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Q. India and cap on aviation emissions: Comment on India’s decision not to commit to reducing emissions in the aviation sector.
Oct 10, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently government of India has given its approval to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change, and it will come into force by early November. But India has categorically placed its stand on negotiations to cap emissions by the aviation sector in ongoing assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal to cut carbon footprints of airlines. India said that it will not commit to reducing emissions in the aviation sector by 2020 as it will be an injustice to the country's growing economy.

Reasons behind India’s stand-

  • The issue of emission cap in civil aviation is not covered under the Paris deal of climate change.
  • The market-based taxation regime to offset emission will impose inappropriate economic burden on developing countries like India.
  • The attempt to impose cap on emissions in the civil aviation sector is unfair to developing countries. When economy is in growing stage, particularly in aviation sector, imposing cap will be an injustice to these economies.
  • Though India is committed to reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector on longer period of time. Reducing emissions cannot be put place in shorter period of time, hence India would not be part of ongoing proposal of putting cap on carbon emission in aviation.

Analysis-

  • India’s stand on carbon emission in aviation sector justified by concerns it put forth before ongoing assembly. Presently India’s aviation sector is far from mature and it is growing at the rate of 23% annually.
  • With sustained economic growth and rising incomes, Avition sector in India is expected to maintain its high-growth trajectory, including in the case of foreign air travel and cross-border movement of air cargo.
  • At this stage of aviation sector India cannot afford emission cap by 2020, as it will hamper the growth of Indian aviation sector. In this background India’s stand is justified.

Suggestions-

  • Though India cannot afford cap on emission in aviation, but being matured country in international forum, hence it can put forward cogent and viable alternative approaches to address the sector’s contribution to climate change.
  • For example India can offset excess emission by means of various measures such as afforestation or carbon capture.

Conclusion-

India needs to leverage its place in the world and engage with the world so that solutions to its special conditions can be designed. Ever-increasing amount of emission produced by the aviation sector is cause of concern in fight against climate change, hence India should take active steps to offset emissions by undertaking compensatory emission-reduction measures, a move that would put undue economic burden on airlines and the fledgling aviation sector.


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