India

India needs to focus on these climate change aspects in 2022

There are many areas where India can improve its climate change policy.

Areas of prime concern regarding climate change India should focus on in 2022, according to experts are listed below :

Constraining air pollution
Building up adaptation measures such as state and city action plans
Give high priority health by building adaptable health infrastructure to alleviate the impact of climate change

 

One of the most important things the government must implement in 2022 is to ban single-use plastic. Also, the experts said that many premature deaths and disabilities happen due to air pollution and this is one of the leading causes. Government should take strict actions and operationalize plans to limit air pollution.

The list mentioned below is of priority areas India must focus on in environmental policies and action: New standards and action plans for air pollution to be implemented/

 

AIR POLLUTION

After malnutrition, Air pollution ranks the second highest when it comes to risk factors of diseases in India. Surprisingly, air pollution accounts for 10% of the disease burden. Unfortunately, it killed 116,000 Indian infants in October 2020 according to reports. It is estimated that air pollution reduces the average life expectancy of a newborn in India by at least 1.5 years in 2019.

Vehicular Pollution and emissions of harmful toxins from factories and coal-fired power stations contribute to air pollution across India.

Note: India is likely to set up new standards which would factor in more particulate matter finer than PM 2.5. The revisions to NAAQS will be a starting point to define the future discussion around air pollution for the next decade in India. According to the reports, the revision of standards will be made more ambitious with the increased risk associated with exposure.

The NCAP was launched by the environment ministry in January 2019. Initially, it set a national-level target of 20% to 30% reduction of PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration levels by 2024, with 2017 as the base for concentration levels. As for now, there are a total of 95 cities that do not come under NAAQS standards.

India and NCAP must focus on city-specific action plans to be formulated for the non-attainment cities through which the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is operationalized. The NCAP, launched by the environment ministry in January 2019, set a national-level target of 20% to 30% reduction of PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration levels by 2024, with 2017 as a base for concentration levels.

“The NCAP did not really take off because of the pandemic and shutdown,” Said Sunil Dahiya, an analyst at the non-profit Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). He also mentioned, “As we retreat from the pandemic, it is important to strengthen the NCAP and prioritize emissions reduction from coal-power plants.”

Emissions from coal power plants

It is also one of the major causes of air pollution. Moreover, it’s so dangerous that its expansion will lead to 60% more premature deaths in the metro cities of India. Majorly, India’s 50% coal-generated electricity is within the reach of the five megacities: Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. It is believed that this will dangerously affect and risk the health of the residents. Especially, the ones who will be suffering more will be the young, elderly and pregnant women. This date was provided by a report given by C40 cities, a global network of people from 97 cities.

“There will be continuing pressure to phase down coal, although India hasn’t set any clear plans to control coal’s impact on deteriorating air quality,” said Shripad Dharmadhikary, an analyst at the research organization Manthan Adhyayan Kendra.

“The health aspect of air pollution is something which needs to be integrated into environmental policies,” said Shweta Narayan, an environmental justice activist and campaigner for climate and health with Health Care Without Harm in India. “The environment impact assessment for thermal power plants fails to look at public health and there is a growing momentum building around the need to undertake health impact assessment for polluting plants.”

 

Concentrating on health infrastructure

Climate change and the resultant rising temperatures and altered rainfall patterns are creating ideal conditions for the Transmission of infectious diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, zika, malaria is getting easier than before. Climate change, rising temperatures, and distorted rainfall patterns are creating ideal conditions for such types of conditions. This is really very fearful and stressful.

it may also lead to more deaths, crop failures, mental health problems, pregnancy-related complications, and heat- and humidity-related morbidity in the future. “In terms of building the resilience of the health system, we are not there,” said Narayan, adding, “There is periodic intervention during floods or cyclones, but building an infrastructure that can stand regular events of extreme weather is desperately needed.”

States are putting together their action plans for climate change and human health that are due in December 2021. It will be important to see the budgetary allocations to the state to implement these plans and how they are prioritized in 2022,” said Narayan.

Making the plastic ban effective

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India produces over 25,940 tons of plastic waste every day. Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules to ban single-use plastic that will be implemented in 2022 were introduced by the environment ministry in August 2021.

The rules strictly mandate that from July 1, 2022, the manufacture, sale, and use of some single-use goods made with plastic, polystyrene, and expanded polystyrene such as earbuds, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, wrapping, and packing films are prohibited. Although other ones such as carry bags must be at least 75 microns thick from September 30, 2021, and 120 microns from December 31, 2022, compared to 50 microns at present.

In 2019-20, India generated almost 3,4 million tonnes of annual plastic waste was generated in India in 2019-20. Many states in India have already adopted plastic-ban resolutions, although this will be considered the first official countrywide implementation. In the last decade, 22 states and Union territories have imposed complete or partial bans on plastic carry bags.

Implementing state and city climate plans

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its periodic reports, has shown how climate change is impacting the world. How climate change is in the process of changing the world :

Monsoons in India are impacting agriculture as they have become highly uncertain; especially the months of July and August. Cyclones like Tauktae and Gulab, which bookended the summer monsoon in 2021, were reported by Inidiaspend in October 2021. They have increased and are set to increase further, IndiaSpend had reported in May 2021.

There is a consensus to limit warming to 1.5°C by 2099 to avoid the worst predictions, but at the same time, the need to adapt to climate change has become more significant and urgent. Climate change adaptation includes building critical infrastructure to deal with extreme climate events such as cyclonic storms, droughts, and floods.

“The scope of state action plans is largely restricted to state jurisdiction and there needs to be clear vision on further decentralization at district and city levels,” said Vineet Kumar, deputy program manager at CSE.

It is very important to prioritize comprehensive assessment of the state action plans and how effective they are against extreme weather events, he added.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhi-to-submit-its-climate-action-plan-by-january-2022-101639248402945.html#:~:text=A%20senior%20Delhi%20Pollution%20Control,agencies%20to%20draft%20the%20plan.

 

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