Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Daily News Mail - News of 23/02/2015

States climate action plan to be approved soon

  • The Union Environment Ministry will soon approve plans from various States to tackle climate change and an additional Rs.150 crore has been sought in this budget for the National Adaptation Fund.
  • Of the 31 States and Union Territories that had submitted plans, 23 were approved and the rest would be passed shortly. However, the Centre does not propose to fund any of these State action plans and it is basically an articulation of their vision. These will be linked to national climate change missions on adaptation and funds could also come from the Green Climate Fund. It’s more a wish list of the States’ intentions.
  • There are eight missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change launched in 2008, but most of the missions got off the ground only in 2014 due to financial issues. It will be a while before there is some visible impact, the Environment Ministry officials said.
  • Puducherry has, however, submitted its State action plan for funding to the World Bank. Some States, including Uttar Pradesh which is already affected by changing weather patterns, have not submitted their plans yet. Uttar Pradesh is working on the plan and recently had consultations with Central officials.
  • The government is considering dovetailing(join together by dovetail; joint; fit together) the State action plans with some of the national missions and some funds can be given to the States from the National Adaptation Fund. The fund is in the process of being approved by the Ministry of Finance and after that the States can apply for finance for climate action.
National Action Plan on Climate Change(NAPCC)

Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our times. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to climate change. Climate change impacts will range from affecting agriculture – further endangering food security – to sea-level rise and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones, increasing intensity of natural disasters, species extinction, and the spread of vector-borne diseases. India released its much-awaited National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) to mitigate and adapt to climate change on June 30, 2008, almost a year after it was announced. The NAPCC runs through 2017 and directs ministries to submit detailed implementation plans to the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change by December 2008.

The action plan outlines a number of steps to simultaneously advance India's development and climate change-related objectives. The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) encompasses a range of measures. It focuses on eight missions, which are as follows:
  1. 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. It also includes the establishment of a solar research center, increased international collaboration on technology development, strengthening of domestic manufacturing capacity, and increased government funding and international support.
  2. National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency: The NAPCC recommends mandating specific energy consumption decreases in large energy-consuming industries, with a system for companies to trade energy-saving certificates, financing for public–private partnerships to reduce energy consumption through demand-side management programs in the municipal, buildings, and agricultural sectors, and energy incentives, including reduced taxes on energy-efficient appliances.
  3. National Mission on Sustainable Habitat: The NAPCC also aims at promoting energy efficiency as a core component of urban planning by extending the existing Energy Conservation Building Code, 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. The NAPCC also emphasizes on waste management and recycling.
  4. National Water Mission: The NAPCC sets a goal of a 20% improvement in water use efficiency through pricing and other measures to deal with water scarcity as a result of climate change.
  5. National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem: This particular mission sets the goal to prevent melting of the Himalayan glaciers and to protect biodiversity in the Himalayan region.
  6. Green India Mission: The NAPCC also aims at afforestation of 6 million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23 to 33% of India's territory.
  7. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: The NAPCC aims to support climate adaptation in agriculture through the development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanisms, and agricultural practices.
  8. 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 modeling, and increased international collaboration. It also encourages private sector initiatives to develop adaptation and mitigation technologies through venture capital funds.

Green Climate Fund
  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund within the framework of the UNFCCC founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. The GCF is based in the new Songdo district of Incheon, South Korea. It is governed by a Board of 24 members and initially supported by an Interim Secretariat.
  • The Green Climate Fund has only crossed $10 billionDeveloped countries should say how much finances they would put forward, but that was not happening and they needed to raise $100 billion by 2020 and that figure seemed very remote now.
Eight missions of National Action Plan on Climate Change

The lawlessness of humour
  • As the storm gathering against the ‘All India Bakchod roast’, which has now culminated in a Bombay magistrate’s court ordering an FIR to being filed against the organisers and participants of the show, it is time to examine the facts dispassionately, because all of a sudden, humour has become deadly serious business.
  • In law, there is no general right to take offence at the contents of another person’s speech in a private environment. It is only when the speech is in a public place, or causes annoyance to others in a public place that criminal law is attracted, as in Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code
  • If a joke is specifically defamatory of one’s personal reputation, that person alone could go to a civil court to collect damages. If the speech was deliberately aimed at insulting a religion, it may be criminally actionable under Section 295-A. If a joke is aimed at sexual harassment, it may be actionable by the victim alone under the newly created Section 354A of the IPC.

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