Climate Change and Policy Blind-Spots: A Review

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A presentation by Durba Biswas on a review of Climate Change and Policy Blind-spots in Indian national policies. The presentation was made at a colloquium on Citizen Voices in Environmental Governance on August 23, 2012 organised by the Public Affairs Centre in Bangalore, India.

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Climate Change and Policy Blind-Spots: A Review

  1. 1. Durba Biswas Freelance Consultant EconomistCOLLOQUIUM ON CITIZEN VOICES IN ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE 23-24 AUGUST 2012 BANGALORE, INDIA
  2. 2. Introduction The CC debate has shifted from scientific to policy arena New CC impact on agriculture literature suggests-  Developed countries (temperate regions) will benefit  Developing and underdeveloped countries (tropical regions) will lose [Christensen et al. (2007); Giorgi et al. (2004); IPCC (2007)] Implication of CC for India: deepening of poverty through its overall adverse effect on agriculture
  3. 3. …cont The new question is how, when and where do we adapt? What is adaptation - a response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. In human systems, adaptation can be both, anticipatory or reactive and can be implemented by public or private actors (UNDP 2007/8)
  4. 4. CC Adaptation Policies in India Over the past six decades India has had sizable national funded projects to address climate change related disasters. late 1990s and 2000s, expenditure on programs related to adaptation to climate change remained close to 2.0 percent of annual GDP. By 2006-07 it had gone up to 2.6 percent of the annual GDP.
  5. 5. Proportion of critical components in total adaptation expenditure for2006-07 Crop improvement and Drought proofing research, 5.93% and flood control, 3.04% Rural education and infrastructure, 26.8 5% Disaster Poverty alleviation management and livelihood , 3.46% preservation , 44.65% Health , 10.75% Risk financing , 4.83% Forest Source: Ghosh, conservation, 0.49 (2009) %
  6. 6. The Birth of NAPCC National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was put forward in 2008.  Until then no national policies existed to specifically address CC. NAPCC outlined 8 missions  National Solar Mission  National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency  National Mission on Sustainable Habitat  National Water Mission  National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem  National Mission for a "Green India"  National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture  National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate ChangeNational Farmers Policy 2007 before that, sought to train farmers as “climate managers”.  Deal with floods, droughts and monsoon aberrations.  Reducing the gap between the scientific know-how and field level application. through Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs).
  7. 7. The Blind-SpotsThe two blind-spots of NAPCC Firstly, it only lists out the current programs in place which address many of the issues listed in the NAPCC.  Does not address how the missions will be synergized with the existing programs. Secondly, it does not address the linkages among the missions.
  8. 8. Implications Adaptation is costly  it is easier to estimate the costs associated with planned adaptation than for autonomous adaptation. In which case it is practical to assess the costs based on the impact avoided due to adaptation (Kumar, 2010).  If cost of adaptation > the benefits from reduced climate damages => unviable option  May not be possible to itemize and monetize all the possible costs and benefits in the present context. Still useful in providing a guiding toolSuch estimations are missing in case of India
  9. 9. …contSome estimates on adaptation cost estimates United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2007) - by 2030, developing countries would face 28-69 billion USD per year towards adaptation measures in agriculture and related sectors. However, Parry et al. (2009) show that the cost could be 2 - 3 times higher than the UNFCCC estimates. World Bank’s Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change study team (EACC)- early estimates show that between 2010 - 2050, the cost of adapting to a 2°C warmer world is between 75-100 billion USD for developing countries as a whole.  In case of South Asia the cost of adaptation is about 17 billion USD (2005 prices) In India 2.6% of GDP towards adaptation related activity.
  10. 10. Some questions and conclusion Why bring out special CC “missions”? Are the current policies in place inadequate? Policy makers need to justify the ‘pile - up’ of similar missions since operationalising new policies are costly Existing policies can be streamlined and used effectively to avoid wasteful and costly expenditures
  11. 11. Thank You

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