About the Agreement
India, over the last few decades, has witnessed significant growth in population, increased industrial production and income, rising middle class population, and rapid urbanization. This has substantially impacted India's resource consumption patterns, requirement of energy and resources, as also the related environmental implications. Against this backdrop, sustaining an 8%–10% growth rate over the next 25 years and pursuing its sustainable development and poverty alleviation goals is a daunting challenge for India. The challenge is further magnified by risks posed by climate change. There is, thus, an urgent need for an increased understanding of these dynamics at multiples levels and sectors to enable the design of measures that enable/ accelerate the transition towards clean energy and efficiency in resource use, and promote an informed debate and awareness on related issues. These measures would necessarily need to build on the synergies between addressing climate change and sustainable development at various scales and levels. This will require the development and application of various tools and models to study the various socio-economic and environmental changes and their implications at the national and sub-national scales.
The Government of India recognizes the challenges in dealing with climate change and pursuing sustainable development and has emphasized on efficient resource utilization as a key intervention strategy. It has provided a thrust to clean and renewable energy supply and has accordingly set up a target of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022; including 40 GWp of grid connected rooftop solar energy systems. With the intent of tapping the energy saving potential across sectors, apart from the Energy Conservation Act, National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), and Integrated Energy Policy, specific policies have been formulated and notified, targeting energy efficiency improvements in high energy consuming industrial sub-sectors. Also, the Government of India has released the India Smart Grid Vision document which emphasizes on the need for preparing a state/utility specific smart grid implementation roadmap. The government’s vision of moving towards 100 smart cities is yet another step forward in tapping synergies in resource and energy efficiency as the country furthers its sustainable development mandate.
This Framework Agreement on Climate Change and Sustainable Development seeks to build on and strengthen the India–Norway co-operation initiated during the first phase extending from 2008–2013 and help to further progress India’s plans and programmes. The first phase made possible focussed research on energy & climate issues and was able to provide several policy relevant inputs to various missions of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in the areas of clean energy, climate change, and energy security. An Earth Systems Model was set up to enhance the understanding of impacts of climate change on India and build both institutional and technical capacities on climate modelling. Capacities were also built outside the organization through yearly research schools and regular attendance at research schools by over 100 participants in all. Besides, this phase provided an improved assessment of the co-benefits presented by clean energy to address both climate change and energy security, allowed estimation of the inequality in energy access in India, and provided useful insights into factors influencing usage patterns of appliances and fuels in rural areas across various states, which could assist in effective design of strategies and models for accelerating the transition towards clean energy access. Research on the climate-water-energy nexus contributed to new knowledge and understanding of the complex linkages in this domain, providing important insights to researchers and planners. During the first phase, several capacity building and training workshops were conducted and over 30 events were organized at different scales ranging from the local to international levels to ensure wide dissemination of the findings of the research and ensure stakeholder participation and sensitization at various stages of the activities.
The Framework Agreement on Climate Change and Sustainable Development is envisaged as the next phase of the earlier co-operation between the two countries and is intended to extend over a 3-year period from 2016–2019. It seeks to provide a further thrust to research activities that closely align with government priorities, address knowledge gaps, and support research that would accelerate the implementation of various policies and programmes in the context of climate change and sustainable development. The Framework Agreement would facilitate cooperation at national as well as sub-national scales within India and collaboration with research institutions abroad, including those in Norway, wherever required. With India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) target of reducing emission intensity of GDP by 33%–35% from 2005 levels and increasing non-fossil electricity generating systems to reach 40% of the cumulative installed capacity, there was a fresh emphasis on supporting achievement of these targets through the activities to be conducted under the collaboration. The Framework Agreement consists of work packages under the three thematic areas:
- Sustainability and clean energy
- Climate change, and
- Low-carbon and resource efficient growth