India Subsidies

India—US$20.4 billion in 2016

The total value of energy subsidies from the central government of India, quantified in a latest inventory, has declined substantially between 2014 and 2016, from 35.8 billion USD to 20.4 billion USD. The same report points out that 18 subsidies are provided by the central government to both coal mining and coal consumption, predominantly in power generation. But financial information was not publicly available for six of these subsidies, which thus remained unquantified. According to the inventory covered in this report, total subsidies for the coal mining sector have decreased in India from 2.6 billion USD in 2014 to 2.3 billion USD in 2016. Subsidies are largely provided through tax breaks (government revenue foregone), with concessional duties and taxes making up around 90 per cent of total coal subsidies. Budgetary transfers only account for 10 per cent of the total subsidy amount over the review period. However, the report points out that it was difficult to exactly calculate the subsidies to coal and goal fired power generation because of lack of data. The Inventory showed that in one coal bearing state there has been an increase in subsidies.

Coal-fired electricity generation benefits from subsidies such as income tax exemptions and access to land at preferential rates, says the report, adding, measures of support to coal consumption in India include the overall coal pricing regime and concessional import duty on coal.

Money Life reported on another research study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) on fossil fuels which reveals that on an average over the years 2013 and 2014, India provided $103 million per year in national subsidies to oil, gas and coal producers. In particular, capital outlay targeting the extraction and production of crude oil, natural gas, coal and the development of fossil-fueled power projects constituted the largest share of India’s national subsidies to fossil fuel production, averaging $64 million per year across 2013 and 2014. Other support in the form of tax breaks for coal excise duties and fossil fuel transport infrastructure also contributed to this total with an average of $40 million each in 2013 and 2014.

The IISD 2017 report finds that subsidies in the oil and gas sector reduced significantly from 26 billion USD in 2014 to 6.8 billion in 2016 mainly in the consumption sphere, partially due to India’s reforms and partially due to the decrease in the world price for oil. Subsidies to electricity T&D increased from 6.7 billion USD in 2014 to 9.9. billion USD in 2016. The total subsidies to coal however remained relatively stable at about 2.3 billion USD over the period in review.

Overall, the scale of support to fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) has remained more significant than subsidies to renewables through the entire review period.

Policies and Programmes in Place

As a member of the G20 nations, India in 2009 committed to “phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption while providing targeted support for the poorest.” The government has been reducing the subsidies on natural gas for the larger section of the population. While there is not much information available about the scale of reduction strategies of fossil fuel subsidies in production, the government seems to be taking up some important measures in targeting the subsidies at the consumers’ level. The government is also trying to increase the subsidies on renewables. They are targeting to enhance clean cooking options and improved challahs through various schemes. However, overall, the scale of support to fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) has remained more significant than subsidies to renewables through the entire reviewed period.

Kirk Smith, in an article in the Hindustan Times says, “India has attempted quite strongly to reform household energy for the benefit of health, through its new national LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) progammes. LPG burns far cleaner than biomass (which is relied on by nearly 700 million rural Indian households), causes much less localized air pollution and contributes less black carbon, which has recently emerged as a leading driver of climate change”. While the government has been asking existing LPG consumers to give up subsidies if they can afford to buy non-subsidized LPG, it has also promoted a scheme called the ‘‘PM Ujjwala Yojana” (PMUY) that aims at meeting the target of achieving universal clean cooking coverage.

In India, household electrification and provision of clean cooking fuel have been twin challenges, with the former having received priority over the latter. This has resulted in nearly 40% of our population being without access to clean cooking fuel. The situation in rural areas, with a significant section of the populace below the poverty line, is grim, and is changing quite slowly. The PMUY is expected to overcome this. Kerosene serves as cooking fuel for only 1% and 6% of the total rural and urban households, respectively. To address this grim picture, the National Energy Policy (NEP) plans to make this one of its most significant priorities so that it can suggest a robust strategy forward to provide clean cooking fuel for all in the quickest timeframe.

Kerosene contributes to lighting solutions in about 26% of rural households and for 4% of urban households. About 304 million Indians are still without access to electricity and the government of India thinks it would provide 100 per cent electricity to all rural people by 2019 through a scheme called Deen Dayal Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and to all people by 2022. However, there is still no clear strategy to address how fossil fuel subsidies will end because India’s reliance on coal fired power plants is not going to end soon.

