India Submits First Biennial Update Report to UNFCCC

India Submits First Biennial Update Report to UNFCCC 
India submitted its first Biennial Update Report (BUR) today, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), towards fulfillment of the reporting obligation under the Convention. As per the provisions of the Convention, countries need to periodically provide information in the form of their National Communication. 

BUR contains national GHG inventory of India for the year 2010, prepared in accordance with the guidelines of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The inventory covers six greenhouse gases, viz. Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) and five categories, namely- energy, industrial processes and product use (IPPU), agriculture, waste and Land-use, Land-use, Change and Forestry (LULUCF).

As per BUR, India emitted 2,136.84 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases in 2010. Energy sector was the prime contributor to emissions and with 71% of total emissions in 2010. Energy sector includes - electricity production, fuel combustion in industries, transport and fugitive emissions. Industrial processes and product use contributed 8%; agriculture and waste sectors contributed 18% and 3% respectively to the national GHG inventory. About 12% of emissions were offset by carbon sink action of forests and croplands, considering which the national GHG emissions are arrived at a total of 1,884.31 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

India’s per capita GHG emission in 2010 was 1.56 tCO2 equivalent, which is less than one- third of the world’s per capita emissions and far below than many developed and developing countries. A reduction of emission intensity of GDP by about 12% between 2005 and 2010 has been achieved against our voluntary pledge to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20–25 per cent by 2020, compared with the 2005 level.

BUR showcases a range of climate-friendly measures initiated through eight National Missions under National Action Plan on Climate Change and other programs such as Integrated Power Development Scheme, Renewable Purchase Obligations, enhancement of cess on coal, Perform Achieve and Trade Scheme and National Program for LED based lighting. At the national level, 137 and at state level 286 policies and measures relevant to climate change have been mapped in the report on non-exhaustive basis.

BUR has different sections elaborating various aspects on climate change in the country, such as institutional arrangements to implement the reporting process, national circumstances in which country is responding to climate change, national greenhouse gas inventory for 2010; initiatives of the government to tackle the problem of climate change along with domestic arrangements to measure, report and verify these programs. A section on finance, technology and capacity-building needs and support received has also been provided.

BUR has been prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under its NATCOM project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) through UNDP. Several studies were carried out by 17 national-level institutions, including CSIR laboratories (CIMFR, CRRI, IIP, NEERI and NPL), ICAR institutes (CRIDA, IARI, NDRI), organizations of the MoEFCC (FSI and ICFRE), premier educational institutions (IIM Ahmedabad and IISc), Non-governmental research organizations (TERI and IRADe) and other institutions (CII, EESL and NRSC) involving more than 60 researchers along with inputs from various Ministries, Government departments and independent experts. BUR has also undergone multitier review process and has been approved by the Union Cabinet.

As per the rules of UNFCCC, BURs are subjected to an international process known as International Consultation and Analysis (ICA). It is a process that includes international scrutiny of BUR in a manner that is non-intrusive, non-punitive and respectful of national sovereignty. All BURs are subjected to ICA process. As on 13 January 2016, 23 countries other than India, including Brazil, South Africa, South Korea have submitted their BURs. China, world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases is yet to submit its BUR. Brazil has submitted its BUR, but has given only provisional inventory. Developed countries are required to submit a report known as the Biennial Report (BR), which is to be submitted every alternate year and is subjected to International Analysis and Review (IAR). Paris Agreement calls for developing country Parties to submit their first biennial update reports as soon as possible. India has submitted its first BUR.

India had submitted its first national communication in 2004 and second national communication in 2012. The UNFCCC in its sixteenth session of conference of Parties (COP) had decided that the developing countries will submit updates to their national communication on biennial basis in the form of ‘Biennial Update Report’. The scope of a BUR is to provide an update to the latest National Communication submitted by the country to the UNFCCC. Accordingly, India’s first BUR is an update to the Second National Communication. 
Environment Ministry Notifies Stricter Standards for Sugar Industry 
The Government has notified stricter environment standards for sugar industries operating in various states in the country. The primary aim of these standards is to minimise water pollution. The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has notified the standards on January 14, 2016, in Gazette of India.

Specific wastewater discharge standards have been made stricter, by limiting the same to ‘200 litre per tonne of cane crushed’, as against the earlier limit of ‘400 litre per tonne cane crushed’. This will ultimately result in less consumption of raw water at operational level. The final treated effluent discharge has been restricted to 100 litre per tonne of cane crushed and waste water from spray pond overflow, or cooling tower blow down to be restricted to 100 litre per tonne of cane crushed. Only single outlet point from unit has been allowed to encourage operational efficiency and treated effluent recycling practices. Further, only one outlet/ discharge point will be allowed, which will be covered as per the ‘24x7 online monitoring’ protocol.

The number of effluent quality parameters to be monitored for ascertaining compliance have now been increased to six (6) - i.e. pH, Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Oil & Grease (O&G). Earlier, the notified parameters were only BOD & TSS. The emission limits for particulate matter from stack has been limited to 150milligramme per normal cubic metre.

. The notified standards also contain a protocol for ‘Treated Effluent Irrigation’ and ‘Wastewater conservation and pollution control management’, wherein treated effluent loading rates (in cubic meter per hectare per day) have been mentioned for different soil textures. The waste water conservation and pollution control management mandates that individual units will establish cooling arrangement and polishing tank for recycling excess condensate water to process sections, or utilities, or allied units. The Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) will also be stabilised one month prior to the start of crushing season and will continue to operate up to one month after the end of crushing season. The protocol has also made it obligatory for the industry to install flow-meters at all water abstraction points so that fresh water usage can be minimised. Further, the industrial units have been permitted to store treated effluent in a seepage proof lined pond, having 15 days holding capacity.

The revised standards will lead to improved operational performance of sugar industries through implementation of wastewater discharge standards and waste water conservation and pollution control management protocol. It will also help the CPCB and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) / Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) in implementing specific measures to be adopted in sugar industries, with the aim of reducing consumption of fresh water usage, checking operational efficiency and enhancing compliance.

The revised standards are to be implemented from the date of notification. The standards had been recommended by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), after consultations with industries and other stakeholders, as well as seeking comments from general public. 

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