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Green federalism and climate justice in India

Q1: What were the key outcomes of the G-20 summit held in Delhi regarding climate goals?

A1: The G-20 summit in Delhi agreed to triple renewable energy capacity and double the rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030. However, consensus was not reached on the phasing out of fossil fuels, which remains a contentious issue.

Q2: What are the two normative ideals that any energy transition initiative should embrace, as mentioned in the article?

A2: The two normative ideals are:

Internalizing cost: Those emitting greenhouse gases should pay for the social and environmental costs.

Climate justice: Compensation should be provided to those harmed by climate change, even if they are not the primary contributors to it.

Q3: How does climate change disproportionately affect the poor in India?

A3: Climate change disproportionately impacts the poor in India by compounding agrarian and economic challenges.
Variations in rainfall, temperature, and extreme climate events directly affect agricultural productivity, leading to income loss. Additionally, rising ocean temperatures impact fish stocks, affecting fishing communities.

Q4: What are India's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) regarding clean energy and emissions?

A4: India's NDC aims to ensure that 40% of the total installed power generation capacity comes from clean energy sources. The country has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070.

Q5: How can India address regional inequalities in its energy transition?

A5: India can address regional inequalities by transferring funds to states heavily dependent on coal and implementing state-specific programs for reskilling development and local rehabilitation needs. This approach is often referred to as "green federalism."

Q6: What is emphasized in the Paris Agreement regarding a just transition?

A6: The Paris Agreement emphasizes "taking into account the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs per nationally defined development priorities" during the transition to renewable energy.

Q7: Why is it important to consider economic, social, and regional inequalities in India's energy transition?

A7: It's important to consider these inequalities because India's energy transition policies can affect the livelihoods of the poor and exacerbate existing class, caste, and regional disparities. A holistic approach is needed to ensure an equitable and sustainable transition.

Q8: How can sub-national governments in India contribute to addressing climate inequality?

A8: Sub-national governments play a significant role in addressing climate inequality. They can implement policies related to climate justice, climate adaptation, and disaster management that align with the development priorities of their respective states.

Q9: What is the role of coal in India's energy supply, and how does it relate to regional inequalities?

A9: Coal is a major contributor to India's energy supply, accounting for 56.1% of the total energy supply as of 2021. It is primarily located in poorer regions in eastern and central India. The coal sector provides revenue and employment for state governments in these regions.

Q10: What is "green federalism," and why is it important in the context of climate justice in India?

A10: Green federalism is a concept that emphasizes the role of sub-national governments in addressing climate justice and inequality within a federal governance structure.
It recognizes that different states within India may have varying priorities and challenges related to climate change and energy transition. Green federalism calls for cooperation and policy alignment between the Union government and state governments to ensure that climate policies are tailored to the specific needs and aspirations of each state.
This approach is crucial for achieving equitable and sustainable climate action across all levels of government.


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