On the oil and natural gas front as well, the government has ambitious plans to continue exploring those. Given India’s growing energy demands, reliance on imports and limited domestic fossil fuel resources, the country has ambitious plans to increase domestic oil & gas production and to exploit all possible forms of this energy to the fullest. Our Honorable Prime Minister has urged all stakeholders to increase the domestic production of oil and gas to reduce import dependence from 77 % to 67% by the year 2022.

Kirk Smith, in the above referred article (ref 5) argues that while there is some government financial support for LPG, it may be dwarfed today by how much public money is being spent to subsidize the other fossil fuels that are a big part of the dirty air epidemic. Smith further argues that the Indian government is paying twice for fuels that help pollute air: on the front end for the subsidies themselves, and then again for the litany of costs in terms of public health deterioration.

Way Ahead

India has miles to travel with regard to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. In fact, it seems nearly impossible in the near future. The government sees LPG as a cleaner fuel. But with a substantial part of India still out of the ambit of electricity connections, things will certainly take time. However, the government should come up with a concrete plan to phase out fossil fuels that is missing now. Such a plan should not only have a single window information system on all the subsidies being provided to both explorers/producers and consumers, but also incorporate the inter-linking of policies and programs that are aimed towards providing and/or ending subsidies. The current information system is lacking.

The health impacts of fossil fuel subsidies are slowly being realized by the government as more and more studies are coming forth. The government should therefore lay out a road map for ending fossil fuel subsidies linking them to renewable energy provisions and subsidies. Shelagh Whitley of the Overseas Development Institute, and co-author of the IISD-ODI-ICF study mentioned above in this report (ref. 3) highlights another important point about lack of transparency. According to Whitley, “though there have been significant positive changes in terms of a decline in India’s subsidies to oil and gas consumption, there is still very limited transparency in terms of subsidies provided to the energy sector. The road map to end fossil fuel subsidies needs to be transparent and needs to address equity issues. End of subsidies should not be done at the cost of the poor, marginalized and excluded communities of the country.”

Learn More

Global Subsidies Initiative Report: ‘India’s Energy Transition: Mapping subsidies to fossil fuels and clean energy in India’. International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 2017.
http://www.moneylife.in/article/india-provided-103-million-per-year-in-national-subsidies-to-oil-gas-and-coal-producers/44075.html
http://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/choose-health-end-fossil-fuel-subsidies/story-qIZUrkRkffuUAtukUapdQN.html
Draft National Energy Policy, Niti Ayog, Govt. of India, 2017.
Annual Report for 2016-2017, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt. of India.

India Survey

44 percent of Indians feel the rich countries needed to do more to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

In the report “Global Concern about Climate Change, Broad Support for Limiting Emissions” published in November 2015 by the US based Pew Research Center, 76% of Indians interviewed by the researchers recognized Climate Change as a serious problem. This report examined global public opinion about climate change based on 45,435 face-to-face, and telephone interviews in 40 countries with adults 18 and older conducted from March 25 to May 27, 2015.

In Asia, as the survey points out, on average 45% of people believed that climate change is a matter of big concern. At 76%, Indians feel it the most. The Philippines, with 72% of people finding it a huge concern, comes second. The Chinese, surveyed by the Pew Center, show the least concern at 18%.

44% of Indians feel the rich countries needed to do more to curb greenhouse gas emissions, 30% felt developing nations needed to do just as much. 67% said that climate change could best be addressed through lifestyle change compared to technological innovation. 24% voted technology as the first priority action compared to lifestyle change.

Among choices of energy sources, 44% of them voted for wind, solar and hydrogen. While 28% still preferred oil, coal and natural gas; just 4% preferred nuclear power.

India Strategies

India: (1) Strengthen country’s Paris Agreement pledge and bring it in line with India’s progressive emission reduction policies and programs, (2) Develop an integrated approach to emissions reduction by linking policies in different sectors, e.g. look at the impact of deforestation on the continued existence and spread of coal fired power plants.

Experts and organizations tracking India’s NDC commitments and its path to meet them believe that India has every likelihood of meeting its emissions reduction pledge years ahead of the committed timeframe. An assessment of India’s policies found significant change since 2016 as the country scaled back its coal power plants building plans. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) forecasts no new plants will be needed between 2022 and 2027. In a Draft National Electricity Plan (NEP), that was prepared in 2016, the govt. of India has proposed two five-year periods beginning in 2017 and 2022. The first period is expected to see completion of the plants already being built, and then the benefits of these plants will accrue in the second phase. After that, there will be no new plants, suggests the NEP.

