Optimise Use of Mini-Dams For Sustainable Energy, Sen. Gobir Advises FG


‎By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

‎Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir, the Senator representing Sokoto East senatorial zone has called on Nigerian Federal government to optimise use of the existing mini dams across the country in order to heighten the electricity access of all Nigerians.

The senator, who is also a‎ chartered electrical engineer, told Newsdiaryonline in an exclusive interview that off-grid energy was an area that was worth looking into.‎

According to him, “I believe that off-grid energy is an area we should be looking at with great zeal. For me, this is what Buhari administration should start with. Everywhere that we have these mini dams, there is the possibility of generating certain amount of megawatts of electricity,” he said.‎‎
He expressed that the Goronyo, Bakalori and Jibia mini dams in Sokoto, Zamfara and‎ Katsina states, respectively could generate electricity that would make every community have access to power without having recourse to national grid.  

“In Goronyo dam, we can generate more than 35 megawatts (mw) of electricity and the total requirement of electricity for Sokoto is about 52MW of energy. So, we can generate 35 from the mini dam, all we require from the grid of a mere 17MW.

“The Bakalori mini dam at Talatan Mafara in Zamfara state is much bigger than Goronyo dam and can generate about 45 to 50MW. It means that these mini dams can serve as adequate source of electricity, off-grid. 

“Jibia dam in Katsina state too can generate a reasonable amount of electricity without relying on the failed hydro dams,” Gobir stressed.‎‎

He opined that what the federal government should do is to ensure that all lakes and dams are assessed to ascertain their capabilities of generating electricity. “I think what the government should do is to ensure that wherever we have a lake or dam; we should assess them and find out their capacity to generate electricity.”‎‎

Gobir also suggested the exploration of coal as another source of generating electricity in the country.‎

Insecurity: Sokoto To Conduct Census Of Home Owners, Tenants in Sokoto


By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

In order to keep comprehensive records and ensuring the true identity of home owners and tenants in Sokoto state, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has said that state government would compel home owners to make proper documentation of tenants.

T‎he measure, viewed as necessary in view of the precarious security situation in the country, would also avail ‎such information to security agencies for monitoring and necessary checks when the need arises.

The Governor spoke when Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar paid the traditional sallah homage to him at the Presidential Lodge in Sokoto on Sunday.

While assuring that every necessary step would be taken to enhance security and stability of the state, Tambuwal added that his “government will give priority attention to key sectors like education, healthcare delivery, agriculture, youth empowerment and social welfare‎ development,” stressing that in agriculture, his administration would utilise the Goronyo and Wurno dams ‎to enhance irrigation and dry season farming.

Speaking earlier, Sultan Abubakar advised the government to introduce school shuttle service in all public schools to ease transportation challenges faced by students.

He also urged the governor to introduce favourable policies that would assist traders and other private entrepreneurs in the state.

In a related development, Governor Tambuwal told members of the State Residents Association, who visited him at the Government House on Sunday that ‎his government would not discriminate against children of non-indigenes in all its schools.‎

