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Workshop inaugurated on greenhouse gases to combat climate change
By TOG News Service
Jul 12, 2018

TOG News Service, NEW DELHI, JULY 12, 2018: THE Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, yesterday inaugurated the 16 th Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Inventories in Asia (WGIA16) here. Addressing the gathering on the occasion, he stressed that while efforts of experts are necessary, there is also a need for an active involvement of people in the fight against climate change. He also applauded the the long-standing effort in creating a network of Asian countries on GHG inventory by Government of Japan. The four-day Workshop has been organized by the Ministry of Environment, Government of Japan and is being hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), from July 10 to 13, 2018.

Dr Harsh Vardhan further stated that action on climate change is a moral and ethical responsibility and India is working to achieve its obligations as per Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) principles. He also stated that India is committed to achieve 175 GW of installed capacity of renewable energy generation by 2022 & is firmly on path to achieve these targets. Other policy initiatives of the government include increasing penetration of LEDs, 5-10% Ethanol blending in petrol, increasing efficiency of coal power plants, and more efficient public transport. He also referred to the decision to leapfrog from Bharat Stage IV (Euro IV) to Bharat Stage VI (Euro VI) standards for vehicular emissions by 2020. The Minister stated that as per the Paris Agreement, there is a need to enhance transparency in reporting, which is possible only through adequate finance and capacity building. This workshop is a right step in that direction, he added.

The Minister underlined that India is concerned about climate change and is committed to global action aimed at mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change. He referred to two more meetings on climate change scheduled for this month - India-Japan Climate Change Policy Research Workshop and India-Japan Joint Credit Mechanism Meeting. He also outlined the Green Good Deeds, Green Good Behaviour, Green Good Practices and Green Social Responsibility being promoted amongst different stakeholders and accepted at various international forums, including BRICS Environment Ministers meeting recently. Dr. Harsh Vardhan urged the participants to perform one Green Good Deed every day and become its strong messenger and votary in transforming individual Green Good Deeds into a mass movement in all the participating countries.

Also Speaking on the occasion was Director General of Forests and Special Secretary, MoEFCC, Dr. Siddhanta Das, said that India is well poised to meet the target of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by the year 2030. In this context, he pointed out that one of the efforts undertaken by the Ministry is to undertake plantation activities in areas outside forest and in river catchment areas.

Addressing the gathering, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, mentioned that India enjoys a strategic relationship with Japan and both countries share similar views on strengthening capacities for climate action. Emphasising that WGIA is a well-thought out initiative, Dr Mehta said that India as a country believes in transparency and this is apparent from our inventory preparation process, which is inclusive, involving 12 premier national institutions. He said that India has submitted its two National Communications and first Biennial Update Report (BUR) in time and BUR-2 would also be submitted in time. He said that India is on track to meet its Copenhagen commitment of reduction in emissions intensity of GDP by 20-25% by 2020 with reference to 2005 level. According to the UNEP Gap Report 2017, India is also on track to meeting its Paris commitment of 33-35% reduction in emissions intensity of its GDP by 2030 from 2005 level. He further stated that India stood by its commitments towards climate action and will continue to do so as a responsible nation.

Charge d'áffaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan in India, Mr Hideki Asari said that India has emerged as a leading voice in the field of environment, especially after the announcement to achieve 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, setting up and coordinating International Solar Alliance, hosting of World Environment Day 2018 and a number of similar initiatives. He also shared recent climate change policy initiatives undertaken by Government of Japan.

The WGIA is an initiative of Government of Japan to improve the quality of Greenhouse Gas Inventories of Asian countries by building capacities through training and exchange of experience. A reliable and robust inventory is the backbone of climate action. Such efforts will contribute towards meeting the requirements towards enhanced reporting and transparency as required under the Convention and its Paris Agreement. 15 countries including Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are WGIA members and around 100 GHG inventory experts from these countries participated along with representatives from UNFCCC, IPCC, FAO and other specialized agencies. India is hosting WGIA for the first time.