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Flattening the Climate Curve

Why are the special features of the Union Budget?

1. The Union Budget 2021-22 was the fourth one that followed a contraction in economy due to Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Digital bahi-khata was used to provide a calibrated fiscal and monetary support.

3. As per the Economic Survey 2020, the economy would take two years to reach and go past the pre-pandemic level.

4. India is already on a V-shaped path of economic recovery according to recent economic data.

5. This includes sustainable growth, progress and better quality of life.

6. It is critical to ensure that the new set of actions to be performed by government is comprehensive, balanced, equitable and pragmatic.

7. It is the need of the hour to align both climate and economic policies together to the maximum extent possible.

What are India’s commitments towards climate change?

1. India has committed to follow a low carbon path to progress in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

2. It aims to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35% below 2005 levels by 2030.

3. It also aims to achieve 40% of cumulative electric power-installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources.

4. It also aims to increase forest and tree cover to create additional carbon sink equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 by 2030.

5. To achieve these targets, India will need around USD 2.5 trillion (at 2014-15 prices).

6. The country will also need around USD 206 billion (at 2014-15 prices) between 2015 and 2030 for implementing adaptation actions in agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources and ecosystems.

How can India fulfill its goal of sustainable development?

1. More investment is required for strengthening resilience and disaster management.

2. Finance is a very critical component to enable India’s climate change action and the country has to use it judiciously.

3. It is important to ensure effective implementation of programmes through unique linkages, and engineering new and innovative forms of policy interventions for sustainable development.

4. Adequate emphasis has been given to all the three pillars of sustainable development -economic, social and environmental.

5. The government is also working towards making India pollution free by incentivizing private sector participation.

6. It is important to identify gaps and measure progress of nation’s climate action through a credible monitoring and reporting system.

7. This will help in maximum use of funds and investments at transformational scales.

8. There is a need to develop a Climate Budget Tagging (CBT) tool to identify, classify, weigh and mark climate relevant expenditures in the fiscal budget.

9. Tagging budgetary outlays as “green” will make it easier for the government to track and review the policy implementation.

10. Post-Legislative Impact Assessment can also be done by incorporating a detailed account of social, economic, environmental, and administrative impact to minimize the negativities.

11. This will promote transparent and democratic law-making in the country.

12. It will also allow citizens to understand and debate trade-offs created by such laws before formalizing them.

13. Electoral contributions from oil, gas and coal corporations should not be accepted by Indian politicians.

Which are the budgetary provisions for sustainable path ?

1. Clean Air

2. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban)

3. Scrapping Policy

4. Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI)

5. Augmentation of City Bus Service

6. Expansion of Metro Rail Network

7. Non-conventional/Green Energy

8. Phased Manufacturing Plan

9. Power Distribution Reforms

10. National Monetization Pipeline

11. Micro Irrigation

12. Conservation of Deep-Sea Biodiversity

13. Reduced Use of Paper

Conclusion:

1. All stakeholders need to come together to fight climate change in an integrated, comprehensive, and holistic way.