Shaping the Stakeholders’ Opinion in Uttar Pradesh

State Consultation Objectives

India is looked at as a key country in the process to achieve a fair, ambitious, equitable and comprehensive Climate agreement in COP21 at Paris in Dec 2015. The domestic developmental needs and aspirations shall drive the national policies and international positions of India on climate change. State consultations are crucial to shape positions for India’s INDC on development issues impacted by climate variability. With a series of state consultations planned in next few months, the process was initiated from Uttar Pradesh.State Profile Uttar Pradesh (UP) is India’s most populous state (200 million) and contributes 6% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) even though its economic growth rate has been below the national average since 1960. The state agriculture sector accounts for over 40% of UP’s economic output contributing 20% to India’s foodgrain basket, thus, having high strategic importance to India’s food security. UP as a state elects highest number (80) of parliamentarians to national legislature (Lok Sabha).

Climate Vulnerability & GHG Emissions of UP

The state has over a period of last 20 years experienced increasing frequency of flash floods in small rivers, increasing duration of water-logging, dry spells during the monsoon, untimely sudden downpours in non-rainy season thus impacting economy and people. The per capita GHG emissions are below the national average even though it is highest GHG emitting state of India (15%) coming mostly from increasing petroleum consumption, coal power plants, 7 SME industry clusters & diesel pump-sets for agriculture.

UP Consultation Proceedings and Outcomes

CAN South Asia network’s member PGVS in partnership with Development Alternatives, Oxfam, Vasudha Foundation, INECC and ACTION/2015 with support from Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian-Aid, EFICOR and CAN-International organised a day-long consultation in Lucknow on 10th July 2015. Honourable Dr Smt. Mridula Sinha, Governer of Goa delivered the inaugural address while Dr Laxmi Kant Bajpai, MLA and State President of BJP delivered special remarks on “Challenges of Development due to Climate Change and Role of MPs & MLAs”. Dr Ram Lakhan Singh, Member of 12th Five Year Plan Committee on Climate Change, Government of India provided the keynote address.

Dr Laxmi Kant Bajpai laid out possibilities of development with protection of environment through examples of developed countries using wind and other decentralized renewable energy while effectively managing limited resources. He assured the audience of raising the issue in state legislature. Later Mr Sushil Khanna, MLA also joined asserting afforestation and all dignitaries present listened to the various deliberations and recommendations made in the consultation towards India’s policy positions and INDC.

The consultation recognised that :

  • UP has already reduced GHG intensity of its GDP by 35% in 2005 from 1990 levels and this is in line with national need to focus the most on energy efficiency. Other action areas for energy are SME industry cluster, pump-sets and T&D losses of electric grid. With a power deficit significantly higher than national deficit, both energy efficiency and renewable sources can provide access to energy poor.
  • Organic agriculture and soil management practices with co-benefits for food security, gender balance and climate were also highlighted as priority areas.
  • Forests and other ecosystems could act as carbon sinks through native bio-diverse species mix plantation. The need to protect river aquatic ecosystem and water security was also highlighted as part of adaptation and resilience measures. The environment-sensitive development keeping in mind changing course of rivers and flash floods also came out as a key recommendation.
  • Finally, the need to channelise finance from fossil fuels & destructive projects to climate action (mitigation & adaptation) along with preparing implementation plans to seek financial support was agreed to as a pre-requisite to urgently addressing climate change.

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