in the mean time has displaced Germany from the 3rd spot and its all thanks to the big announcements.
  • Latin America has seen great movement. Chile leads the pack at 9th position.

You could read more about the report here.

Earth Day 2015: It’s our turn to lead

The Annual UN earth day falls on April 22. 2015 – Earth Day’s 45th anniversary – could be the most exciting year in environmental history. The year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands. The year in which world leaders finally pass a binding climate change treaty. The year in which citizens and organizations divest from fossil fuels and put their money into renewable energy solutions. These are tough issues but we know what’s at stake is the future of our planet and the survival of life on earth.

Earthday2015The theme of this year’s world earth day revolves around

  • Sustainable Development
    One billion people still live on less than $1.25 per day. One of the biggest controversies over a treaty has been the issue that developing countries don’t want to give up economic growth no matter the environmental cost, since the US and other developed countries got to pollute their way to the top. Eradicating global poverty is possible but only in a world where all countries commit to a low carbon future. We’ve got the technology. All we need is the will. Sustainability can be the answer to development, the only answer.
  • Grassroots (Making a difference)Over 400,000 people came together this past September in NYC for the biggest climate march of all time. Their call for action from the city streets reverberated around the world. They rallied for their leaders to recognize the catastrophic implications of climate change.Their call did not fall on deaf ears. As Obama said in his speech at the NYC Climate Summit that week, “We cannot pretend we cannot hear them. We must answer their call.” Let’s make 2015 the year when our world leaders pay attention and answer our call.  Check Mr.Obama’s address on Earth day 2015 below

  • Time for a treatyOver the past 20 years, there have been a series of failed attempts to create an effective international treaty on climate change mitigation. In 1997, the first major international agreement was passed, The Kyoto Protocol. The US—one of the top polluters—didn’t ratify. Since then, many Summits and many efforts to come to agreement—Rio, Copenhagen—have ended in a flop.  But Paris must be it! Governmental, business, and non-profit leaders must come to an agreement that will cut our emissions and limit our warming to 2°C.logocop21-ppalLet’s make 2015 the year when our leaders pass a historic binding, global climate treaty.

    Google’s tribute on Earth day