Javadekar tells developed world to tax coal to raise $100 bn for climate fund

India has levied a Clean Environment Cess of $6 (Rs400) per tonne on coal and if the developed world follows India in taxing polluting coal, $100 billion can easily be raised, minister of state for environment and climate change Prakash Javadekar has said.

Speaking on the eve of his departure for New York for the signing of Paris Climate Change Agreement, the minister said, mobilising $100 billion is still at the stage of discussion and no concrete action plan has been laid out.

He also urged the developed world to declare its enhanced action plan for the second period of Kyoto Protocol. Besides, he said, the developed world can provide technological support to the developing nations in the fight against climate change.

India, he said, is leading by example on mitigation and adaptation. Laying out the details of India's action on climate change after the Paris Agreement, Javadekar said that the country has scaled up its target for renewable energy capacity to 175 GigaWatt by 2022, out of which 40 GW renewable energy capacity has been achieved by March 2016.

India, he said, has decided to leapfrog from Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norms by 1 April 2020, thereby skipping BS-V emission norms altogether.

''The government has taken a decision to promote blending of ethanol with petrol and its use as an alternative fuel and has also taken a decision to tax SUVs and diesel vehicles'', Javadekar added. He also said that 93 million LED bulbs have been distributed till 12 April 2016. This has resulted in energy savings of more than 33.3 million kWh every day.

Listing the initiatives taken by the government on adaptation front, the minister stated that farmers can get their inefficient agricultural pumps sets replaced free of cost with energy efficient pumps. Besides, the government has taken other initiatives, which include, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana to improve water use efficiency, sustainable agriculture and efficient water use.

Speaking on the issue of pollution of lakes in Bengaluru, Javadekar said that the union environment ministry has issued directions under section 5 and section 18 of the Environment Protection Act on pollution of lakes in Bengaluru.

He said the centre has extended an assistance of Rs800 crore under AMRUT scheme for cleaning up the lakes in Bengaluru. Out of this, Rs500 crore is for laying down a 74 km trunk sewage pipeline. He also said that Rs162 crore have been provided to construct 4 sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Bellandur lake.

He said 1,280 MLD of sewage is generated per day in Bengaluru, while the capacity to treat sewage is 721 MLD. Out of this, 600 MLD of sewage is actually treated. He also pointed out that of the 520 STPs, 137 STPs are non-functional.

The environment minister said the government has received the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority Bill. Some of the suggestions have been incorporated and the bill will be placed in the Parliament in the next session, he added.

Javadekar will also be attending the meeting of Major Economies Forum on 23-24 April 2016.