Need global coordination to tackle climate change: Environment Minister
Addressing the CEEW’s (Council on Energy, Environment and Water) National Dialogue on How can India lead a sustainable cooling transition, the minister said that those bearing the most severe brunt of climate change are the ones who made the least contribution to it.
Taking a swipe at developed countries, the minister said that the least developed countries are being forced to divert their resources to fight climate change “despite not having been primary exploiters of Planet Earth".
“We cannot overcome this problem unless we join hands and support each other nationally and globally."
Talking on the cooling transition as several parts of the country have of late witnessed heat waves, the minister said that we need ways to ensure sustainable thermal comfort for our people, especially who do not have the means for it.
Cooling has become a developmental need linked with achieving Sustainable Development Goals, the minister added.
According to a report by ‘Sustainable Energy For All’, globally there are over 1.1 billion people living in hot climate who face immediate risks from lack of access of cooling.
“If we cannot protect the labourer who is building roads, highways, metro networks and malls for us, how do we expect to attain development. They have as much a right to comfortable and sustainable cooling as any of us because we are all one and equal."
The minister said that closing the cooling access gaps of vulnerable population is essential for economic growth and development. Cooling Action Plans have been globally recognised as an important policy initiative which can help in climate action and achievement of sustainable development goals.
India is one of the first countries to launch a comprehensive Indian Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) in 2019. “The plan lists a long-term vision to address the cooling requirements of India across sectors such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries."
ICAP is based on the concept of synergies between various sectors of the economy, between conventional and alternate forms of cooling, between comfort and sustainability and between national and international priorities.
Controlling emissions is a step which is largely under control nationally, the minister added. ICAP lists out action plans which can help reduce the cooling demand which will help in reducing both direct and indirect emissions.
“The plan envisages the use of renewable and alternative energy technologies for cooling. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) has realised that sustainable solar energy has potential to add far-reaching value to the cold chain infrastructure. ISA has launched the “ISA Solar Cooling Initiative (ISCI)"."
Domestic manufacturing in the cooling sector needs a boost. Air Conditioning manufacturing has been identified as one of the three key sectors to focus on for domestic manufacturing, Yadav said.
“Sustainable cooling is at the intersection of three international multilateral agreements viz. Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030," the minister said.