Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha urged that the World Sustainable Development Summit, being held in New Delhi's India Habitat Centre as a run up to the Paris conference on climate change, be moved to the 'real India' where the impacts of climate change are much clearer.
“Let us take the summit to the real India...to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam where people are dealing with these problems every day. We must take our solutions to places where the problem is real and give the people a first hand sense of this," Sinha, who was addressing the summit, said.
On a 'go green' streak, Sinha was seen promoting #ACT4EARTH at Delhi's Indira Gandhi Airport. The initiative at Delhi's T3 terminal was taken up to promote the many green initiatives adopted by GMR, the lead consortium group that runs the airport. The aim of the initiative is to promote energy efficiency through effective lighting solutions and environment-friendly habits.
In the recent months, Delhi International Airport (P) Limited (DIAL) has set up solar power capacity of 7.84MW for reducing the green house emissions—a lesson already picked up by a few more airports in the country. DIAL plans to ramp up the use of renewable energy to 20MW in the coming years.
The other environment-friendly infrastructure at the Delhi airport include, a zero discharge sewage treatment plant and water treatment plant, a number of rain water harvesting structures, energy efficient bridge mounted equipments (BME), energy efficient lighting systems, advanced fuel hydrant systems, fixed electric ground power units and preconditioned supply systems.
In a statement, DIAL claimed that the various environment-friendly initiatives implemented at IGIA have resulted in more than 50 per cent reduction in specific energy and specific GHG emission in the last five years. Similar decreasing trends have also been noted in water consumption and waste generation due to implementation of green building concepts in the airport.
“We strongly believe that the collaborative approach is the key for combating climate change. As part of our extensive strategy on sustainability and much in line with honourable prime minister’s vision, we have taken various efficiency initiatives. These include green infrastructure such as solar power generation, water and waste management initiatives,"said Srinivas Bomidila, Chairman Airports, GMR Group.
Last week, Delhi airport won the accolade for being the first airport in Asia-Pacific to achieve Carbon Neutral status at the Airports Council International (ACI) event in Montreal, Canada. The Airport Carbon Accreditation has upgraded Delhi Airport to "Level 3+ Neutrality" which is the highest level of environmental achievement accorded to airports across the world under this programme. The T3 of Delhi airport also won the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and green building rating agency IGBC's platinum grade for adopting environment-friendly practices for running the airport.
After taking a tour of T3's various facilities, Sinha said businesses should take part in more such innovations that are sensitive to climate change as it would improve the fundamentals of a business. “Businesses that innovate are not incidental, and together with the markets they represent, they are going to be the fundamental way we will be able to solve these problems and form the bedrock of a revolutionary behavioural change that’s needed," said Sinha.
"We cannot diminish the scale and magnitude of the issues we are dealing with. We all know the planet is at a risk right now," Sinha said, adding “The government has already opened many avenues for rapid growth of the renewable sector and aviation, too, must contribute in every manner possible.”
India has taken the challenge and committed to meet the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) goals submitted to UNFCCC, to reduce carbon emission intensity by 33 to 35 per cent between 2005 and 2030. In the last two years, India has made great strides in diversifying its energy mix by moving more towards renewable sources like solar and wind.
With eight missions against climate change, India has introduced mechanisms for monitoring air quality and levels of pollution. This is in addition to far stronger commitments of altering our energy mix and increasing renewable energy contribution to 40 per cent by 2030 (about 14.2 per cent now), enhancing energy efficiency and increasing carbon taxation finally.