CSE welcomes draft Renewable Energy Act and will send suggestions to Ministry


CSE endorses Act which says local communities should share benefit from RE

Decentralised distributed generation is part of the Act

A few areas need clarity and further definition

NEW DELHI, July 16: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the draft National Renewable Energy Act and has made a few suggestions which it will share with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). “The draft Act emphasizes that RE should be mainstreamed by offering financial incentives and infrastructural support to manufacturers and developers so as to bring RE on the same level playing field as fossil fuels,” said CSE’s Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan.
Bhushan pointed out that the current draft was an amalgamation of the proposals that were sent by the members of the Expert Committee, which included CSE. “There are some aspects of the draft Act that are appreciable whereas some are missing from the draft,” said Bhushan.
For the people
Distributed renewable energy generation and energy access have been given special emphasis in the Act along with promotion of decentralised (small-scale units) and stand-alone renewable energy applications (such as heating and cooling) in rural and urban areas. The issues with large-scale deployment of distributed renewable energy have been addressed in the draft – especially related to grid connectivity and technical and safety measures. The draft also mentions that these decentralised distributed generation RE plants can charge the consumers a reasonable tariff. “The word ‘reasonable’ leaves the matter hanging as it is to be decided by the developer,” said Bhushan.
The draft Act mentions that there will be a process for an informed local consent for projects through a letter. It also mentions plans to devise a structure for revenue/benefit-sharing with the community. CSE endorses this stand and had, in its publication, State of Renewable Energy in India, stated that “RE must benefit the local community. Communities must have the first right over the electricity from renewable sources and they must benefit from the installation of renewable energy on their land.”
For the industry
The ministry plans to identify and develop RE investment zones to meet the goals that would be mentioned under the National RE Development Plan. The term ‘RE investment zones’ have been mentioned throughout the draft but it fails to address what this means – whether it is physical zones like solar parks or special economic zones or whether these are areas of project development as in plants, transmissions, etc. “There is a need for more clarity in this space,” said Bhushan.
The draft has expanded the components that can be part of the renewable purchase obligation (RPO), a small percentage of power consumption has to be procured from RE sources. All large-scale RE generation and off-grid systems based on RE providing electricity or equivalent services would be eligible to meet RPO. A penalty has been announced for non-compliance as well.
For the environment
The draft specifies that the best practices for streamlining project permits, clearances and institutional structure will be adopted. “Although the draft says that that renewable energy development should take place in a sustainable manner, there are very few indicators to ensure environmental protection,” said Bhushan. It does not explicitly say how ecologically sensitive areas will be treated or how Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) will be done for RE projects.
While the draft tries to remove barriers for industry be it providing low-cost financing for developers or help in evacuating the generating power, it also addresses the woes of those 300 million who do not have access to electricity in the country by providing them decentralised solutions or off-grid in some cases.

“CSE will send comments on the draft and we do hope that the final version of the Act will not have any gaps which will ensure that the share of renewable energy increases every year in the energy mix,” said Bhushan.
For further information, please contact Anupam Srivstava, asrivastava@cseindia.org, 99100 93893

GM And Seed Industry Eye West Africa’s Lucrative Cowpea Seed Market – ACB


The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has today released a new report titled, GM and seed industry eye Africa’s lucrative cowpea seed markets: The political economy of cowpea in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Malawi.  The report shows a strong interest by the seed industry in commercialising cowpea seed production and distribution in West Africa, where a very lucrative regional cowpea seed market is emerging. Cowpea, one of the most ancient crops known to humankind, with its centre of origin in Southern Africa, provides the earliest food for millions of Africans during the ‘hungry season’ before cereals mature.

The report argues that the GM cowpea push in Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana co-incides with this strong interest from multinational and local seed companies to produce foundation and certified seed in West Africa. 

Commercialising Seed Production

According to Mariam Mayet of the ACB, “There is a corporate push backed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the G8 New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition to harmonise seed laws and intellectual property rights legislation on the basis of the Union for the Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV) 1991. This push seeks to create regional markets for crops that otherwise would not have the economies of scale for corporate investment. Corporate investment in regional seed markets relies on varieties being released onto regional lists and that are immediately made available at national levels without further trials. It is within this context that the push for the harmonisation of seed laws at regional levels must be understood.”

According to the ACB, the danger of commercialisation of seed production is that it is accompanied by the locking out of smallholder farmers from seed production and distribution- essential life processes in African agriculture. Farmers will be transformed from active participants in the cowpea value chain, to mere passive consumers of expensive certified seed produced elsewhere. 

The GM cowpea push 

The pro-GM organisation, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), is spearheading a GM cowpea project aimed at commercially growing  Bt cowpea in Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso. Field trials of the Bt cowpea underway in Nigeria and Burkina Faso are at advanced stages, with commercialisation expected in 2016/17. The GM cowpea project is funded by USAID, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Rockefeller Foundation. The GM cowpea contains the Cry1Ab Bt gene developed by Monsanto. The genetic engineering of the Bt cowpea was conducted by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, previously involved in a biosafety scandal.

GM cowpea threatens food sovereignty

Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje of Environment Rights Action Nigeria concurs with the ACB report that the the introduction of GM cowpea “will pose a serious threat to food sovereignty in West Africa where cowpea occupies a clearly defined social, economic, nutritional and agro-ecological niche. Cowpea connects agriculture to the local environment; consumers to locally produced healthy foods; and farmers to productive resources such as locally enhanced seeds. The commercialisation of cowpea seed production in Africa will dislocate such a locally interconnected system.”

