What is Global Warming?
Global warming is the gradual increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. It is because of an increased amount of the sun rays striking the earth's surface which get trapped and then do not radiate out into space.
These rays are trapped by certain gases called 'Greenhouse gases'. These include - Carbon dioxide, Water Vapour, Methane, Ozone, Nitrous Oxide etc.
How are these gases produced?
Greenhouse gases are produced by man-made activities which are listed below:
- Burning coal and petroleum, known as ' fossil fuels.
- Cutting down rainforests.
- Production of Animal Waste
Are Green House Gases Harmful?
Without greenhouse gases, the earth would be very cold and would be unsurvivable. It was the most important thing due to which the life thrived on this planet. But Nowadays, too much sunlight is being trapped by our atmosphere by these gases.
Effects of Global Warming:
With so much heat being trapped in the greenhouse gases, the average temperature of the earth's surface is increasing at an enormous rate when compared with earlier decades.
This increase in temperature is leading to changes in climatic change.
As we know nearly 75% of the earth is covered with water. The Water gets heated up which after evaporation forms clouds. This water then comes down and sometimes leads to flooding of rivers.
A warmer atmosphere makes glaciers and mountain snow packs, the Polar ice cap, and the great ice shield jutting off of Antarctica melt raising sea levels.
Changes in temperature change the patterns of wind greatly that brings the monsoon in Asia and rain and snow around the world, leading to unpredictable weather more common.
This is why scientists have stopped focusing just on global warming and now focus on the larger topic of climate change.
Initiatives taken by the World:
The World has taken many initiatives to reduce the pace of Global Warming by bringing down the Global temperature level.
- United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change:
The UNFCCC is an international agreement on the environment which was adopted on 9 May 1992 and opened for signature at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit from 3 to 14 June 1992.
- Paris Agreement:
The Paris Agreement is a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreement on mitigating, adapting and financing greenhouse gas emissions, signed in 2016.
In 2015 the Paris Agreement was adopted, governing emission reductions from 2020 on through commitments of countries in Nationally Determined Contributions, lowering the target to 1.5 °C. The agreement entered into force on 4th Nov 2016.
Initiatives taken by India:
India is a developing country and for it to increase its GDP, it depends on conventional fuels to meet its energy demands. India is well aware of all the issue that the world is facing due to global warming so it has taken various steps:
Energy Sector Interventions
The objective of interventions in the energy sector is to reduce emissions of GHG (Greenhouse Gas) by improving energy efficiency and adopting cleaner energy sources
International Solar Alliance:
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 122 countries initiated by India, most of which are sunshine countries, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, either entirely or partly. It has now been extended to all UN members. The alliance's primary goal is to work towards efficient use of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) :
- Out of 24 Cr households, 10 Cr households still use cooking biomass such as firewood and cow dung that causes hazardous pollution to the health of people and the environment.
- By Ujjawala Yojana the govt has provided free LPG connection and reduced the dependence of people on fuels like firewood and cow dung.
Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) :
- GRIHA, developed by the Institute of Energy and Resources (TERI), was adopted as the national green building rating system by the government.
- It assesses a building's environmental performance wholistically throughout its life cycle, thus establishing a definitive standard for what constitutes a green building
Renewable Energy Development
India has set an ambitious target of adding 175 Gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022 over and above the 30 Gigawatt (GW) that is installed.
Reducing a minimum of 10% of the anticipated energy demand of the cities through renewable energy installations using wind and solar energy. Recycling municipal waste and implementing energy efficiency measures to meet the objective.
Ultra mega solar parks:
A series of planned solar power projects, each of which is of a capacity of more than 500 MW. Government plans to establish 25 of these plants, adding 20GW of the solar power capacity.
National Biofuel Policy:
This policy aims to attain 20% of the ethanol blending in a conventional fuel. At present, there is only 5% of the ethanol blending that is taking place.
National Offshore Wind Energy Policy 2015:
By installing 23 GW power supply, India has successfully developed the onshore wind power program. This new policy seeks to develop wind farming deeper into the sea to reduce the dependence only on land for wind energy.
Nuclear Power Program:
India currently sources about 2% of its energy needs from nuclear energy. Stage 3 of the nuclear power program, when complete will ensure India becomes a self-sufficient country in the nuclear fuel as it holds 25% of the world’s Thorium reserves.
The government recently cleared about 10 nuclear power reactors that had a net capacity of 7000 MW.
Industrial Sector Schemes Objective
Reducing emissions from the automobiles
National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP):
Achievement of national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country and parallelly reduce harmful emissions from the vehicles running on the hydrocarbons. It aims at achieving annual sales of 6-7 million hybrid and electric vehicles from 2020 onwards.
Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME):
It aims to support market development and eco-system for production of hybrid / electric vehicles.
The scheme has four focus areas viz. Technological development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.
Increasing the green cover:
River inter-linking program
Help in addressing the issues rising due to disasters such as drought and floods and increase the area under the irrigation channel.
National Green Highway Mission:
Planting trees along the national highway, this would also act as a green muffler for the noise pollution, store CO2 and provide a livelihood to the communities living near the highways.
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