INDIA WOULD not need to make any substantial alterations to its existing laws or policies to fulfill its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said Friday.
He said the expert groups that had been asked to assess what it would take for India to meet its climate obligations had completed their works and submitted their reports.
“We had initiated a process to know what all the government would need to do in order to deliver on our promises under the Paris Agreement. That process has now been completed. And our initial assessment is that as far as laws and policies are concerned, we do not need to change anything. All targets can be achieved within our existing legal framework,” Dave told The Indian Express.
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Following the adoption of Paris Agreement last year, India had set up a number of working groups to suggest the pathway to achieve the goals it had set out for itself. Amongst other things, these groups were supposed to suggest whether any legal or policy changes were required to be made. “Our promises were consistent with the path that we have already undertaken towards sustainable development. The Paris Agreement would not compel us to make any legal changes,” he said.
In its climate action plan, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), submitted ahead of the climate change conference in Paris last year, India had promised to bring down its emissions intensity, or emissions per unit of GDP, by at least 33 per cent by the year 2030 as compared to 2005 levels. It had also said that at least 40 per cent of its electricity generated in 2030 would come from non-fossil fuel sources. Another promise India made was to create an additional carbon sink of about 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes by creating more forest and tree cover.
Dave said even as India’s economy grows, the per capita consumption needs to be kept in check. “There has to be a certain discipline in what we consume. It is the over-consumption that leads to carbon emissions. And we all need to set an example in ensuring that we do not over consume. The Prime Minister’s message for bringing lifestyle changes is very relevant in this context,” he said.