Only 8 states in the country have made meaningful progress to fight climate change

  • India’s Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) believes that India’s progress to address climate change has been “commendable”.
  • The progress is largely concentrated in eight states and two union territories, most of which are located in southern India.
  • Among the front-runners leading the charge to achieve Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, Himachal Pradesh, and Chandigarh are the only north Indian state and union territory perform above average.
India’s Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) believes that India’s progress to address climate change has been “commendable”. However, despite the country’s score improving from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019 — the progress is largely concentrated in eight states and two union territories, most of which are located in southern India.

“India’s progress in adopting, implementing, and monitoring sustainable development goals (SDGs) stands noteworthy,” said the Economic Survey 2020.

Among the front-runners leading the charge to achieve Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, Himachal Pradesh, and Chandigarh are the only north Indian state and union territory perform above average. The other states are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Goa, and Puducherry with Sikkim as another outlier in the east.


India’s current strategies to focus “on clean and efficient energy system, enhanced energy efficiency, resilient urban infrastructure, safe, smart and sustainable green transportation network, planned afforestation,” may be working — but it’s difficult to deny the disparity.

Here’s what India has to deliver
Under the NDC, India has promised to reduce its emissions to 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. It also has to ensure that 40% of its electric power capacity comes from non-fossil fuel sources and that it increases its forest cover.

“India is among a few countries in the world where, despite ongoing developmental efforts, forest and tree cover are increasing considerably,” notes the Survey. This year, tree cover has reached 80.73 million hectares, accounting for 24.56% of India’s geographical area.

However, the annual change in forest cover isn’t the same for everyone. States like Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya have seen a drop in forest cover in the two years since 2017.

The survey states that India has achieved 83 GW out of the targeted 175 GW Renewable Energy through one of the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programs. Yet, it has been unable to solve the crisis of stubble burning — on the primary reasons behind the increase in pollution levels.

India’s CEA also claims that the Swachh Bharat Mission has come out as a winner in overall environment improvement. All the urban areas are open defecation free and the waste processing increased from 18% to 60%.

See also:
Economic Survey 2020 has signs for what banks can expect from Nirmala Sitharaman's budget speech

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