The NEP mentions, “As coal based capacity of 50,025MW [50GW] is already under construction which is likely to yield benefits during 2017-22, this coal based capacity would fulfil the capacity requirement for the years 2022-27.” And during this same time, the NEP aims at adding 100GW of solar and wind power doubling India’s clean energy capacity. According to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), if the Draft Electricity Plan is implemented, India will achieve its NDC’s 2030 40% non-fossil capacity target before 2022, and will reach 57% by 2027.

India ‘s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets aim to lower the emissions intensity of GDP by 33%–35% by 2030 below 2005 levels, to increase the share of non-fossil based power generation capacity to 40% of installed electric power capacity by 2030 (equivalent to 26–30% of generation in 2030), and to create an additional (cumulative) carbon sink of 2.5–3 GtCO2e through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. Based on the NEP, the CAT calculates that India will significantly reduce its emissions and, by 2030, its emissions intensity will be 51–53% below 2005 levels, exceeding its NDC target.

With this as background, the strengthening of this can be done through making these plans integrated into India’s INDC, which they are currently not. In other words, the above developments are not yet reflected in the INDC. As the CAT puts it, “India’s Paris Agreement NDC commitment is therefore weaker than the actions resulting from current policies and is ripe for improvement. Neither the NDC nor current policies are ambitious enough to limit warming to below 2°C, let alone the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort”. India needs to build a robust linkage between all its emission reduction plans with the INDC in a transparent approach.

India needs to bring in a strong integrated approach of GHG emissions by linking all sectors. While the focus on reducing emissions from fossil fuels is essential and must be the major focus, the destruction of the environment due to the existing coal fired power plants and other industries have to be looked into in sync with this. Our national forest cover stands at 22% compared to the prescribed 33% by the National Forest Policy. The existing coal fired power plants and other industries are destroying huge chunks of natural forests and are polluting land and water resources. The country immediately needs to change and all existing plans for forest conservation and afforestation need to be strengthened making them more people and biodiversity oriented.

The government has an ambitious target of not building any new coal fired power plants between 2017-2022. However, their existing plans need more than 375,000 acres of land to build coal power plants and the associated infrastructure in addition to the land required for transmission lines. Water resources will be stressed and serious equity issues will arise. The government should therefore devise a proper plan to implement environmental legislation, land and forest reclamation programs, and implement the same with participation of local communities and other stakeholders. Rights of the resources to the indigenous communities can be one of the best ways to reduce GHGs from such development actions. These communities can bring back the lands and forests to their organic and natural condition using their traditional skills aided by proper green technologies.

Learn More

http://climateactiontracker.org/countries/india/2017.html

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/12/16/india-to-halt-building-new-coal-plants-in-2022/

Letter titled, “The Myths on the Relevance of Coal Energy and the Critical Need for Renewable Energy” written on 23rd August 2017 by Mr. Shankar Sharma, Power Policy Analyst to Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, New Delhi (accessed through personal correspondence)

India Renewable Energy

India—No 100% 2050 Commitment
Benchmark: Produce 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022

India has not made a commitment to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050. India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target is to reduce emissions intensity by 33%-35% by 2030 over 2005, achieving a 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in the electricity mix is aimed to above 40% by 2030.

Going by the latest Draft National Energy Policy (NEP), published in June 2017, India is proposing a multi-pronged strategy to fuel its economy growth. It seeks to increase the per capita consumption of electricity (a proxy for all energy forms) that is crucial for any country to achieve higher Human Development Index (HDI).

The draft NEP says that with nearly 304 million Indians without access to electricity, and about 500 million people still dependent on solid bio-mass for cooking, it may be acknowledged that the country has to still go a long way to reach its energy security objective. While India strives to achieve a double digit growth rate in its national income, making clean energy available to all of its citizens, ought to be included as a key component of the alleviation programs.

In 2015, India’s renewable energy accounted for 12% of India’s total installed power generation capacity, and approximately 5% of the total generation. The Government of India has set a very ambitious target (almost a fivefold increase) to reach a renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by 2022. 100 GW of this is planned to come through solar energy, 60 GW through wind energy, 10 GW through small hydropower, and 5 GW through biomass-based power projects. Of the 100 GW target for solar, 40 GW is expected to be achieved through deployment of decentralized rooftop projects, 40 GW through utility-scale solar plants, and 20 GW through ultra-mega solar parks. Considering these targets, renewables (solar, wind and hydro) will account for 10% of the total energy mix, by 2022 .

