Renewable energy and Clean Air Action Plan to be priority focus areas
Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) in collaboration with other civil societies urged the UP government to formulate a roadmap for healthy and sustainable development for the state. Owing to the massive energy deficiency and rising air pollution levels in the cities of UP, CEED demanded the state government to formulate policies to promote renewable energy and clean air action plan on priority.
CEED and associated civil society groups welcomed the recent steps taken by UP Government to ensure “Power for All” for citizens of the state by October, 2018. The challenges of climate change and environmental degradation are consistently growing and Uttar Pradesh is one of the most severe victims of this impending issue. Uttar Pradesh is the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting state in the country, contributing to over 14% of the total GHG emissions. 4 cities of UP are enlisted amongst the 20 most polluted cities of India, in terms of air pollution.
Furthermore, around 54% of the rural population and 10% of the urban population, i.e. over 8.5 crore people in the state are still waiting to get access to modern energy. The two most revered rivers in the country, Ganga and Yamuna, receive maximum untreated discharge from the UP belt; and the waste management practices in the state are almost negligible.
Congratulating Hon’ble CM of UP, Shri Yogi Adityanath, CEED’s Chief Executive officer, Mr. Ramapati Kumar said that “the people of Uttar Pradesh have given a huge mandate and have high expectations from the new government. The government under the leadership of Shri Yogi Adityanath have shown strong aspirations and commitment to take UP on a new development pathway.” Mr. Kumar further mentioned that “We expect to work with the new government to fulfil its commitment to make UP a clean, healthy and sustainable state. It’s time to develop a long term vision and roadmap for UP which is based on the principal of sustainable development. The state of UP needs to embrace clean energy, and all major cities must formulate a clean air action plan so that the overall environment of UP can be improved.”
Elucidating on UP’s energy scenario, CEED’s Director – Programmes, Mr. Abhishek Pratap said that “Uttar Pradesh is currently facing massive power crisis with 15% peak power deficit, which is the highest in country after J&K. This gap will widen further, if long-term sustainable action plans are not prepared. The State Government took commendable steps to address the growing energy crisis of the state by making the supply affordable and curbing corruption. However, the state also needs to look at decentralised generation of power through renewable energy system including solar rooftop in urban areas and micro-grids / mini-grids in rural areas to ensure energy access, that shall make our cities energy-sufficient. UP has massive potential to tap renewable energy including solar, biomass and small hydro, and make ‘power for all’ a near-certain reality in the coming years.”
“Prior to the state assembly election, CEED along with hundreds of civil society organisations in UP led a massive campaign called the ‘100% UP Campaign’. The campaign aimed for all political parties in UP to commit to work for clean and healthy environment for the state. BJP committed passionately to clean our rivers, ensure electricity for all through clean and sustainable ways, and ensure sustainable waste management practices for cities.
We trust the government to work on their promises and fulfil them diligently, for which we shall support and work in collaboration with them.” Mr. Kumar added further. CEED along with the civil societies also put up a set of demands for the new government to take note of and implement:
- Establish vision for 100% renewable energy that includes clean guidelines for the addition of 13,000 MW of the solar energy by 2022.
- Decentralised renewable energy should be considered as solution for energy access in rural areas through mini / micro-grids.
- Solar rooftop system should be encouraged in urban areas to meet the growing energy demand, particularly for the commercial, industrial and institutional sector.
- Develop a clean air action plan for major cities of Uttar Pradesh; which includes effective public transport system, along with transition from diesel to electric vehicles, and strict emission standard for all vehicles, industries and factories.
- A systematic plan to increase the green cover in the cities of UP by increasing the amount go green areas.
- All town and cities should have proper solid waste management systems, and the practice of dumping waste in all kinds of water bodies including rivers must be completely banned.