In the northeast state Assam, which has been facing long-term climate change, it is now taking steps to curb its effect through the State Action Plan on Climate Change.
The Assam government has now also decided to create a solar energy policy to cut carbon emissions from power plants. The reason for being ecologically biodiversity area is very sensitive to the changes in the Assam climate.
Due to climate change, the average temperature of the state increased from 0.01 degree Celsius in the year 1950 to 2010, while the rainfall decreased. Experts say that it is possible to curb it through joint measures. The development agency Action on Climate Today (ACT) is also assisting the government in this matter.
Experts say that these measures may not be possible to fully curb the effects of climate change, but they can be substantially reduced. Likewise, reducing carbon emissions will increase dependency on green energy. The SAPCC has decided to focus on six areas in the state at present for the study of climate change and curbing its impact. These include the continuous availability of livelihoods, besides natural disasters, health, water resources, urban planning and energy.
Climate change can be dealt with in two ways. The first of these is Adoption Conversion. Another method is mitigation. It means to try to overcome the reasons for climate change. The plantation is the best way to do it.
During the last six decades, the annual rainfall has decreased by 0.96 mm. Along with that, the rainfall has decreased during the year and the maximum rainfall in 24 hours has also decreased. AK Jauhari, the principal conservator of forests (Bio-Diversity and Climate Change) of Assam, says, “After the monsoon and the increase in temperature in the winter season, it is more visible.” He says that the effect of climate change can be restricted to a great extent by research, proper technique, increase in capacity and through effective governance.
Rizwan Ujjamman, head of the Assam team of the Action Agency Action on Climate Today (ACT) says, “It is important to move forward by adjusting according to changes in the climatic conditions of the current period so that by reducing its impact, Could be used better.” He says that the biggest impact of climate change is on low-level people. People of low-income groups are sensitive in this case because of its direct impact on their livelihood.
Experts say that the sensitivity of such people increases due to any change in the climate due to lack of awareness and poverty. For this to reduce the impact of climate change any scheme should be started at the local level of the administration. Traditional knowledge and experience of such people can be very important in making a concrete plan on this issue.
The planning and applying them at the top level will not be of any use. In order to deal effectively with this issue, any such scheme will be started from the grassroots level.
Assam’s Chief Minister Sarwananda Sonowal has recently instructed the Power Department to formulate a concrete policy for exploitation of solar energy. He says, “There are many proposals for investment in solar energy, but they are not working in the absence of any concrete policy.” They say that with solar power, where the power requirements of the state can be met, the carbon emissions produced from conventional power stations will also be curbed.
The Assam Energy Development Agency will soon launch a scheme to install solar power panels on roofs for exploitation of solar energy under which solar panels will be installed on rooftops at low cost by giving government subsidy.
State government and climate experts say that Assam has to face severe flood and drought like every year. The economic development of rural areas can be ensured by reducing the impact of climate change through SAPCC. But experts have warned that the government will also have to show serious will for these schemes. Without implementing these plans in a solid way at the grassroots level, it will not be possible to control the impact of climate change.
The author is an environmentalist and New Delhi-based correspondent.
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