General awareness paves the way to acquire confidence for the preparation of CAT. Today you will read general awareness topic : Rio + 20 and Indian efforts
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio 2012 or Rio+20, was hosted from 13 to 22 June 2012 by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Rio+20 was a 20-year follow-up to the historic 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in the same city, also known as First Earth Summit. The conference was organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and was participated by G-20 members.
The summit reaffirmed its commitment to make every effort to accelerate the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. This time, fighting climate change has not been a front-burner issue at the Rio+20 Earth Summit but it has been a priority that underlies many discussions and actions at Rio. From calls to end fossil fuel subsidies to discussions about energy for all, the real economic, environment and health impacts of climate change underline much of the urgency to see the real action. Many countries are taking action to build clean energy and curb greenhouse gas emissions but in a world where the damage from climate change is becoming part of our daily lives, we need to step up our commitments and actions to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and curbing climate change.
Many losses from climate change, such as loss of human lives and ecosystem services, are hard to monetize and often are not included in the financial loss projections of our government. This is particularly true in societies where there is widespread poverty and where people are dependent on ecosystem services. Access to electricity and transportation is critical and people deserve to have it done in a way that does not in turn cause deaths from extreme heat or loss of homes in flooding.
Curbing climate change goes hand-in-hand with building economic prosperity and fighting poverty. It has already suffered the economic and human losses from floods and extreme heat. The urgency of climate change raises important questions about how we move away from the business as usual model of economic growth in a way that helps and does not hurt developing countries and especially the poorest within those countries. Equity and access for all to electricity and transportation need to be a top priority, fully integrated into the measures that we take to fight climate change.
India’s recent domestic actions to develop a clean energy fund are a step in the right direction. The June 2012 UNEP report Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012 that tracked the finance flowing into green energy across the world since 2004 found that India had the world's fastest expansion rate for any large renewable market last year. India witnessed a 62% increase in capital funding in this market last year. This huge jump is yet another clear indicator of India's promise and potential to lead clean energy development. India's government and civil society leaders need to capitalize on this momentum to ensure that the Indian markets continue to remain confident about clean energy investments.
India continues to increase fossil fuel use. With its commitment to reduce energy intensity by 20-25 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, India still needs to accelerate adoption of energy efficiency standards for buildings, get energy-efficient appliances into the market more quickly, ensure that the 20-gigawatts by 2022 target under the National Solar Mission becomes reality, redirect fossil fuel subsidies to clean energy -- with necessary safeguard for the poor, and deploy the National Clean Energy Fund.
The fight against climate change will take a strategic jump in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017) with the government intending to plough in almost Rs 2 lakh crore through the various missions. The agriculture mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change alone is to spend upwards of Rs 1 lakh crore over five years to make the primary sector more resilient to inevitable changes in climate change.
The government had already committed internationally to reduce energy intensity of the country's economy by 20-25% below 2005 levels by 2020. National Action Plan on Climate Change was launched in 2008 and it includes eight missions :
National Solar Mission: The NAPCC aims to promote the development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses with the ultimate objective of making solar competitive with fossil-based energy options.
National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Mandating energy consumption decrease in large energy-consuming industries, with a system for companies to trade energy-savings certificates. Energy incentives, includes reduced taxes on energy-efficient appliances and financing for public-private partnerships to reduce energy consumption through demand-side management programs in the municipal, buildings and agricultural sectors.
National Mission on Sustainable Habitat: To promote energy efficiency as a core component of urban planning, the plan calls for extending the existing Energy Conservation Building Code; a greater emphasis on urban waste management and recycling, including power production from waste; strengthening the enforcement of automotive fuel economy standards and using pricing measures to encourage the purchase of efficient vehicles; and
incentives for the use of public transportation.
National Water Mission: With water scarcity projected to worsen as a result of climate change, the plan sets a goal of a 20% improvement in water use efficiency through pricing and other measures.
National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem: The plan aims to conserve biodiversity, forest cover, and other ecological values in the Himalayan region, where glaciers that are a major source of India’s water supply are projected to recede as a result of global warming.
National Mission for a “Green India”: Goals include the afforestation of 6 million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23% to 33% of India’s territory.
National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: The plan aims to support climate adaptation in agriculture through the development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanisms, and agricultural practices.
National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change: To gain a better understanding of climate science, impacts and challenges, the plan envisions a new Climate Science Research Fund, improved climate modelling, and increased international collaboration. It also encourages private sector initiatives to develop adaptation and mitigation technologies through venture capital funds.
Over the past four decades, the world has increasingly realised that our natural resources are under serious pressure. A growing awareness of the need to ensure sustainability has led a new generation to consider the requirements of sustainable development in its decisions to produce or consume. Rio 1992 was a major step forward. Important legal texts on key issues were adopted. These conventions ensured important progress that we must maintain and build on. From now on, a three-dimensional approach to development is crucial, one that combines social, economic and environmental concerns.
Rio+20 is the launch pad for this new development model. This is why one of the main topics of Rio+20 was to build consensus around the need for "sustainable development goals". They offer a blueprint for international cooperation on sustainable development for years to come.
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