The Net Zero Emissions Bill 2022 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on December 9, 2022. It hasn’t received the attention that it deserves. The Bill creates a structure that will enable India to achieve the net zero target set out at the Glasgow Summit and incorporated in India’s NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions). To achieve the 2070 target, Interim emission targets are set out:
(a) reduce by the year 2030 emissions intensity by forty-five per cent. from 2005 levels;
(b) achieve about fifty per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by the year 2030, with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund;
(c) create an additional carbon sink of two and a half to three billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by the year 2030.
The Interim Emission Target shall be considered to have been achieved if emissions reductions meet or exceed those required by the target as per the 2005 levels.
The Bill envisages setting up the Net Zero Emission Commission of India. Similarly, State Net Zero Emission Councils and District Net Zero Emission Councils will be set up.
The Bill also provides for the protection of vulnerable communities. The State Councils and District Councils shall respectively maintain a localized climate-vulnerable community population registry. This classification will be based on the following:
(a) exposure to regional drastic climate variability;
(b) (historical susceptibility to drastic climatic events according to available sources of climate information;
(c) frequency of economic and non-economic loss suffered due to drastic climate events;
(d) access to technology and risk perceptions systems and their awareness;
(e) loss of livelihood and customary and cultural practices of communities;
(f) specialized impact of climate change unique to a person or community
The Bill also provides for a National Risk Assessment. though
(a) assessment of the risks to India’s economy, society, environment and ecology from the current and future effects of climate change; and
(b) identification of the most significant risks to India based on the nature of the risks, their severity and the need for coordinated steps to respond to those risks in the next six-year period.
The Bill envisages the constitution of the National Emission Reduction Fund that shall be utilized for greenhouse gas emission reduction activities. Both the State and Central governments will fund this by a grant of loans.
All disputes will lie with the National Green Tribunal.