Saturday, Feb 04, 2023 08:45 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Feb 04, 2023 03:10 [IST]

Greener pastures

The Earth is heating up. And fast. Since the early 1900s, the Earth has warmed up by about 1.1 degrees Celcius as climate change becomes the biggest destabilising factor across the world. The latest assessment by scientists at the American space agency, Nasa, reveals how the planet is losing its coolness as years become warmer and warmer.
However, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is currently not plausible, according to a new report-Climate policy, protests, and the Ukraine crisis. The participating researchers systematically assessed to what extent social changes are already underway, while also analyzing certain physical processes frequently discussed as tipping points. The researchers concluded that social change is essential to meeting the temperature goals set in Paris. But what has been achieved to date is insufficient, they said. Accordingly, climate adaptation will also have to be approached from a new angle, said the report.
And India is part of the solution and is doing more than its fair share to address climate change, the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha climate change is a global collective action problem. India with more than 17% of the global population has contributed only about 4% of the global cumulative greenhouse gas emissions between 1850 and 2019. Reports from various sources, including Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, highlight that the challenges faced due to global warming are mainly due to cumulative historical and current greenhouse gas emissions of the developed countries. India is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement in 2015, India had submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) balancing the concerns and priorities of climate change, sustainable development including poverty eradication, and economic growth of the country.  In August 2022, India updated its NDC according to which India has an enhanced target to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030 from 2005 level, achieve about 50 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. Further, in November 2022, India has submitted its Long-Term Low-Carbon Development Strategy. India’s long term strategy rests on seven key transitions to low-carbon development pathways. One of these transitions will focus on promoting Adaptation in Urban Design, Energy and Material-Efficiency in Buildings, and Sustainable Urbanisation.
The latest Union Budget for 2023-24 goes on to reinstate the government’s commitment to green growth and its efforts to combat climate change. This budget looks like a clear reflection of India’s commitment to addressing the pressing issue of global warming and the efforts to transition to a more sustainable future. Green growth has been identified as one of the seven key priorities of this budget, with a capital investment of 35,000 crores being made by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas towards energy transition, net zero goals, and energy security. This, along with the launch of the Green Credit Program under the Environment (Protection) Act, will help encourage behavioural change in the general public and also raise additional resources for sustainable activities. With this budget, the government has paved the way for a more sustainable future and the country can only hope that the government will fulfill its promises and lead India toward a greener tomorrow.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi