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PM’s panel on climate change to be revived

The Council, established in 2007, had framed India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008 .

Written by Amitabh Sinha
New Delhi | Updated: October 9, 2014 12:58:02 am

The government is all set to reconstitute and revive the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, an advisory body that has not met in the last three years, as India prepares to assess its domestic actions on the issue.

The Council, established in 2007, had framed India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008 which had given rise to eight ‘missions’ to undertake actions that would put India on a low-carbon growth path and help adapting to the effects of climate change. These actions were considered essential to strengthen India’s case at the international climate change negotiations as well.

But the Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, has not met for the last few years and the eight ‘missions’ have meandered along, most of them under-achieving targets. With the Council unable to meet, an Executive Committee had been set up in January last year, mostly comprising officials from different ministries, to assist the Council and monitor the implementation of work being done by the eight ‘missions’, which include the National Solar Mission to promote solar energy, the National Water Mission to ensure sufficient supply of water for all kinds of uses, a Mission on Energy Efficiency, and the Green India Mission to increase green cover in the country.

With climate change firmly back on the international political agenda now, the Narendra Modi government is learnt to be working on reconstituting the Council soon. Sources said the composition of the Council, which had representation from the government and outside, could be different this time with more members from the industrial sector.

In the existing Council, only Ratan Tata, who was inducted in his capacity as chairman of the Investment Commission, was from the industry. Most of the government members will have to be changed because they no longer hold the positions by virtue of which they were included in the Council.

But more importantly, the Council is likely to make a comprehensive reassessment of domestic climate policy and review the functioning of the eight missions. The sources said in view of increasing international pressure on India, which is the world’s fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases now, to take more ambitious actions on climate change, the government was likely to scale up the targets of each of the missions and lay down strict timelines for their implementation.

The sources said there was even the possibility of creating more missions.

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