NEW DELHI: The fight against climate change will take a strategic jump in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017) with the government intending to plough in almost Rs 2 lakh crore through the various missions, the working group on climate of the 12th Five-Year Plan has said.
The report seeks setting up of a dedicated structure of governance to oversee the different programmes under the 12th Plan with such large funds to be invested. The agriculture mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change alone is to spend upwards of Rs 1 lakh crore over five years to make the primary sector more resilient to inevitable changes in climate change. The report pointed out that the government already spends 2.8% of its GDP on programmes that bring adaptation benefits to people.
But the expert group, headed by K Kasturirangan, which wrote the report, has warned that government should not make any further commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions without holding the widest possible consultations with ministries concerned and other stakeholders. It has asked for an inter-ministerial group to be set up to draw up strategy as the issue envelops large investment as well as strategic concerns.
The government had earlier committed internationally to reduce energy intensity of the country’s economy by 20-25% below 2005 levels by 2020, which the panel noted would entail huge costs for the country. The report said the total funding requirements could add up to several billion dollars and unless funds were provided by the international community, these actions were likely to have adverse impact on the country’s growth and poverty eradication measures because of demands of expenditure on health, education, livelihood, security and diversion of resources from core issues to climate change.
But the existing commitments made under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, such as the Solar Mission and the Green India Mission, already need substantial funding over the 12th Plan. The Green India Mission will require Rs 46,000 crore in 12th and 13th Plans. The National Mission for Himalayas requires Rs 1,500 crore and the National Water Mission requires Rs 8,900 crore by the end of the 12th Plan.
The report has recommended that a separate national authority be set up for implementing the mitigation actions that would implement the domestic and international commitments made to reduce emissions and find adequate funds through all routes.
The report of the sub-group, submitted at the end of 2011, has been with the Planning Commission for long with the environment ministry – the nodal agency for climate change within the government – also in the dark about the final version of recommendations that the plan panel is preparing.