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How Are States Driving Climate Action in India? Evaluating the Performance of State-Driven Domestic Climate Action

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Document pages: 63 pages

Abstract: As the Indian government’s commitment towards low carbon development is seen expanding in vison, effective implementation becomes very critical to keep up with the mitigation targets as per the Nationally Determined Contributions and to deliver on the commitments made in the NAPCC. In India’s quasi-federal structure, as the implementing authorities, state governments’ efforts are vital to achieve visible progress. This is in line with the State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC), which was meant to decentralise climate action in a participatory, bottom-up manner. Analysing emissions status and climate actions at a state level might help in highlighting fundamental issues with state level implementation and provide a strategy to state governments to come up with heuristic solutions. Further, the sector-wise emissions intensities of states highlight specific areas of action for states in keeping with national commitments regarding increasing power generation from renewable energy and reducing emissions intensity of GDP. An assessment of states’ current mitigation measures shows discrepancies in national and state-level targets, e.g. Centre-defined RE targets are more aggressive than state-defined RE targets for some states, and disparities between states, e.g. share of RE generation in the total power generation is much higher in some states compared to others. Such feedback is important as it highlights the need for ramping up efforts where necessary. Further, since India’s mitigation action strategy has been sector oriented on a broad level, reviewing states’ emissions and their efforts to transition towards low carbon development parallel to this methodology would provide clarity regarding their emissions status and focus areas. Power, Industry, Transport, Agriculture, and Residential and Commercial sectors have been considered in this report to illustrate such an analysis. This helps explain the nuances of that sector and help explore viable solutions for states that can improve. For example, comparing consumption emissions intensity of states with generation emissions intensity in power sector highlights the disparity between states. This comparison helps identify states with low power consumption, but who may see an economic incentive in generating power for sale. Similarly, analysis of the industrial sector highlights discrepancies in state level emissions per gross value add (GVA) which can be attributed to industrial energy efficiency and fuel consumption, along with the industry mix within the states. Breaking down climate action at a sectoral level also allows for normalisation of emissions using different metrics, which in turn helps identify more targeted solutions. E.g. In the transport sector we can observe that urbanisation is a better metric to understand emissions than the commonly used metric of population, and thus accessibility to public transport infrastructure is identified as a critical indicator for assessing state-wise mitigation action.Currently, there is a wide gap in the information at the national and state level that needs to be bridged – there are no directives by the Centre on how the NDC emissions targets are to be met at the state level, the SAPCC documents do not have detailed outlines for mitigation action, budgets, timelines, and targets for proposed action, and mandates for GHG inventory building. The crucial take away is that implementation of climate action often varies from state-to-state based on capacities, economic incentive, and Centre-led support. Further, in addition to financial support and Centre-defined targets, there are mechanisms like legislations, which also affect implementation of climate action. E.g. The disparity in state led transition to cleaner fuels is seen as being nudged by mechanisms such as judicial mandates from the Supreme Court to control air pollution. Hence a deeper understanding of state level actions and a comparative state level analysis with sector specific nuances across states is necessary to understand the reasons why implementation of climate action varies across states and how states can learn from each other.

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