Daily Answer Writing
14 September 2021

Q. Critically examine the importance of international cooperation for achieving the targets of India's Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs).  (250 words)

  • Source: The Hindu - Page 1/Front: India, U.S. to tie up on green energy
  • GS 2: IR, GS 3: Environment

 

Approach Answer:


Introduction: India's Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) to 21st Conference of parties(COP21) in Paris - 2015 include - reducing emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels, generating about 40% of  electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 and creating an additional Carbon Sink of 2.5-3 BnTonnes(or GtC or GigaTonnes) of CO2 equivalent through additional forest cover. This would require a lot of resources to take a cleaner path towards development.

 

Importance of the International cooperation in this regard:

    • Technology of Transfer: It is important in the context of improving efficiency of existing power plants, nuclear power technology, renewable power technology, better farming techniques, efficient manufacturing processes etc.
    • Funding: to enable the transformation towards a cleaner path would require immense amounts of funds. In the Paris agreement,  the developed countries have promised to gather financial resources of around $100bn per year to finance these developments in developing countries.
    • Boosting production for global consumption: Despite one of the highest production potential, India would require to be connected to the global supply chain networks to produce raw materials as well as would require access to newer technologies. Developed countries are essential for boosting production and filling the supply gap.
    • Better research and Development: The developed countries have better research and development infrastructure. They can extend their facilities into India and can utilize Indian Human resources too in order to create better technology which is essential for the cleaner development path.

 

Mechanisms Available:

    • For Technology Transfer:  Climate Technology centre & Network(CTCN) which is hosted by UNEP,  Under UNFCCC technology mechanism, works to accelerate the transfer of environmentally sound technologies for low carbon and climate resilient development at the request of developing countries.
    • For Funding:
      • Green climate fund: Developed countries were to raise $100bn/year for capacity building in developing countries by 2020 according to Paris agreement;
      • Transformative Carbon Asset Facility(TCAF): $500mn fund under World Bank helps developing counties pay for emission reductions & combat climate change; It’s a market based scheme which helps countries to implement their NDCs.
      • Clean Technology fund(CTF): exists under WTO, which is focused on making renewable energy cost competitive with coal fired power as quickly as possible
      • WWF-India’s Small Grants Innovation Program (SGIP): offers eligible individuals a one-time grant of up to INR 4L over a maximum period of 2 years for undertaking conservation research/ action research that address issues and offer solutions or insights towards habitat preservation.

 

Challenges in such a cooperation:

    • Inadequate funding: As of June 2021, projects only worth $8.4bn have been disbursed globally. This is far less than the promised $100bn/year. It is not clear how much India and other developing nations can rely on the developed countries.
    • Green Intellectual Property: The term 'Green Intellectual Property' refers to the protection of innovations in the field of green technology. It is a concept where innovations which are helpful to environment in one or the other way are legally protected. This blocks the progress towards the cleaner path as developing countries can't afford these.
    • General Poverty in many countries: This prevents countries like India from adopting green technologies as they can be disruptive to the existing industries on which the population may be supported for livelihood.
    • Historic emissions: The emissions done by the developed countries in the past constitute the major cumulative emissions today. This creates an ideological challenge for developing countries from taking a greener path.

 

Conclusion: India has announced the target of 450GW renewable energy production by 2030 and is projected to achieve it in a couple of years from now. By any standards Indian contributions are remarkable, being the only country in the G20 nations to be on the path of NDCs. However we are being forced to take a new target of carbon neutrality. India should take this situation to bargain for better technologies and greater funding.

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