Reductionist solution

The GM cowpea is engineered to be resistant to the Maruca legume pod borer on the basis that “farmers in West Africa have identified Maruca insects as major problems in cowpea production.” 

However, according to the ACB report, farmers are confronted with a myriad of agronomic and post-harvest challenges. The Bt solution responds only to one narrow aspect of production (pod borer), and it requires a significant increase in input cost, despite viable methods of biological control already in practice amongst farmers.

Dangerous opening for commercialising seed production

According to Bern Guri of CIKOD in Ghana, “Traditional farming practices based on recycling farm-saved seed and the use of locally-adapted seed varieties are threatened by a transgenic variety of cowpea that would set a precedent for the systematic commodification of cowpea seeds. Farmers can ill afford the costs of GM seeds and the associated agro-chemical inputs required by the use of these seeds. The high prices that characterise the GM technological package will contribute to jeopardising already fragile socio-economic systems.”

Risk to human health and environment

Bright Phiri from Commons for EcoJustice in Malawi, is also concerned that the Bt cowpea has been developed using the Cry1Ab gene, the same gene contained in Monsanto’s GM maize event, MON810. According to Phiri “the health risks associated with MON810 have been clearly established and are deeply concerning.”

The report also cautions that the Bt-gene will escape from domesticated to wild and cultivated cowpea, which will trigger unknown and irreversible adverse ecological impacts. 

Socially just and ecologically sustainable solutions 

The report concludes that rather than promoting a tragically flawed agricultural development model that brings enormous risks, solutions are to be found in more sustainable social, economic and agro-ecological food production systems.  The ACB continues to insist that an equitable and sustainable solution to seed production and distribution can only come from direct engagement with farmers and their organisations to ensure their active involvement in these activities. 



Mariam Mayet:mariam@acbio.org.za
Bern Guri: guribern@gmail.com
Mariann Bassey-Orovwujemariann@eraction.org
Bright Phiri: bmphiri@live.com

Notes to Editors:

1. In Ghana, the validity of the field trials are being vehemently disputed by Food Sovereignty Ghana, who has applied to court for an interdict to stop the commercial release of inter alia, GM cowpea in that country. An application for the first trial is still pending in Malawi, which has similarly come under strong attack by civil society in that country.‎

Painting The Picture of Tambuwal’s Cabinet


By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The delay by Sokoto state’s Governor Aminu Tambuwal to form his cabinet has triggered debate as to the calibre of persons that would, at the end of selection, become members of the Executive Council (EXCO) of the state.

While party faithfuls want the governor to consider members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who not only joined in the campaign train but also supported the party to succeed at the last election. To be of more considered, some others posit, are the ‘political investors’ who spent their money for Tambuwal to become governor.

Others best still, see as quintessential the need for him to grant rights of nomination of such EXCO members to those that could, rightly or wrongly, be described as his ‘god-fathers’.

I think neither of those positions are wrong. All party supporters have the right to ask to partake directly or indirectly in the administration of the state. This could be as a payoff for their support. So also, the ‘political investors’ would want to reap from their ‘investments’. More again, the ‘god-fathers’ would want to reaffirm their political prowess by ‘planting’ their own in positions of prominence. They would want to dictate to Tambuwal who holds what position.

Worthy of note however, is the stake of the multitudes of the people of Sokoto state, without whose votes the individual support and private investment would count to nothing. Those categories of people had to resort to the electorate to the elections. It means therefore that, since the electorates down there cannot nominate anyone for any position, they have the right to governance that is a product of credibility.

In retrospect, Tambuwal promised good governance for the people of the state; one “that would transform Sokoto to greater heights.” While good governance is attainable, it is possible ONLY and ONLY if selfish quests are quenched.

For Sokoto to attain greater heights truly requires good governance. But good governance can only be attained through selfless leadership – one that is composed of qualified hands that would professionally give their best in the various ministries, department and agencies they find themselves. To achieve good governance requires extra planning, strategies and ‘I-don’t-mind-what-you-think-or-say’ kind of attitude while making appointments into your cabinet.
Mr. Governor, you must ensure that you put round or square pegs in round or square holes. For that, ministries like health, agriculture, finance, education, works and housing, environment, information, etc should have a doctor,  an agriculturist, an accountant/banker, educationist/academic, an engineer/architect, environmentalist, journalist/communication expert, etc.

