Climate Finance Will Remain Critical To Successful Climate Action: Economic Survey
New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Climate finance will remain critical to successful climate action by developing countries, including India, according to the Economic Survey presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.
The Economic Survey 2021-22, tabled in the Lok Sabha ahead of the Union Budget which will be presented on Tuesday, said, “There is a greater thrust on climate action following the announcement of India's target of becoming Net Zero by 2070. Climate finance will remain critical to successful climate action by developing countries, including India.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as a part of the national statement delivered at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow in November 2021, announced ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030 to enable further reduction in emissions.
India has an NDC (nationally determined contribution) under the Paris Agreement to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
It has already achieved 24 per cent reduction of emissions till 2016, as per the third Biennial Update Reports (BUR) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2021.
According to the survey, India's performance on the NITI Aayog SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) India Index has improved from an overall score of 60 in 2019-20 to 66 in 2020-21. It said the figures “show progress” in India's journey towards achieving the SDGs.
“Despite 2020-21 being a pandemic year, India performed well on eight of the 17 SDGs measured by the NITI Aayog SDG India Index,” it said.
“These included – goal 3 (good health and well-being), goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), goal 7 (affordable and clean energy), goal 10 (reduced inequalities), goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), goal 12 (responsible consumption and production), goal 15 (life on land) and goal 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions),” it said.
The remaining SDGs are no poverty (goal 1), zero hunger (goal 2); quality education (goal 4); gender equality (goal 5); decent work and economic growth (goal 8); industry, innovation and infrastructure (goal 9); climate action (goal 13); life below water (goal 14); and partnerships for the goals (goal 17).
In September 2015, 193 countries, including India, committed to the SDGs as detailed in the UN resolution, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The SDGs comprehensively cover social, economic and environmental dimensions and build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which covered the earlier 15-year period from 2000 to 2015.
India has been making significant strides in increasing its forest area, ranking third globally in net gain in forest area during the decade (2010-20), it said, adding that going forward, there is a need to improve the forest and tree cover.
“Much of India's increase in forest cover during 2011-21 is attributed to the enhancement in very dense forest cover, which rose by approximately 20 per cent during the period. Open forest cover also improved by seven per cent during the period,” it said.
“Going forward, there is need to further improve forest and tree cover. Social forestry could also play a significant role in this regard,” the survey said.
It also suggested that states/Union Territories need to improve the management of their ground water resources “through improving their recharge and by stemming their over-exploitation, and to prevent the critical and semi-critical assessment units from further worsening.”
The survey observed that climate change-related financial risks pose both micro and macro prudential concerns and that in May 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up a new unit -- 'Sustainable Finance Group' (SFG) -- within its Department of Regulation to effectively counter these risks, and for leading the regulatory initiatives in the areas of sustainable finance and climate risk.
It further said to assess the progress of its regulated entities in managing climate risk, RBI is preparing a consultative discussion paper covering governance, strategy, risk management, and disclosure.
“The discussion paper will sensitise regulated entities to incorporate climate-related and environmental risks in their business strategies, governance and risk management frameworks,' it said.
'In line with the international best practices, banks will be guided to adopt a forward-looking, comprehensive, and strategic approach to climate-related risks,” the survey said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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