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The Editorial Analysis: Going Green


Going Green: Introduction


  • Tamil Nadu is yet another state who struck out clearly for a future that would be climate-conscious, and greener, with a series of announcements this year — in the form of government orders and via the Budget.
  • Ensuring sustainable development requires more than good intentions and verbal commitments. And yet, commitment is that crucial first step.


Going Green: What is Green Economy?


  • As envisaged by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a green economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • These investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes.
  • The key issues involved in promoting a green economy therefore are:
    • Improved human well-being
    • Social equity,
    • Significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcitie.


Going Green: Key Initiatives taken by T.N. Government


  • Getting the Ramsar Site declaration for a record number of ecological zones as a well-planned and implemented initiative.
  • T.N. government declared its intention to create green parks in 100 villages, that would cater to local requirements too.
  • T.N. government Proposed an elephant reserve at Agasthiyarmalai in the south, a dugong conservation park in Palk Bay, a new bird sanctuary at Tiruppur, and establishing India’s first-ever wildlife sanctuary for the slender loris in Dindigul and Karur district.
  • The T.N. government recently appointed governing council on Climate Change, which has many experts, is an example of good intent followed by a solid tool to aid implementation.
  • The setting up of a Green Climate Fund corpus is a further indication of commitment.
  • Additionally, a special purpose vehicle, Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company, has been set up to advise on managing three important missions — Climate Change, Tamil Nadu Green and Wetlands.
  • It will provide policy directives to the Climate Change Mission, advise on climate adaptation and mitigation activities, provide guidance to the State Action Plan on Climate Change and provide strategies for implementation.


Going Green: The National Action Plan on climate change (NAPCC)


  • The National Action Plan on climate change (NAPCC) encompasses eight missions in the specific areas of Solar Energy, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system, Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change, Green India, and Sustainable Agriculture.
  • These specific areas tackle core issues pertaining to climate change, outlining steps to simultaneously advance India’s development and climate change related-objectives of adaptation and mitigation.
  • NAPCC is guided by the principles – (i) protecting the poor and vulnerable sections of society through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy, sensitive to climate change; (ii) achieving national growth through ecological sustainability (iii) devising efficient and cost-effective strategies for end use Demand Side Management (iv) deploying appropriate technologies for both adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions (v) engineering new and innovative forms of market, regulatory and voluntary mechanisms to promote sustainable development (vi) effecting implementation of programmes by including civil society and local government institutions and through public-private partnership; and (vii) welcoming international cooperation for research, development, sharing and transfer of technologies.
  • Under the NAPCC Government has initiated several activities, schemes, programmes under the national Missions.
  • The activities in the areas of solar energy, energy efficiency and forestry sector are linked with reduction in carbon emissions. Other Missions also support carbon emissions reduction as co-benefit.


Going Green: National Mission for a Green India (GIM)


  • National Mission for a Green India (GIM) is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • It aims at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s forest cover and responding to Climate Change.
  • The target under the Mission is 10 mha on forest and non-forest landsfor increasing theforest/tree cover and to improve the quality of existing forest.


Going Green: Way Forward


  • Pursuing climate change has not been easy, not now, not ever.
  • As per UN data, only 26 of 193 countries that agreed to enhance climate change action last year have followed up with concrete plans. For, indeed, the challenges are daunting.
  • Environmental evangelism will have to drive these projects, so that the passion, urgency and seriousness that the parent institution (Environment and Climate Change department), brings to the table are absorbed by other departments.
  • All modern states are beset by challenges in the sectors of energy transition, mobility transition and agricultural transition. So,  is crucial to build capacity capable of fashioning local solutions, and ensure that the announcements are all implemented, in a time-bound manner.


Going Green: Conclusion


While these and similar incremental efforts made possible with the political will of several state governments and the central government, if implemented well, will lend themselves to a visibly greener landscape.


Transition to Green Energy: Challenges Before the Indian Economy!

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