India has also set year-by-year targets, which chart a roadmap to achieve the 2022 goal. An analysis by World Resources Institute finds that in the year 2017 the country’s total installed renewable power capacity stands at 57 GW. This is more than double what the country had just four years ago. However, this is not enough if the country seriously wants to meet the 2022 target. For that, India needs to more than double the average increase in capacity from 11 GW per year currently to 24 per year.

 

India Success Project

India—The Jal Kranti Abhiyan (Water Movement Initiative)

Drought is nothing new in India. However, with changing climatic conditions, both the frequency and impact of it is increasing. The monsoon season that provides 80 per cent of the rainfall in the country, is witnessing a disturbing change, according to a 2014 study by the Stanford Woods Institute of Economics. According to this study, there is substantial variability within the monsoon season, including fluctuations between periods of heavy rainfall (wet spells) and low rainfall (dry spells). “These fluctuations can cause extreme wet and dry regional conditions that adversely impact agricultural yields and water resources. Sixty per cent of the population depends on agriculture, and monsoons script people’s lives.” Tapping the rainfall during the monsoon days is therefore the most resilient effort that Indian farmers, most of whom have small farms, can do to adapt to climate change.

The western region of Odisha State has been a resource-rich region and also a region with a long history of good and sustainable practices to manage these resources. One can easily find that one of the prime reasons for increasing frequency of drought is the neglect of the region’s traditional water-harvesting structures.

An initiative launched about a decade and half ago by Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO), a leading network of voluntary organizations, farmers and concerned citizens, is helping thousands of villagers restore their traditional water bodies in an ecologically sustainable approach. The initiative revives traditional rainwater harvesting structures and systems that are helping farmers in many villages to successfully fight drought. Hence, they are building resilience against climate change induced drought.

About 95% of the world’s farms are small-scale and two billion people depend on small farms for their livelihood. Small farmers of the world are always under tremendous pressure. They have taken to themselves a daunting task of feeding the world despite being poor themselves. Small land holding does not make them count as sufficient units to get necessary support from their respective governments, and nature’s vagaries affect them the most. To fight climate change, therefore, building resilience of the small farmers is most important. This initiative in Odisha is exactly doing that.

The Government of India has taken up several initiatives to fight drought and build climate resilience through promotion of water security in the villages. One such effort is Jal Kranti Abhiyan (Water Movement Initiative) that is helping to scale up initiatives being promoted by WIO and other civil society groups. Jal Kranti was launched by the Ministry of Water Resources in 2015. This initiative aims at converting one water scarce village in each district of the country into a water surplus village through a holistic and integrated approach that adopts conservation techniques. Activities proposed under this include rainwater harvesting, recycling of wastewater, micro irrigation for using water efficiently and a mass-awareness program. The goal is to build resilience through revival of traditional rainwater harvesting systems and ecological approaches related to them.

India’s INDC sets a goal of 175 gigawatts (GW) of generating renewable power capacity by 2022. The goal is to increase its share of non-fossil-based power capacity from 15% today to about 40% by 2030. This commits India to reduce its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by 33% to 35% below 2005 by 2030, and to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide through additional tree cover. It also prioritizes several efforts to build resilience to climate change impacts. The above efforts will contribute to the adaptation efforts through rainwater harvesting and help create carbon sinks through enhanced green cover. Most important, its components are replicable in the entire central highlands and hence it has the potential to contribute greatly to meeting India’s INDC pledges.

Learn More

The Key to a Food-Secure World : Small Farmers and Traditional Sustainable Practices, by Ranjan K Panda, TerraGreen Delhi, February 1, 2015.
How much wetland has the world lost? Long-term and recent trends in global wetland area, by Nick C. Davidson, Marine and Freshwater Research, CSIRO PUBLISHING 2014.
Kharamal – A Green Spot in a Brown Belt, by Ranjan K Panda, Yojana, July 2010.

Simple solutions to big water problems in Balangir; Ranjan K Panda, ‘InfochangeIndia’, November 2009.
Traditional Water Harvesting, the answer to western Orissa’s perennial drought woes; Ranjan K Panda, ‘The World Prout Assembly’, 2006
The Myth of Kalahandi, Richard Mahapatra and Ranjan Panda, ‘Down to Earth’, 30th March 2001.

