Paris Agreement on climate change is now about to become a reality with India ratifying the deal on Sunday. Experts consider the Paris Agreement as the most extensive international agreement ever to deal with the climate change. To honor the Paris Agreement, countries, including India, would now try to make every economic activity in compliance with the objectives to deal with climate change. As such the agreement would lead to a change in the way we live, travel, eat and wear, notwithstanding our personal and professional spaces. Amitabh Sinha writes in The Indian Express that all of the changes may not be visible to common people, some certainly will.
Here are the six ways in which the Paris Agreement on climate change could affect your life.
1. How Paris Agreement on climate change would affect your life: More efforts at tapping solar and wind energy for electricity production
With India trying to take electricity to 200 million people, who are still living in the dark, the government will make more efforts to produce wind and solar energy. As such, solar photovoltaic panels and large wind mills may become a far more familiar sight across the country. According to The Indian Express, by 2022, India plans to generate 100 GW electricity through solar energy, out of this 40 GW through rooftop systems. India also has plans to produce 60GW of wind energy.
2. How Paris Agreement on climate change would affect your life: Prevalence of use of energy-efficient home appliances
As per the terms and conditions of the Paris Agreement, India has promised to reduce the green-house gas emissions by 33-35% as compared by 2030 from the 2005 levels. To achieve this, the use of energy efficient electrical appliances would have to become a part of our lives. This change has already started, and it is going to grow stronger in coming years.
3. How Paris Agreement on climate change would affect your life: Green transport
Green modes of transport like electrical cars, bikes, and battery-operated e-rickshaws would become more popular in cities. The country would have to implement stricter fuel efficiency norms. India has already advanced the implementation of Bharat VI pollution norms to 2020, instead of the previous 2020. Moreover, the metro trains will come up in several cities. Feasibility studies in this regard is already being done.
4. How Paris Agreement on climate change would affect your life: More trees, green cover
In accordance with the Paris Agreement, India would try to create an additional carbon sink — a system that would absorb carbon dioxide from the air. The sinks should be able to absorb 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon di oxide through tree covers. At present, only 24% area of the country is under forest and tree cover. India aims to take it to 33% at least.
While it will be difficult to increase the forest cover, the focus may be on promoting plantation on every available inch of free land.
The Parliament has already approved CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) bill. This law has been framed to compensate for every piece of forest destroyed for any reason. CAMPA also provides thousands of crores of rupees for afforestation drives or ‘Green India Mission.’
5. How Paris Agreement on climate change would affect your life: More smart, green buildings, focus on green certification of infrastructure
It has been projected that at present India only has 30% of the infrastructure it would need by 2030. That means, 70% more infrastructure would have to be built, but the focus will on the construction of “Smart” or “net zero” buildings. These terms are slowly becoming buzz words. Some of the buildings constructed by the government recently have followed the “net zero” principle — this means the amount of energy consumed in the building in a year is equivalent to the amount of energy produced on the site.
The ratings of buildings on green parameters would also become more common and there may be stringent penalties or incentives on electricity and water bills. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has already endorsed GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment). Also, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), one of the most popular third-party green building certification programs worldwide, is now fairly well established in India.
6. How Paris Agreement on climate change would affect your life: Rationing, pricing of water
With drinking water becoming more scarce due to climate change, the government in future may start rationing water and may also put a price on it. The unrestricted rights on groundwater we enjoy at present may be stopped and the industries will have to depend only on treated water