Service delivery can only be achieved when professionals exert their wealth of experience and expertise in manning such ministries. Since only lawyers are appointed as commissioners in the justice ministries, i don’t see any justification appointing an engineer as a commissioner for the health ministry. Sokoto state have indigenes that are professionals out there, including those in the academic circle. Mr. Governor sir, go for them. Professional politicians should be assigned to do some other things.

While you may want to have friends in your cabinet, such should be qualified to hold the positions. They should be there not because they are friends, but because they merit to be there. Friends must not be seen contributing to your failure. Good governance has been your major campaign slogan. In your post election speeches too, you have continued to reiterate your resoluteness  to deliver Sokoto from both social and economic ills.

Again, much as you or some people would want you to reappoint those that had served in other administrations, they must be seen to have served meritoriously in the past. However, recycling public servants breeds corruption and much as there are several other untested capable hands, it will only be wise to extend requests of service to others. Positions are not meant to be recycled, otherwise others won’t have the opportunity to contribute their quota for the development of the state.

You did it at the House of Representatives when as Speaker, you appointed heads of House committees and other Aides based on merit. Those succeeded in the discharge of their duties up to the time you left.

New Cotton Variety Proves Positive In Northern Ghana


By Abdallah el-Kurebe

A new variety of Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) Cotton, which underwent trial in northern Ghana has proved successive, Dr. Emmanuel Chamba, a scientist at the Yam and Cotton Breeding Programme of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), has confirmed.

The trial of the Bt cotton, which was carried out in the three northern regions of the country was done by growing a non-Bt cotton along side the Bt cotton. “What we did was that we had a quarter hectare Bt cotton and a quarter hectare non-Bt cotton lying side by side. We did that in six locations in the three northern regions,” he said. 

Chamba in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra about the confined field trials of the crop in the country, said that although the results were positive necessary procedures would be carried out in order to get the Bt cotton seeds commercialised. 

“The farmers are eager for the seeds to plant because of the high yields and the cost-effectiveness involved, but ours is to do the investigations and present the findings to the National Biosafety Authority for advice on the way forward,” he said.
It has been reported that some farmers from the three northern regions have sidestepped the regulatory system by planting Bt cotton seeds, which they brought from Burkina Faso. The seeds, the report further reveals were recording positive yields in spite of the trials that are being undertaken to ensure that all the safety precautions were undertaken to avoid any negative impact on the environment. 

Farmers that are already involved in planting the Bt cotton posit that in view of the fact that Ghana and Burkina Faso share the same climate conditions, the need to drag the process did not arise. They therefore “call for the processes to be fast-tracked to have the seeds released before the end of the year.”

Chamba also confirmed farmers’ anxiousness to get the Bt cotton seeds on seeing that the trials in the six locations were positive. “But like I said, we had to ask them to calm down to have the processes completed and for the National Biosafety Authority to take a decision on the commercialisation,” he said. 

Explaining the processes for the trial of the variety, Dr Chamba said that while trying the variety, “we sprayed the Bt cotton two times only as compared to the six times we did for the non-Bt (conventional) cotton.

“So with the Bt, it proved how farmers can cut down their spraying cost; how they will also reduce the impact of the chemicals on their environment and again how farmers will be able to save time,” he explained. 

Comparing the yield of the Bt cotton with the conventional one, Chamba said: “In fact, in all the locations we tried, the yield of the Bt cotton was higher than the conventional one with the exception of one location where the farmer could not go according to instructions.”

He added that because very little cotton was being grown in Ghana, the production of cotton was not as expected, even though, he further said, government was making attempts to revive it. 

“Some zoning of the production sector was done and three companies; Amajaro Cotton Company, Wienco Cotton Company and Olam were selected,” Chamba said adding that the companies had pulled out.

“Unfortunately, there is no production; only Wienco is attempting because it has put cotton under its maize programme,” he stressed.

Chamba assured that the Bt cotton seed was still under investigation at the research institute because “you cannot bring GM cotton seed and start planting as per our laws.” 

