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Climate change and rising temperature: Need for long term strategic plan for mitigation

Climate change and rising temperature: Need for long term strategic plan for mitigation

In news: India submits its Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy to UNFCCC

Background: Earth’s temperature has risen by 0.08° Celsius per decade since 1880, but the rate of warming since 1981 is more than twice of that: 0.18° C per decade. 2021 was the sixth-warmest year on record based on NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) temperature data.

Climate Change Related Events Across The Globe

  • Warming Temperatures: Middle of continents are expected to be warmer than coastal areas. The Arctic is heating up about twice as quickly as the global
  • Changing Regional Precipitation: With increasing temperature,global average precipitation will also increase in low and mid latitude regions by the end of century.
  • Rising Seas Levels: Low-lying coastal regions and small islands in Pacific will be subjected to more frequent flooding or even permanent inundation

Extreme Events

  • Hurricane Prone Regions:Hurricanes may start earlier and end later. Theybecomemoreintenseasseasurfacetemperatures
  • High Mountain Regions: Shrinking glaciers threaten the extinction of species and High altitude ecosystems.
  • Regions Affected by El Niño and Other Patterns in the Atmosphere: El Niño & La Niña events along with seasonal monsoons  may change eventually affecting millions of people in areas like India and
  • The Polar Regions: The extent of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been decreasing Glaciers and ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are melting too.

Climate change related events in different parts of India

  • Hilly areas: About 33 per cent of the biodiversity of the Western Ghats will be lost by 2050 due to extreme weather. Forest will change from evergreen to deciduous and dry
  • Northern Plains: The Ganga-Brahmaputra and Indus basins, recorded more water flowing in the river channels due to glacial melt
  • Drier regions: Higher temperatures may produce an increasing number of wildfires eliminating slow-growing trees and shrubs and replacing them with fast-growing grasses.
  • Islands: Sea level rise and consequent increase in intense tropical cyclones, threaten the existence of islands of India, specially Great Andaman and Nicobar
 
 

The IPCC reports say that world must take ambitious climate action within this decade in order to keep warming to within 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures. That requires decreasing carbon pollution by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

 

Reasons of climate change and rising temperature:

Natural Factors:

  • Changes in the Earth’s Orbit and Rotation: Amount of summer sunshine in the Northern Hemisphere, affected by changes in the planet’s orbit, appears to be the primary cause of past cycles of ice ages.
  • Volcanic Activity: Volcanic eruptions released large quantities of carbon dioxide in the distant past.
  • Movement of Crustal Plates: As tectonic plates move over geological timescales, landmasses formed in tropical areas are carried to higher latitudes. Northern Hemisphere has warmed more than the Southern Hemisphere because the former has a larger percentage of Earth’s landmass compared to ocean than the
  • El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO): An El Niño warm-water phase changes global weather patterns. South America experiences wetterthanaverageweather,whileNorthAmericaexperiencesmildbutstormierwinter

Anthropogenic Factors

  • Reflectivity or Absorption of the Sun’s Energy: Activities such as agriculture, road construction, and deforestation are changing the reflectivity of the earth's surface, leading to local warming or cooling.
  • Heat-trapping Greenhouse Gases and The Earth's Climate: Concentrations of the key greenhouse gases have all increased since the Industrial Revolution due to human activities.
  • Land use changes: More than half of our gross greenhouse gas emissions are from For example, livestock rearing (96%), Fertilser emission (15 % of farm’s carbon footprint)
 
 

CASE STUDY: ARCTIC WARMING FASTER THAN GLOBAL AVERAGE

The temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise at three times the global annual average, driving many of the changes underway in the Arctic. It contributes to rising sea levels, and is likely to provoke extreme temperature events beyond the Arctic. The effects of a shifting Arctic climate are felt across the high latitudes and beyond – with global environmental, economic, and social implications.

 

 How Climate Change Disproportionately Impacts the World

  • Fragility, Conflict, and Displacement: Extreme weather has contributed to conflict and terrorism in fragile states that have led to the displacement of 80 million people from their homes.
  • Food and Water Security:Of the 124 million people worldwide, 76%wereaffected byclimateshocksand extremes,according totheFood and AgricultureOrganization
  • Global Health: Warmer temperatures could expose as many as one billion people to deadly infectious diseases such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya.
  • Economic Development: The World Bank estimates that the effects of climate change could push an additional 100 million people below the poverty line by 2030.

