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Climate Change, Green House Gases (GHG) & Clean Development (CDM)

Recognizing that climate change is a global challenge, India is faced with the challenge of sustaining its rapid economic growth while dealing with the global threat of climate change. This threat emanates from accumulated green house emissions in the atmosphere, anthropogenically generated through long term and intensive industrial growth and high consumption life styles in developed countries. Climate change may alter the distribution and quality of India’s natural resources and adversely affect the livelihoods of its people. With an economy closely tied to its natural resources base, India may face a major threat because of the projected changes in climate. While engaging with the international community to collectively and cooperatively deal with this threat, India needs a strategy to first adapt to climate change and secondly to further enhance the ecological sustainability of India’s development path.

In charting out a development pathway which is ecologically sustainable, India has a wider spectrum of choices precisely because it is at an early stage of development. According to the NAPCC( 2008), our vision is to create a prosperous, but not wasteful society, an economy that is self sustaining in terms of its ability to unleash the creative energies of our people, and is mindful of our responsibilities to both present and future generations. According to NAPCC, our objective is to establish an effective, cooperative, and equitable global approach based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

The NAPCC is guided by the following objectives:

  • Protecting the poor and vulnerable sections of society through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy, sensitive to climate change.
  • Achieving national growth objectives through a qualitative change in direction that enhances ecological sustainability, leading to further mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Devising efficient and cost effective strategies for end use Demand Side management.
  • Deploying appropriate technologies for both adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions extensively.
  • Effecting implementation of programmes, through unique linkages, including with civil society, and local government institutions and through public-private partnership.
  • Welcoming international cooperation for research, development, sharing and transfer of technologies enabled by additional funding.

Clean Development Mechanism

An offshoot of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding global agreement to combat climate change through a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Clean Development Mechanism is one of the key components of the Kyoto Protocol. The stated purpose of the Clean Development Mechanism is to help developing countries achieve sustainable development, and assist industrialized countries in complying with their emission reduction commitments. In effect, the CDM allows countries to continue emitting greenhouse gases, so long as they pay for reductions made elsewhere. The justification for this is based on the premise that it would be far more expensive to implement emission reductions in industrialized countries than in developing countries; and, in addition, the developing countries would gain sustainable development benefits from the entry of “clean” and more energy efficient technologies. The highly industrialized countries have a legally-binding obligation under the Kyoto Protocol to achieve quantified reductions in their enormous GHG emissions. The less developed countries are not required to reduce their comparatively small emissions.

The CDM is a market-based mechanism. Companies fund projects in developing countries that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They must also meet sustainable development criteria and the “additionality” requirement, which means the emission reductions made must be “additional” to what would have been possible without CDM funding. Upon verification, the CDM awards these projects certified emission reductions (CERs), each equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide. CERs are then sold to developed countries, which use them to meet a part of their reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. CERs are also called “offset credits” because they “offset” the developed countries’ emissions with reductions in developing countries.

At Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development, our effort is to strengthen and deliberate on the agenda of Climate Change by roping in the voices of all the stakeholders, through local, regional, national and international conferences, roundtables and consultations. We also endeavour to study Impact assessment of Climate Change along with green house gas emissions, Climate change mitigation policies and initiate CDM Project Development.


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