Co-benefits of Mitigation
Climate change mitigation can deliver co-benefits or co-costs, and we examine the scenarios on two indicators: energy security and local environment.
Energy security has been defined as the risk to the country from negative balance of energy trade and risks due to supply (Correlje and van der Linde 2006). In this sense a reduction in demand for fuel or increase in diversity of supply (Dieter 2002) is good for energy security. In terms of overall demand, the CLCS has almost similar demand as the BAU, whereas in case of SLCS, the overall demand is only 71 % of BAU in 2050 (Fig. 3.8). The fossil fuel use declines in the CLCS scenario; however,
Fig. 3.8 Primary energy mix in 2050: BAU and low carbon scenarios
this is mainly due to a halving of demand for coal. Since India has a good resource availability for coal, the improvement in energy security would be small. In the SLCS scenario, the fossil fuel demand is lower for all fuels including oil, and since India depends for more than 80 % on imports of oil, improvements in energy security would be substantial. Indian nuclear energy establishment has propounded development of nuclear energy power using indigenously available thorium in the past (Kakodkar 2006); however, with signing of agreement with the nuclear energy suppliers group in 2008, India is able to import uranium. The planned nuclear energy power plants are all based on conventional fuel cycle with dependence on uranium, and therefore, higher nuclear energy will deteriorate energy security in the CLCS. In comparison the SLCS has a much lower share of nuclear energy which would help in improvement of energy security.
Many Indian cities have the very high levels of air pollution (WHO 2014) which is leading to serious health impacts (a. PM2.5 is one of the key local pollutants and is responsible for severe health risks. Transport sector accounts for 30–50 % of the PM2.5 (Guttikunda and Mohan 2014), and therefore, we analyze PM2.5 for transport sector.
In India Bharat Stage III emission standard for motor vehicle (equivalent to Euro
III) is applicable across India, and BS IV emission standards are applicable in the National Capital Region of Delhi and 20 other larger cities. Thirty additional cities are planned to move to Euro IV by 2015 (GoI 2014). In all the three scenarios, it is assumed that the BS IV would be fully implemented by 2020 all across India (GoI 2014).
The implementation of stricter emission norms which will entail changes to both vehicles and fuels will deliver for environment in the medium term (post 2025
Fig. 3.9 PM 2.5 emissions from transport sector across scenarios
onwards); however, air pollution would remain a challenge for the next 10 years. However, strong sustainability measures as envisaged in SLCS can help in turning the tide on air pollution quite early (Fig. 3.9). Similarly, a strong climate regime can also bring significant benefits for air quality (Fig. 3.9).
Net Social Cost of Carbon
The CO2 mitigation is the same between the two low carbon scenarios. In conventional scenario, the mitigation actions are mainly a consequence of a high carbon price which increases rapidly post 2020 and with an expectation of a good climate treaty in 2015. The advance measures taken as a part of the sustainability paradigm can help to put the country on a trajectory where CO2 mitigation is a co-benefit and, because of this, the society can achieve a similar amount of mitigation at a lower social cost of carbon (Fig. 3.10). This means if sustainability is limited to India, a higher mitigation corresponding to the global carbon price will occur, which can then be traded. If the sustainability paradigm is global, then a mild tax trajectory (Fig. 3.10) is required.