Mapping India’s Vulnerability to Increasing Temperature and Climate Change

  • Tropical country: Tropical country like India is likely to face frequent cyclonic disturbances and monsoon- related
  • Extreme events: Climate change is likely to make rainfall erratic, cause sea level rise, and accelerate the frequency and intensity of droughts and
  • Heat waves: India suffered from one of the longest ever recorded heatwaves in 2018, with temperatures rising to 48 degree Celsius, resulting in hundreds of
  • Inequality: Increasing vulnerablity to extreme heat due to low per capita income, social inequality and a heavy reliance on
  • Economic losses: Exposure to rising sea levels and Changing monsoon patterns having already led to a loss of 16 per cent of its per capita GDP since 1991

Global Efforts to Counter Climate Change

 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • UN  body for advancing knowledge on human- induced climate change.
  • Provide regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, impacts and future risks, and adaptation &mitigation.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

(UNFCCC)

  • Primary multilateral treaty governing actions to combat climate change through adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Kyoto Protocol / Paris Agreement:

  • The Kyoto Protocol required only developed countries to reduce emissions, while the Paris Agreement recognized that climate change is a shared problem and called on all countries to set emissions targets.

REDD ++

  • Mechanism to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries.

India’s Efforts at Global Level

International Solar Alliance

  • Conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions.

One Sun, One World, One Grid

  • Brings together International Solar Alliance and the UK’s green grid initiative to focus on harnessing the sun’s energy.

Long Term Emission Development Strategy

  • India’s long-term strategy to transition to a “low emissions” pathway

India’s National Efforts to Tackle Climate Change:

 

 

 

National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)

Launched with 8 national missions forming its core

  • National Solar Mission
  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
  • National Mission on Sustainable Habitat
  • National Water Mission
  • National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem
  • National Mission for A Green India
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
  • National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change

 

Green buildings

  • Building with such design, construction or operation, to reduce or eliminates negative impacts, on our climate and natural environment.

National initiatives on Climate

Resilient Agriculture

  • To enhance resilience of crops, livestock & fisheries through development of production & risk management.

FAME INDIA

  • Vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing.

Clean Energy Cess

  • Tax introduced as a fiscal tool to reduce the use of coal and associated carbon emissions.

CASE STUDY: INDIA’S ROLE IN REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONNS

India has achieved clean energy targets nine years ahead of its schedule. India has installed 162 GW (1 GW is a 1000 MW) of renewable energy capacity which is 41% of the 402 GW of electricity installed.

 

Long Term Emission Development Strategy

  • In the recently held, COP -27 at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, India’s LT-LEDS was prepared after extensive consultations with various government entities, state governments, research institutes and civil society organizations.

India Long Term Emission Strategy is based on 7 key pillars:

1. Low carbon development of electricity systems

  • Expanding renewable
  • Focus on demand side management
  • Rational utilization of fossil fuels

2. Integrated, efficient and inclusive low-carbon transport systems.

  • Phased transition to cleaner fuels
  • Traffic management and intelligent transport systems
  • Encouraging improved fuel efficiency

3. Energy and material-efficiency in buildings.

  • Promote climate responsive and resilient building design.
  • Promote low-carbon municipal service delivery
  • Promote resource efficiency within urban planning
  • Mainstreaming adaptation measures in the built environment and urban systems

4. Decoupling growth from emissions and developing an efficient, low-emission industrial system,

  • Increase the use of natural and bio-based materials
  • Promote green hydrogen technology
  • strengthening the circular economy
  • Low carbon and sustainable growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

5. CO2 removal and related engineering solutions,

  • Training, capacity building and planning to minimize socio-economic, livelihood and ecosystem impacts
  • Explore public-private partnership frameworks in view of intensive resource requirements

6. Enhancing forest cover consistent with socioeconomic and ecological considerations

  • Restoration, conservation, and management of forests and their plant, animal and microbial genetic resources
  • Strengthening infrastructure of State forest departments, including upgradation of nurseries

7. Increasing climate resilience in poverty eradication and employment creation.

  • Mobilizing, accessing and delivering climate-specific finance.
  • International climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building
  • Linkages to international trade

Concusion:

The two themes of “climate justice” and “sustainable lifestyles”, alongside the principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of national circumstances, that India had emphasized at Paris, are at the heart of a low-carbon, low-emissions future.

The LT-LEDS is also informed by the vision of LiFE, Lifestyle for the Environment, that calls for a world-wide paradigm shift from mindless and destructive consumption to mindful and deliberate utilization.

Mission LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment

  • Mission LiFE is an India-led global mass movement to nudge individual and community action to protect and preserve the environment.
  • India shared the mantra of LiFE - Lifestyle for Environment - to combat climate India is the first country to include LiFE in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Where to use it?

Paper I (Climate Change) Paper 2 (Government Policies) Paper 3 (conservation) Paper I ( Geography Optional : Global Climatic Change, Environmental Policy)

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