India Checkup

India—Standing Still

The continuing rapid growth in renewable energy in India, combined with sustained reductions in coal imports and a slow down in coal development—with coal-fired “ultra-mega power projects” cancelled—is a strong indication that the low carbon transformation of India’s energy supply sector is gathering momentum.

Several recent articles in The Guardian and Financial Times seem to indicate that India is making significant decreases in its use of coal fired electricity. In 2016, new coal plant construction was down by 62%. However the effort to upgrade emissions technology in existing plants has stalled. Piyush Goyal, India’s Power Minister, told the Financial Times that India’s 132 existing coal power stations, three-quarters of which are owned by government will take some time to upgrade their facilities.

India’s Draft Electricity Plan confirms that no new coal capacity is needed after 2022, apart from the 50 GW that is already under construction and is likely to be ready by 2022. The Draft Electricity Plan further assumes that no gas fired capacity will be deployed after 2022 as the availability of natural gas is uncertain in India. Experts in the sector believe that until 2022, any private investment in fossil fuel energy production is unlikely. Near about 60,000 MW of under-construction projects face an uncertain future.  The Business Standard reported that about 25,000 MW of thermal power plants, belonging to private players, are on sale but there are no takers.  (Ref: http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/25-000-mw-power-projects-on-sale-but-buyers-missing-as-demand-remains-dull-117060400478_1.html)

Despite this good news Climate Tracker points out the continued tension between the development needs of a growing population and commitments to increased usage of renewable energy. Although India’s 2022 renewable energy target represents a rapid increase in renewable energy generation, this is not enough to keep up with growth in electricity demand. Between 2014 and 2030 under current policies, the estimate average annual growth rate for solar and wind power generation is around 3%—about half the growth rate of overall electricity production.

Learn More

Climate Tracker Analysis: http://climateactiontracker.org/countries/india.html
Financial Times article: https://www.ft.com/content/18268438-2e3e-11e7-9555-23ef563ecf9a
Guardian Article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/22/coal-power-plants-green-energy-china-india

India Emission Reduction Policy

National Action Plan on Climate Change

India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change was launched in June 2008 and is intended to run through 2017. It calls for a wide range of actions in different sectors intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Different Indian Government Ministries are responsible for implementing the NAPCC. However, it is unclear whether or not data in being collected to assess the impact on emissions reduction related to the work of each ministry.

The goals or missions of the NAPCC include: making solar energy competitive with fossil-based energy options; mandating specific energy decreases in large energy-consuming industries that is supported by the establishment of an emissions trading system; extending the existing Energy Conservation Building code; strengthening the enforcement of automotive fuel standards; seeking to achieve a 20% improvement in water use efficiency; expanding forest cover from 23 to 33% of India’s territory; the development of climate resilient crops; the retirement of inefficient coal-fired power plants, and related measures.

The NAPCC aims to help India leapfrog to a low carbon economy using high-end and emerging technologies. However, some experts criticize the plan for putting economic growth ahead of emission reductions, saying that the government is more concerned in prioritizing development and growth to alleviate poverty without having to worry about the volume of emissions created in doing so. This ambivalence between prioritizing emission reduction goals in the face of economic development is clearly stated in India’s INDC pledge to the Paris Agreement.

Presumably there will be an assessment of the impact of the NAPCC at the end of this year, perhaps before the COP 23 meeting in Bonn in November.

Learn More

“India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change,” Harshal T. Pandve, Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2822162/

India Extreme Weather Event

Extreme Flash Flooding in the Himalaya Region

An extreme climatic event in India that had a very devastating effect on the country was the Uttarakhand Flash Floods in the Himalayan region that occurred in June 2013. The floods had a huge impact on the environment and thousands of people were killed and property worth millions was destroyed.
As a result of these flash floods, Uttarakhand faced an unprecedented tragedy. It is feared that many thousands were killed and missing and that the state could take years to get back to normalcy. The root causes that increased the human tragedy include unchecked and unplanned infrastructure development along the rivers and development of hundreds of hydro projects in this fragile zone. The flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand of June 2013 decisively proved the absence of any preventive and mitigation measures. The post disaster relief response was equally poor—more than 70,000 people are reported missing.

An early warning system, effective evacuation plans, and a responsive disaster management system would have prevented a massive loss of precious life. But they weren’t in place. Relatively inexpensive radar-based cloudburst forecasting technology would have given a three-hour warning. Now, the Government of India has constituted an Committee for Eco restoration and climate change initiatives for the Fragile Himalayas.

