Abstracts and Presentations

Theme 1: Overview of UK-India climate change challenges

Climate change : Issues and Responses - Indian Perspective

Suresh Rohilla, Centre for Science and the Environment, Delhi

The presentation includes the aim and objectives of the seminar and the opportunities for research collaboration and debate. Both countries (UK and India) have key significance to the international forum for tackling climate change. With help of the key climate change predications, impacts and common issues demanding action the presentation will provide an overview of climate changes responses in India including the cultural, economic, institutional contexts that adds further complexity to these impacts. In particular focus will be on the responses under National Sustainable Habitat Mission as part of National Action Plan for Climate Change of the Government of India - including areas of joint research and institutional partnerships. Some responses to be discussed are - public transport and mobility, green infrastructure/buildings, water-energy co-management, resource efficiency and conservation, renewable energy  etc.

Presentation (pdf format)*     


Climate Change in the UK: Key Research Challenges  

Geraint Ellis, Queen’s University Belfast.

This presentation will mirror that of Dr. Rohilla, in setting out the challenges for climate change research from a UK and European perspective. This will briefly set out the institutional framework for tackling climate change, describe the way funding is channelled to researchers in this area and highlight some of the strategic themes set out by key funders in the area of climate change.

Presentation (pdf format)*


Theme 2: Climate change, governance and society

Shifting gears from ‘bouncing-back’ to transformational climate response in India

Aromar Revi, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

India’s current development status, economic structure and distributed landscape of demand and supply provide a unique opportunity in the next three decades to shift the focus of its climate response strategy. This could be a shift from ‘bouncing back’ to an imagined high growth, high resource-use trajectory to a more transformational ‘tunneling through’ approach.

This will require major changes in the current practice of governance and social innovation; a focus on building ‘soft resilience’ via human agency and institutional development; enabling local capacities to raise the development floor, conserve resources, systematically reduce risk and innovate to transform  the urban and national metabolism. There are significant institutional, socio-cultural and political economy barriers to making this possible. However, Indian innovation comes best to the fore when seriously constrained and challenged.

Presentation (pdf format)*


Peak oil and climate change: from low carbon to low energy futures

John Barry, Queen’s University, Belfast

Presentation (pdf format)*


Theme 3: Climate Chnage and Built-Environment

Developing Low Carbon Vision for Indian Cities: A case of Bhopal, India

Manmohan Kapshe, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India

All over the world, cities are major contributors to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and the same is true for the cities in India. In pursuit of environment friendly development, many cities in various parts of the world have attempted to design and implement climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Developing low carbon cities is a step in that direction.

Developing Low Carbon Society (LCS) studies at city level gives a platform where researchers interact with stakeholders and policymakers to integrate their knowledge and build relevant scenarios for transition towards LCS. The LCS roadmaps thus achieved will help in integration of development activities, prioritize investments in urban infrastructure, and provide incentives for use of innovative technologies to improve efficiency.  In the present study, Bhopal a million plus city in central India has been selected for developing Low Carbon Vision. The city has a unique topographic configuration in which different parts of the city are interspaced by hills and lakes. Low density development in the past has helped in continuing with green cover. The afforested hills have also helped in keeping the city water bodies clean. This natural balance is now being disturbed due to faster and somewhat thoughtless development. The new developments are not particularly eco-friendly and planned interventions are needed if Bhopal wants to continue as a cleaner and greener city.

Simulations for two possible scenarios namely Business as Usual (BaU) and Low Carbon Society (LCS) for Bhopal in 2035 are developed and emission reduction potentials of various counter measures are quantified using the AIM/ExSS model. Action plan and policy measures are suggested for moving towards the LCS Bhopal 2035. The simulations show that the GHG emission and energy consumption increase in both the scenarios. The GHG emissions of Bhopal in 2005 were around 2.5 million ton CO2 which rise by around 6 times to 14.2 million ton CO2 in the target year 2035 under the BaU.  However, with energy efficiency improvements, development of renewable energy, and other policies to promote sustainable development across all sectors, Bhopal has about 40% GHG emission reduction potential over BaU level in the possible LCS Scenario.  In pursuit of developing LCS Bhopal 2035, the menu of policies and measures fosters numerous objectives and these policy priorities change and evolve constantly with challenges of the day. The overall vision of LCS approach is to make Bhopal a more liveable entity to all its residents. Towards realising this vision, seven Actions have been suggested that can impact the existing energy consumption pattern as well as GHG emissions in future. These actions, though, identified separately for the ease of communication, are inseparably linked in the LCS framework and can only work in conjunction towards achieving the vision.

Presentation (pdf format)*


Impact of climate variations on the service performance of concrete structures

Prof Mohammed Basheer/ Sree Nanukuttan, School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, QUB

Concrete structures form a significant part of the national infrastructure, such as sea water/flood defence, road bridges, dams and multi storey buildings. It is becoming evident that even a small change in the climatic condition around a concrete structure would have a significant effect on its behaviour and long term performance. This presentation will attempt to quantify the effect of climatic variables on the durability of concrete and hence the long term performance of such structures. The presentation will include the use of simple mathematical models for predicting the future performance of concrete structures and guidelines on effective maintenance management. The presentation will also shed some light on the economic impact of climate change with regards to civil infrastructure.

