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India sets up Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement

Written By mediavigil on Sunday, November 29, 2020 | 9:41 PM

India being a party to the 1994 United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2015 for implementation of the Paris Agreement in the post-2020 period. The NDC has eight goals including three quantitative goals viz. reduction in the emissions intensity of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level; achieving about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030; and creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. 

Prior to this India had constituted the National Clean Development Mechanism Authority (NCDMA) in 2003 under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 which entered into force on 16 February 2005. UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. It has 197 parties. It is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which has 192 parties, 2012 Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol for the period period till 2020 and 2015 Paris Agreement for post 2020 period. Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol will come into force on 31 December 2020. As of 28 October 2020, it has 147 parties. Ironically, it will come into force on the day of its expiry. India had ratified it on 8 August, 2017. For post 2020 Period, Paris Agreement came into force 4 November 2016. India ratified it on 2 October, 2016. It has 189 parties as of now. 

Significantly, India ratified pre-2020 treaty after having ratified the post 2020 treaty. As a consequence Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol remained a non-starter. India failed to set up a body like Apex Committee for Implementation of Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol as it accepted its slow death as a fait accompli.   

The implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement deals with market, non-market and voluntary approaches, necessitated setting up of an inter-ministerial committee to supersede the National CDM Authority (NCDMA) constituted under the Kyoto Protocol.

Paris Agreement envisages an ‘enhanced transparency framework’ with new modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPG) for the post-2020 period which will supersede the existing Monitoring, Review and Verification (MRV) system. 

Paris Agreement establishes process of ‘Global Stocktake’ to periodically take stock of the implementation of this Agreement and assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals every five years with first in 2023. 

For the purpose of ensuring a coordinated response on climate change matters that protects the country’s interests and ensures that India is on track towards meeting its climate change obligations under the Paris Agreement including its submitted NDCs, the Central Government  has constitutes a Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA) comprising of 17 members. It has been published in the Gazette of India on November 27, 2020.   

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In exercise of the powers conferred under sub-section (3) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986), the Central Government constituted the AIPA. Its members include:  

1. Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) -Chairperson

2. Additional Secretary, MoEFCC-Vice-Chairperson 

3. Additional Director General (Forest), MoEFCC- Member

4. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance -Member

5. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare- Member

6. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology -Member

7. Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy -Member 

8. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti- Member 

9. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power -Member 

10. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences- Member

11. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare- Member

12. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs- Member

13. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development -Member 

14. Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs -Member 

15. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry -Member 

16. Joint Secretary level Officer, NITI Aayog -Member

17. Joint Secretary, MoEFCC- Member Secretary. 

AIPA is required to: 

(i) take measures with respect to matters referred to in the clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of subsection (2) of section 3 of the aforesaid Act and may issue directions under section 5 thereof; 

(ii) coordinate communication and reporting of NDCs to UNFCCC; 

(iii) define responsibilities of concerned ministries for achieving India’s NDC goals and receive periodic information updates to monitor, review and revisit climate goals to fulfill the requirements of the Paris Agreement; 

(iv) develop policies and programmes, if required, to make India’s domestic climate actions compliant with its international obligations; 

(v) develop Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) protocol for National Inventory Management System (NIMS) as per the requirements under the enhanced Transparency Framework of Paris Agreement; 

(vi) coordinate communication of National Communications, Biennial Update Reports and Biennial Transparency Reports to UNFCCC; 

(vii) function as a National Authority to regulate carbon markets in India, under Article 6.2, Article 6.4 and Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement in the post-2020 period; 

(viii) formulate guidelines for consideration of projects or activities under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement; 

(ix) issue guidelines on carbon pricing, market mechanism, and similar other instruments that have a bearing on climate change and NDCs; 

(x) coordinate submission of Adaptation Communication as required under the Paris Agreement; 

(xi) identify evolving requirements and propose mechanisms to facilitate achievement of India’s obligations in a cost-effective manner; 

(xii) provide guidance to NDCs and its accounting for domestic, bilateral and multilateral activities or projects and ensure that these are compliant with Cabinet decisions and India’s position in international climate change negotiations; 

(xiii) take note of the private sector’s contributions for combating climate change and provide guidance to help align their actions with domestic priorities; 

(xiv) commission and recommend independent research and analytical studies and plan capacity building and training activities on the above issues; 

(xv) seek guidance from and provide inputs to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change (PMCCC); and 

(xvi) any other matter, as required under UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement. 

The Member-Secretary of AIPA has been responsible for its day-to-day activities including constituting sub-group to coordinate activities and carry out detailed examination of climate change related issues through experts or by consulting organizations for consideration by the aforesaid Authority or to engage or hire any consultant or specialist on contract basis on such remuneration as may be approved by the Central Government. 

AIPA is empowered  (a) to invite officials and experts from the Government, financial institutions, universities, academic institutions, consultancy organisations, non-Governmental organisations, civil society, legal profession, industry and commerce, as it may deem necessary for technical and professional inputs and may co-opt other members depending upon need; 

(b) to interact with concerned authorities, institutions, individual stakeholders for matters relating to climate change; 

(c) to take up any environmental or sustainable development issues pertaining to climate change as may be referred to it by the Central Government, and 

(d) to provide recommendations to the Central Government on matters related to climate change. 

AIPA is required to furnish report about its activity at least once in six months to the Central Government.

AIPA is supposed to act as per the objective of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement to achieve stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. It has to enhance the implementation of the Convention and the Agreement in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

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