The goals of the Committee are to:

– Minimize construction of Hydro power plants and dams
– Stop illegal construction of tunnels and hotels
– Curtail the Char Dham yatra (Spiritual Tourism) for three years so that repair and restoration can be carried out
– Reduce the rate of deforestation

Print Media

The Hindi is one of the oldest English newspapers in India. It has been published since 1889 and is the most influential English Daily that is appreciated by its readers throughout India. It is known for its language and style of delivering news keeping minute details.

Content Sample:
“Urbanization has not led to hotter summer days for Many Indian Cities”  http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/Urbanisation-has-not-led-to-hotter-summer-days
An editorial warning that the Paris Agreement may be too late can be found at http://www.thehindu.com/specials/in-depth/paris-summit-2015-tackling-climate-change/article7932769.ece

Contact: Main Publisher- N Ram and Editor is Mukund Padmanabhan Address-No- 859 and 860, Kasturi& Sons Building, Anna Salai, Mount Road, Chennai-600002 Ph- +91-04428576300, 04428415325
Website-  www.thehindu.com,  thehindu@thehindu.co.in.

Online Media

Channel Mountain Communications (CMC) is an internet URL as well as Broadcast channel for Uttarakhand, India. The prime motto of CMC is to restore, preserve and document land, people, ecology and the environment, addressing climate change, mitigation measures, carbon sequestration, history, and culture in the digital age. Since its establishment, CMC has been engaged in audio-visual and print production for public entertainment, education and mass awareness. It has provided its services to a number of government agencies of Uttarakhand, the Ministry of Environment, forest programs, non-governmental organizations, private institutions, and individuals at the state and national levels. CMC supports the Paris Agreement and feels that the Government of India should be more proactive in dealing with climate change issues.

Content Sample:
CMC Blog – www.channelmountain.blogspot.in

Contact: CMC JP PLAZA, Kargi Chowk
Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India; Mobile. – 09411530755
Email – cmcjp@rediffmail.comWebsite – www.channelmountain.com

India Subnational Best Practices

Regions/Provinces/States

Gujarat State Gandhinagar District—In the Gandhinagar district of Gujarat, an initiative has been taken by the Gujarat Ecology Commission, and the Forest Department to reduce greenhouse gases through the development of mangroves. Gujarat has introduced the Community Based Mangrove Management model. More than 15,000 ha of Mangrove plantation were carried out through the active involvement of local communities. In addition, Gujarat promoted a mangrove conservation plan. By keeping more mangroves intact, approximately 13 million metric tonnes, of carbon dioxide has been prevented from being released into the atmosphere. This is almost the equivalent to taking 344,000 vehicles off the road each year.

Contact
Dr. H.A. Solanki, Professor, Gujarat University
Telephone:  9898119766
Email: husolanji@yahoo.com
Arunachal Pradesh State—Arunachal Pradesh ranks among the lowest GHG emitting states of India. Less infrastructure development, low carbonization levels, high utilization of bio mass for energy and power generation from renewable sources (hydro), and the absence of industries are the major factors contributing to their low levels of GHG emissions. About 59 % of GHG emissions come from the energy category. The State is undertaking carbon sink enhancement projects that will cover 1.747 million hectares with an intention to increase forest cover and eco-restoration of degraded forests. The annual incremental carbon sink enhancement potential is estimated to be 20.6 million tonnes of carbon or about 75 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020.

Contact
Sri Bilatee Pertin, IAS- Secretary, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh
Mail:  Secretary to Governor / Secretary (Planning), Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Raj Bhawan, Itanagar-791111
Telephone: 2006201, or, 9436271271
Email: cs-arunachal@nic.in

Cities

Madurai, Tamil Nadu—Madurai is also one of the five cities declared to be the least polluted in India by the World Health Organization (WHO). Although vehicular emissions have increased, coping strategies are also improving.

Bengaluru—Bengaluru stands in the 43rd position in the same ranking with a RSPM count of 71mg/cubic meter. The city has also topped the charts for becoming one of the safest places for patients with respiratory problems due to the commendable quality of their air.

Agartala, Tripura—Agartala lies in the North-east as the capital of Tripura. The city is lush green with a good amount of carbon dioxide absorbing agents. Its pollution free air is one of the reasons that it attracts tourists from big cities.