We Have Challenges of Human Resources, Access To Healthcare Services, Tambuwal Tells Confesses


By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state has said that human resources and access to healthcare services were some of the challenges that have beleaguered the state over the years.

He spoke on Thursday at the opening of USAID/TSHIP End of Project Dissemination Meeting that marks the end of the five-year partnership programme between Sokoto State government and United States of America. 

While commending US government for the various development programmes, which include Immunization Basics, TSHIP, NEI, LEAD, Engender Health, and MSH, among many others, Tambuwal ‎noted that “like in many other states in Nigeria, the health systems in Sokoto state need to be strengthened in order to function at their optimum‎.

“In Sokoto, we face the challenges of human resources, access to healthcare services and supplies.”

According to him, the challenges have resulted in high maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, low immunization coverage, low ante natal attendance and high ‎home deliveries.

“As a result of these challenges, the state government will take over the funding of the Community-Based Health Volunteer programme,” Tambuwal said adding that the sum N9.3 million was being spent monthly on the Volunteers.

He further said the Ministry of Health would expedite action on the take-off of Community Midwifery training programme as well as develop a Marshall plan for the training of 3000 community midwives.

According to the governor, efforts were ‎being made to reduce concentration of health workers in few health facilities in urban local government areas to reach out to other facilities in rural areas.

Tambuwal restated the commitment of the state government to “strengthen health systems by procuring additional life-saving drugs and commodities that include‎ misoprostod, chlorhexidine, SP, magnesium sulphate as well as Amoxicilin D.T. and oral rehydration salt and zinc.”

He stressed that the Ministry would be directed to update the state government on routine immunization and maternal child health. ‎In the same vein, in order to achieve 30 percent coverage in routine immunization in the next four years, “we shall continue to track other indicators that are tracked at the national level, including number of deliveries, ante natal care attendance, current use of contraceptives and malaria prevention in pregnancy.”

He reiterated government’s readiness to continue to partner with USAID and other donor agencies to enable the state surmount the problems that threaten the health systems.

Sokoto Partners USAID For Development


By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

Sokoto State Government has expressed her preparedness to partner with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for developing the state.

‎Speaking when he received the USAID Mission Director, Michael Harvey at Government House, Sokoto on Wednesday, Governor Aminu Tambuwal said that the state government was ready to ‎collaborate with the Agency in the areas of education, social development, business development, healthcare development, agriculture, etc.

He emphasised that the state government was working for the removal of all legal impediments for accelerated healthcare development. 

‎Tambuwal specifically requested for USAID’s intervention in the areas of healthcare delivery, job creation, training and retraining of manpower,  agriculture and other sectors.

Harvey earlier said that Sokoto State was facing challenges ‎in the areas of education and healthcare services.

“We look forward to helping Sokoto government so that changes would be seen on the lives of the people,” he said.

