Govt's assertive stance on environment matters draws global appreciation
New Delhi, Oct 24: India has taken an assertive global position on climate change in recent years. India signing the historic Paris climate agreement and inititive to head the International Solar Alliance garnered international appreciation.
The ambitious Paris agreement, signed in December 2015, requires the member countries to make binding commitments to curb carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to keep global average temperatures from rising above 1.5°C as compared to the pre-industrial years. India is responsible for 6% of the global CO2 emissions following China, which accounts for 28%, the United States for 16% and the European Union 10%. In terms of per capita CO2 emissions, 10 other countries are ahead of India.
Right from survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife to ensuring the welfare of animals, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate, under the BJP rule has played an important role in the implementation of India's environmental and forestry policies and programmes.
Key initiatives taken up by the ministry includes- increase in forest cover, better pollution monitoring and control, 2000 approvals unlocking Rs. 10 lakh crore of investment and a job potential of 10 lakh, reducing project approval period from 600 to 190 days through standardisation, decentralisation, transparent processes and policy decisions and protecting India's interest at COP 21 in Paris.
India is one of the few countries of the world, where forest cover is on the rise. The total Forest and Tree cover of the country as per 2015 assessment in the state of Forest Report is 794,245 sq km (79.42 million ha) which is 24.16 per cent of the geographical area of the country. There is an increase of 3,775 sq km in the forest cover of the country as compared to the previous 2013 assessment. Increase in Forest and tree cover is significant in view of the fact that forests continue to meet around 30% of total requirement of fuel wood i.e. the primary source of energy and 40% of fodder consuming livestock's are dependent on fodder completely or partially comes from forests. The remaining requirement of fuel wood is largely met from plantation (tree outside forest) and other sources.
The then environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in 2016 signed the Paris agreement in the UN General Assembly hall at a high-level ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. By doing so, India will be in a better position to put pressure on developed countries to make more ambitious commitments for curbing carbon emissions and providing finances and technology to developing countries to facilitate a low-carbon economy under the new rules of the Paris agreement.