Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that India is on track to reduce its carbon footprint by 30%-35%, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has constituted a high-level inter-ministerial committee to implement the Paris Agreement of 2015.
The Paris Agreement is an accord within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016.
The formation of the panel, named Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA), underlines India’s seriousness to implement its commitments on mitigating climate change. The purpose of AIPA is to generate a coordinated response on climate change matters that ensures India is on track towards meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement, including its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
A statement issued by the ministry of environment said, “The committee will have representatives from 14 ministries who will oversee the progress in implementation of India’s NDC and receive periodic information updates to monitor, review and revisit climate goals to fulfil the requirements of the Paris Agreement.”
In addition, the committee would control carbon markets in India as per the requirements of the Paris Agreement and formulate necessary guidelines.
“The coming year 2021 would mark the beginning of implementation of the Paris Agreement and constitution of AIPA is central to strengthening the national systems and institutional arrangements for implementation and monitoring of climate actions. It will also ensure that India maintains its climate leadership as one the few countries in the world whose climate actions are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, New Zealand declares climate emergency
New Zealand declared a climate change emergency and committed itself to becoming a carbon-neutral country by 2025.
Speaking at the country’s parliament on Wednesday, prime minister Jacinda Ardern termed climate change “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.
The Prime Minister tabled a motion in parliament to gain recognition for climate change as an emergency. “We have to consider the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health through flooding, sea level rise, and wildfire,” said Ardern during a passionate speech that received wide applause.
Outlining the steps her government will take to mitigate carbon emissions, Ardern said the government will be required to buy only electric or hybrid vehicles, the fleet will be reduced over time by 20% and all 200 coal-fired boilers used in the public service’s buildings will be phased out.