According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), earth’s temperature increase from 1850-1899 to 2001-2005 is 0.76 °C ± 0.19°C. It has been predicted that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 0.3°C to 1.7°C under lowest emissions scenario (stringent mitigation) and 2.6°C to 4.8 °C under high emission scenario. Even small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather. Climate change and global warming thus has become one of the biggest challenges of this century.
The latest International Energy Agency (IEA) statistics indicates global emission of more than 32.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) during the year 2014. India being the second fastest emerging economy in the world next to China is the third largest emitter of CO2 in the world, accounting for around 5.8% of global CO2 emissions. In order to avoid adverse impacts of climate change with potentially irreversible abrupt changes in the climate system, global negotiations are on to plan strategies to limit future global warming to 2°C, relative to the pre-industrial level above preindustrial values. It is increasingly evident that in order to avoid dangerous climate change (CC), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to be reduced not only in the industrialized countries, but also in the developing countries such as India and China. However, the challenge before the developing countries is to participate in the global mitigation actions without comprising their legitimate development goals at risk.
Climate Change and Renewable Energy
Under such context, concerted efforts have been taken to reduce GHG emissions especially for energy generation. There is increasing global push in promoting clean renewable energy (RE) technologies considering increasing threat of global warming. RE sources can play an important role in providing energy services in a sustainable manner and, in particular, in mitigating climate change. Among renewables there is renewed interest in biomass energy due to its carbon neutrality, if harvested sustainably. Biomass is a form of stored solar energy which is available in remote rural areas where it is needed most and where penetration of modern electricity is limited.
All the future projections indicate that renewable energy and biomass energy are going to play increasingly important roles in meeting the energy demand through clean and sustainable manner; and it is envisaged that green renewable energy carbon market would evolve in future both at global and national level. These may be both compliance driven or voluntary as well as market driven.
Presently at the global level two main green or carbon markets exist for GHG emission reduction
Carbon Emission Reduction (CER) market under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) under Kyoto Protocol
· Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) market which is voluntary market for GHG emission reductions
At the domestic level, Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism is being implemented by the Government of India to promote renewable energy generation and enable various states to meet its Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation (RPO) and also to help achieve ambitious renewable energy targets set under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).