Climate change is certainly a matter already covered in the environmental impact assessment, the NGT said on Wednesday as it disposed of a 9-year-old girl’s petition alleging inaction by the Centre to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.
The green tribunal was hearing a plea filed by a resident of Uttarakhand Ridhima Pandey through her legal guardians seeking directions to Ministry of Environment and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to take effective, science-based action to reduce and minimize the adverse impacts of climate change in the country.\
A bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the authorities acting under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, have to perform their obligation of impact assessment as per statutory scheme which is not under challenge.
“In this view of the matter, we do not consider it necessary to issue any direction under section 14 and 15 of the National Green Tribunal, Act, 2010. There is no reason to presume that Paris Agreement and other international protocols are not reflected in the policies of the Government of India or are not taken into consideration in granting environment clearances,” the bench said.
Quoting a report titled, “Trends in Global CO2 Emissions: 2016 Report”, the petition had contended that India emitted 7 per cent of the total global CO2 emissions (2.3 billion tons), making it the third most climate polluting country in the world.
“India is one of the most vulnerable countries to adverse climate change impacts, and the people of India are already experiencing adverse climate change impacts across the country. These include rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and adverse impacts due to rising temperatures,” it had said.
The 2017 petition had also said that the CPCB has been inconsistent with its objectives even after announcing several measures to tackle climate change.
“As per the 34th Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India titled ‘Performance Audit on Renewable Energy Sector in India Union Government, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’, it was reported that the Central Government had failed to meet its targets for scaling up the use of renewable energy sources under the NAPCC.
“The NAPCC envisages raising renewable energy sources to 8 per cent of the national energy mix for electricity by 2012-13 and 9 per cent by 2013-14. However, as per the CAG report, the national achievement for the purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources in those 2 years was only 4.28 per cent and 4.51 per cent, respectively,” it said.