Planning Commission’s Interim report: a let down

Posted on May 12, 2011 by


After a year long delay, the Planning Commission-appointed expert group, headed by Kirit Parikh, released its interim report on strategies for a low carbon growth. Rather than being a roadmap of the same, the report was merely a series of calculations that maps out how the country can meet its Copenhagen commitment.

According to the expert group’s calculation, the emission intensity under existing policies would reduce by nearly 25% at a growth rate of 8% and a 24% at 9% growth. Further, the report stated that emission intensity reduction of up to 35% by 2020 (over the 2005 levels) could be achieved, “provided adequate international help was forthcoming, both in terms of technology and finance.”

 It is interesting to note that these projections are reiterations of the analysis done by the Planning Commission, Environment ministry and the bureau of Energy Efficiency ahead of the Copenhagen meet. The report did however considered the sector-wise impact of existing policies particularly in the area of energy- power sector, transport, industry (specifically iron & steel, cement, oil & gas) and buildings- and forestry, stressing on the utility of efficient appliances, introduction of more fuel efficient power plant and changes in the power plants mix.

Environment group Greenpeace slammed the report saying that it is unclear in its suggestions and that the energy mix under consideration is still heavily dependent on coal, with sub critical technology accounting for anywhere from 130,000 to 162,000 MW. Renewables continue to play a negligible role which was met with much criticism from the group. “The interim report is an incomplete first step. Not only does the interim report ignore renewable energy but also credits coal and nuclear energy as low carbon. The interim report is highly unsatisfactory from the options it lays out,” said Greenpeace India policy officer Siddharth Pathk. Greenpeace however did acknowledge the expert group’s effort on it approach to efficiency in motor vehicle and transportation. It also recommended increasing the renewable energy portfolio in India to further the carbon intensity target while clearly identifying the financial and technological barriers to low carbon growth.

The report can be accessed through this link: http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/Interim%20Report%20of%20the%20Expert%20Group.pdf

 

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