CSE PRESS RELEASE: China To Cut Carbon Emission


Chinese INDCs, although ambitious, will not keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, says CSE
China has announced its pledge to cut carbon emissions before the Paris climate meeting to be held at the end of this year.
The INDCs are less ambitious compared to the pledges it had made in Cancun in 2010, but are more ambitious than the ones submitted by US and EU. It could have done more to reduce its emissions, says CSE.
In 2030, China’s total GHG emissions would be 16-17 billion tonnes and its per capita emissions would be 12 tonnes – both four times larger than that of India.
The INDCs put out by big polluters – China, US and EU – indicate that the sum total by all countries will not add up to limit global temperature rise by 2OC.
The Paris deal, like the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, is likely to push the world to temperature increase trajectory of 4-5 degrees Celsius.
India should put out INDCs that are based on equity and fairness.
NEW DELHI, July 1: In a major development, China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). INDCs are the voluntary pledges that countries are making to cut carbon pollution ahead of the big climate change meeting in Paris at the end of the year. The Paris climate meeting is supposed to come out with a new global deal to tackle climate change from 2020 onwards.
In its INDCs, China has pledged to peak its carbon emissions latest by 2030 and then start reducing it. It has pledged to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 60-65 per cent compared with 2005 levels by 2030. It has also agreed to raise the share of non-fossil fuels to 20 per cent of its primary energy mix by 2030 and increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters on the 2005 level by 2030.
China more ambitious than the US and EU
According to the estimations done by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), China’s INDCs are more elaborate and ambitious than the ones put out by the US and the EU. China will have 30 per cent lower GHG emissions – about 6.5 billion tonnes less – than the Business as Usual (BAU) Scenario in 2030. In comparison, the US will cut its emissions only about 2 billion tonnes per year in 2030 from its BAU scenario.
“In BAU scenario, China would have emitted 22 billion tonnes of carbon pollution in 2030, but now it will emit about 16-17 billion tonnes. This is a significant reduction,” says Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE.
China has also pledged to install 200 gigawatts of wind power and 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2020. These are many more times of what the US plans to install during this period.
China could have done more
CSE’s analysis, however, also points to the fact the INDCs of China are less ambitious compared to what China had pledged to do till 2020 under the Cancun agreement. Under the Cancun Agreement in 2010, China had pledged to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 40-45 per cent compared to 2005 by 2020. Now, it has pledged to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 60-65 per cent compared to 2005 by 2030. So, China will be reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by less than half the rate during 2020-2030 period, compared to 2010-2020 period, says the CSE analysis.
China had pledged to have 15 per cent non-fossil fuel in its energy mix by 2020. Now it has pledged to raise the share of non-fossil fuels to 20 per cent of its primary energy mix by 2030. So, an increase of mere 5 per cent from 2020 to 2030 is not exactly “ambitious”.
Although it is doing more than the US and EU, China’s total emissions in 2030 will still be very high. It will be about four times more than India’s. China’s per capita emissions in 2030 will be about 12 tonnes, similar to the US, but again four times higher than India. “Such large emissions are not in line with keeping the global temperature rise within manageable limits,” says Bhushan.
Towards 4-5 degrees Celsius temperature rise
With the announcements of INDCs by China, the US and the EU – the top three polluters – it is now clear that the INDCs will not add up to limit global temperature rise by 2 degrees Celsius. The recently released report of the IPCC mentions that the world needs to cut its emissions between 40 and 70 per cent below 2010 levels by 2050 to stay within the 2 degrees Celsius temperature increase pathway. The INDCs put out so far will not allow the world to meet this benchmark.

“From our analysis, it is quite clear that the Paris deal, like the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, is likely to keep the world to a temperature increase trajectory of 4-5 degrees Celsius,” says Bhushan.
Reality check for India
The world is now eagerly waiting for India’s INDCs. The big question is what stance India will take. Will it follow the likes of US and China or carve out a different path for itself?
CSE experts believe that India should now work harder with developing countries and push for an ambitious global deal which is fair and equitable and saves the world from catastrophic climate impacts. “India should put out INDCs that are based on equity and fairness. This is the only way we shame big polluters to reduce their emissions which are in line with the planetary limits,” says Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE.
CSE experts have recommended to the government that India should put out two kinds of INDCs:
Unconditional INDCs: Under this, India should agree to do all it can with its own resources. These INDCs should be based on principles of equity. The government has already announced ambitious solar and wind energy targets. Under Green India Mission, the government has also pledged to increase forest/tree cover to the extent of 5 million hectares (mha) and improve the quality of forest/tree cover on another 5 mha of forest/non-forest lands. It should also announce targets to reduce emissions intensity of GDP by 2030.

Under the Cancun Agreement, India had pledged to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 20-25 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020. CSE experts believe that reducing the emissions intensity by 40 per cent by 2030 compared to the 2005 levels is achievable. All these are co-benefit agenda as they would reduce energy consumption, reduce air and water pollution, reduce import bill of the fossil fuels and improve environment quality.

Conditional INDCs: Under this, India should pledge to do more than what is demanded by the principle of equity, provided developed countries give finance and technology support to India. CSE experts believe that under this, India can double or even triple its targets for renewable energy, setup programme for super efficient appliances, set targets for public transport and electric vehicles, double its target for afforestation, pledge to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 60 per cent by 2030, etc.

“All these will move Indian economy decisively towards low carbon growth path which will pave the way for more sustainable and equitable development in the country,” adds Narain.
 Anupam Srivastava, asrivastava@cseindia.org