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The alliance seeks to complement existing efforts of the Indian government, such as the process of submitting National Communications to the UNFCCC, by helping address existing data gaps and data accessibility issues, extending beyond the scope of national inventories, and increasing the volume of analytics and policy dialogue on India’s GHG emissions sources, profile, and related policies.
Filling Data Gaps: Official GHG inventories are available for the years 1994, 2000, 2007 and 2012. Availability of GHG emissions estimates for more recent years will improve government and civil society understanding on current linkages between policy actions and GHG emissions, such as in assessing the progress achieved on India’s Copenhagen Pledge. GHG estimates for recent years would also facilitate more informed deliberations on policy matters of current importance, such as preparation of India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Similarly, availability of state-level GHG emissions estimates will enable state governments to analyse their emission profiles and define quantitative goals as part of internal planning exercises and designing policy interventions. Most states did not have the benefit of state-level GHG emissions data while preparing their State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC). A time-series of annual estimates will also permit trend analyses.
Enhancing Data Accessibility: Working with existing inventories is challenging for research institutes on account of disaggregated data not being easily accessible and limitations in available documentation with respect to clarity on the methods and data sources used to prepare inventories. These limitations inhibit research institutions from using existing inventories for carrying out independent national, sub-national, and sector level assessments. The inability to understand methods and/or replicate inventory estimates also hurts the inventory’s credibility. The proposed platform can help overcome these challenges by ensuring adequate transparency (in data, methods, and documentation) and accessibility (through free online access) of its research and publications, as well by helping introduce similar best practices in national inventories through collaboration with agencies responsible for preparing these inventories.
Informing Policy Dialogue: The absence and inaccessibility of emissions data hampers informed dialogue and decision making on climate policies, setting of goals using GHG-based metrics, and tracking of progress. An open-access database of GHG emissions estimates will empower a host of government and civil society institutions to undertake independent analytic assessments of relevance to their policy domains. The proposed platform can spur such activities by undertaking key assessments itself, after the database is established, and by engaging and assisting other institutions to carry out independent analyses, thereby also helping build organisational capacity for such analytics in India. Additionally, the platform will seek to regularly convene institutions carrying out analytic work in support of policy development, using GHG emissions trends and forecasts at the sector, sub-national, and national level, to increasingly feed in such quantitative research in to current policy dialogues.
Showcase India’s Actions on Climate Change: The Government of India has undertaken a number of programmes and initiatives, that would have a potential impact on mitigating the effects of climate change in India. Similarly, many states also have policy framework in place, where mitigating climate change are definite co-benefits. However, most of these programmes and initiatives are not known beyond the boundaries of India and therefore, a programme such as this, which will trace the emission trajectories of India over a period of time, can also help to amplify the effects of Government of India’s policies and programmes with respect to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Create a repository of information in one accessible data base for use by all ministries: This initiative would ensure that a repository of information in one accessible data base is made available for use by all Ministries, departments and stakeholders. Such a repository would also help in identifying areas of convergence between various programmes and activities of various ministries, departments and agencies and help to identify areas where there could be greater possibilities of joint programme and strengthen coordination between and among various missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.