Budget 2020: Centre’s environment allocation not enough to tackle climate crisis, say experts

By: |
February 3, 2020 11:11 PM

The budgetary allocation for the ministry has been raised by nearly five per cent against the last fiscal but there is no change in the amount allotted to pollution abatement and climate change action plan.

Environment, Budget 2020, Climate, Union Budget 2020-21, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Environment Environment activists and experts say there is no clarity on how the money will be used to clean air.

Environment activists and experts on Monday expressed displeasure over the “insufficient” budget allocation to tackle the climate crisis the country is facing.

They said there is no clarity on how the money will be used to clean air.

In the Union Budget 2020-21 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, the Ministry of Environment was allocated Rs 3,100 crore, while an amount of Rs 4,400 crore announced to encourage states to formulate plans to ensure clean air in cities with a population of above a million.

The budgetary allocation for the ministry has been raised by nearly five per cent against the last fiscal but there is no change in the amount allotted to pollution abatement and climate change action plan.

“It’s good to hear a special mention of climate change and air pollution in the budget speech. Union Budget earmarked Rs 4,400 cr for National Clean Air Programme. However, it is not clear how the allocated funds will be used to clean the air,” said Avinash Chanchal, senior climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace India.

He said the increase in the funds is not enough to tackle the climate crisis the country is facing.

An expert from World Resources Institute (WRI), a global environment organization, pointed out that the Budget missed out the replenishment of the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).

The Budget missed out the replenishment of the much-needed National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) and it has been ignored for the two consecutive years, he said.

“Maintaining integrity of ecosystems and community level management of natural resources are critical to build resilience, especially at the sub-national and local level,” said Nambi Appadurai, Director at Climate Resilience Practice, WRI India.

WRI’s Deepak Krishnan welcomed the government’s advisory to utilities to shut down power plants with high carbon emissions.

“Though the power sector is facing financial challenges, health of citizens and environment considerations are critical. It could offer a variety of benefits, including better health, environmental and social benefits,” Krishnan said.

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