Climate change is today regarded as an urgent issue to be dealt at the international, national and local levels. India has also recognized the need to take urgent measures to deal with the issue and several efforts in developing technologies and market mechanisms are ongoing.
However, climate change concerns are rarely if not ever considered in the environmental decision making process especially during the process of evaluating and grant of approval to range of projects. On a average over a year 800 projects related to mining, power projects and other infrastructure projects are approved by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and in none of the approvals are climate concerns even find a mention. Therefore there is not much to say anything about mitigation.
This assumes significance in view of India’s path to achieve a high growth rate is heavily dependent on use of fossil fuels. This will be dependent on development and expansion of extractive industries. Patently Climate ‘unfriendly’ projects in the form of coal and gas fired thermal power plants exponentially increasing emissions the ever expanding coal, bauxite and iron ore mining into the forest rich and last remaining forests of the Western Ghats, central and eastern India virtually undermines all other national efforts in sequestration. Valuable natural forests have been lost (over 25,000 Sq Km of dense forest in last two years FSI report of 2005) due to hydropower projects as well as mining. Read More