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NITI Aayog proposes decarbonising of industrial emissions

  • Published
    30th Nov, 2022
Context

A report released by the NITI Aayog, highlights the use of CCUS technology in promoting the low carbon-hydrogen economy and in removal of the CO2 stock from the atmosphere.

Key highlight of the proposal:

  • As a report on the policy framework of the CCUS prepared by the NITI Aayog, The usage of Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Technology has a critical role to play for the country to halve CO2 emissions by 2050.
  • This technology is used for decarbonising carbon dioxide (CO2) from high polluting sectors such as steel, cement, oil, gas, petrochemicals, chemicals and fertilisers.
  • The report added that the key to a successful CCUS implementation in India was to enact a policy framework that supported the creation of sustainable and viable markets for CCUS projects.
  • The report suggested that the CCUS policy should be carbon credits or incentives based, to seed and promote the CCUS sector in India through tax and cash credits. 

Significance of the proposal:

  • Inclusion of Private sector: The private sector is unlikely to invest in CCUS unless there are sufficient incentives or unless it can benefit from the sale of CO2 or gain credits for emissions avoided under carbon pricing regimes.
  • Enable to track the major emitters: Via using the inclusion of various parties, it will become easy to track the major emitter of Carbon-dioxide.

Major Sources of Carbon Emissions:

The Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Technology:

  • Carbon capture and storage, also known as CCS or carbon sequestration, describes the technologies designed to tackle global warming by capturing CO2 at power stations, industrial sites or even directly from the air and permanently storing it underground.
  • Carbon sequestration describes long-term storage of carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon to either mitigate or defer global warming.
  • It has been proposed as a way to slow the atmospheric and marine accumulation of greenhouse gases, which are released by burning fossil fuels.
  • There are number of technologies under investigation for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Some of these are:
  • Ocean Sequestration: Carbon stored in oceans through direct injection or fertilization.
  • Geologic Sequestration: Natural pore spaces in geologic formations serve as reservoirs for long-term carbon dioxide storage.
  • Terrestrial Sequestration: A large amount of carbon is stored in soils and vegetation, which are our natural carbon sinks. Increasing carbon fixation through photosynthesis, slowing down or reducing decomposition of organic matter, and changing land use practices can enhance carbon uptake in these natural sinks.

Need to Capture Industrial Carbon emissions:

As the key points suggested by Emission Gap Report 2022, there is a dire need to address industrial pollution:

  • The research suggested an urgent system-wide change and an unprecedented decrease in GHG emissions over the course of the following eight years in light of the fact that the world is not on track to meet the targets outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • By 2100, the existing policies will cause a 2.8°C increase in temperature. By the end of the century, the temperature increase will only be limited to 2.4 to 2.6°C if present climate promises are implemented.
  • To meet the targets set forth in the Paris Agreement by 2030, GHG emissions must be cut by 45 percent. The report, however, demonstrates that the emissions are at alarming, record-high levels and are still increasing.
  • The most recent study called for corrective measures in six areas, including the production of power, the building and transportation industries, and the food and financial systems.
  • It predicts that 4 to 6 trillion USD would be needed to be invested annually for the world to transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • It suggested six groups of actions to boost funding for the development of such an economy.
  • Carbon pricing and the development of a market for low-carbon technologies are examples of these actions.

Government Interventions:

  • As part of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), India has three goals:
    • Reducing the emission intensity of GDP, by 33-35% by 2030 from the 2005 level;
    • Achieving about 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030; and
    • Creating an additional carbon sink equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • Energy Conservation Act, 2001, was targeted at energy security through conservation and efficient energy use, and setting up the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
  • The National Electricity Policy, 2005, was aimed at increasing the share of electricity from non-conventional sources, and the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act. All of these are aimed at achieving the broader goals of climate change.
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