Presentation (pdf format)*


Role of built environment in mitigation and adaptation to Climate change: Experience from India Mili Majumdar, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

India is witnessing a rapid demographic transition with increased urbanisation, its urban population set to rise from 300 million to over 700 million by 2050. Increased urbanisation leads to increase in number of buildings, urban infrastructure & services, transportation with cumulative impact on increase in emission, resources consumption & pollution. The UN-HABITAT has identified four areas producing GHG emission and effecting climate change, that urban planning can target, to address sustainability, namely, transportation, building, production & poverty reduction.

Building  sector  in  India  is  one  of  the  fastest  growing  with rapid urbanisation  as  cited above.  The rise in buildings construction activity has attributed to increased energy consumption, water consumption, waste generation & pollution.

A mix of voluntary initiatives with a strong commitment from the government (central  &  states)  is  likely  to  see  a  major  shift in way have been constructing,  operating and maintaining buildings.  The presentation shall highlight the role and impact of buildings and built environment on climate change and how sustainable design principles can influence the intensity of the impacts. The Green   Rating for Integrated  Habitat  Assessment (GRIHA)  ,the  National  Rating  Framework for rating of green buildings in India  and its variants have been designed to introduce suitable mitigation and  adaptation strategies at varying scales of built environment (large to small).  The presentation shall highlight such principles and shall be interspersed by select case studies, to highlight how they can be implemented.  Strategies that could be adopted holistically in India to reduce emission significantly from the sector shall also be addressed.

Presentation (pdf format)*

Co-benefit approach in waste management:  A case of Surat, India

Sanjeev Singh, Manmohan Kapshe Garima Srivastava, Paulose NK, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India

Under Kyoto Protocol the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is intended to help developing countries achieve sustainable development. Co-benefit approach gives fillip to environmentally sustainable measures adopted for improving the quality of environment. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report on mitigation, differentiates “co-benefits” as benefits intended as the primary objective of certain actions or policies from those that are secondary or incidental to it are named simply as “ancillary benefits.”

Policies globally are being made to address this issue; where in India, some of the initiatives have been taken in under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) of 2008, in mainstreaming of co benefits approach in policy making. However these initiatives are newly emerging and limited to certain cities. Surat Municipal Corporation in the state of Gujarat in India is the pioneer in establishing the sewage sludge based power plant in India. Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has installed four captive power plants from the sewage gas emanating from the identified Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) at Anjana, Bhatar, Karanj and Singanpore. The installed capacity of power plant of Bhatar, Karanj and Singanpore sewage treatment plants is 1MW each and Anjana plant is 0.5 MW. Sewage gas is being generated by the process of anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. The project is designed to generate the sewage gas by treating the sewage in a sludge anaerobic processing system (Digester) so as to restrict the atmospheric emission of methane gas. At the same time, the methane gas is recovered without release in the atmosphere to utilize for high efficiency power generation by gas engine. The electricity generated is used for captive purpose, thus greenhouse gas reduction by fossil fuel consumption reduction for grid power supply equivalency is possible.This initiative is a contribution towards the progress of usage of non conventional energy sources. If the Captive Power Plant was not established, these Sewage Treatment Plants would have taken Power from thermal electricity sources and it would have added more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because of electricity generation using fossil fuels.

Surat Municipal Corporation has followed the co benefit approach and generated energy out of sewage treatment, and resulted in reduction of GHGs. Other associated benefits are, reduction in local air pollution, reduction in health issues, employment generation etc.  Thus more and more such initiatives can help India to overcome the local environmental problems and contribute to mitigate the global climate problem. Thus we can strategically use the country’s limited resources in an efficient way.

Presentation (pdf format)*


Theme 4: Climate Change - Evidence and decision-making tools

An Integrated Framework for Effective Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources

Prof Gosain, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi Department of Civil Engineering

Projections of water demand, according to the Ministry of Water Resources, indicate that India will be able to meet her water requirements until the year 2050 through integrated water management plans. This may be an unrealistically rosy picture, as two crucial factors have not been taken into account: the impact of many local level interventions such as watershed management programmes, and any possible impact due to climate change. Furthermore, there has been no attempt to enumerate the ecosystem services being provided by these freshwater ecosystems and therefore there is every likelihood that new water resources developments shall be at the cost of the existing ecosystem services.

Watershed development guidelines, most recently revised as the ‘Hariyalli’ guidelines in 2004, present useful and legitimate objectives (apart from the objective to harvest every drop of water, which does not acknowledge the potential lack of supply to downstream areas). However, implementation reflects inadequate application of hydrological principles, and perhaps too much focus on (sometimes unjustified) expenditure. The need of the hour is to put in place an integrated framework may be in the form of NSDI (National Spatial Database Infrastructure). Many of the water related programmes such as watershed management, urban development, irrigation etc., would benefit from such a framework to include both administrative and hydrological linkages, and the collation of sufficient information to evaluate the cause and effect of proposed actions of all the players.

The country needs to put research priorities in place including research to support policy improvement, and in particular implementation, evaluation, linkages between policies and consideration of the effects on ecosystems. Research organisations and networks may be best placed to take the initiative on these issues, and in particular to communicate research information to policymakers in appropriate ways. Research priorities also include support for governance. Research infrastructure should include a framework for integration, planning, monitoring and assessment. Within this, a series of components are suggested for addressing technical, environmental and social issues as well as support in negotiation and community participation. Such a framework shall be key to integrated water resources development and management in a sustainable manner. The IIT Delhi has taken an initiative to put such a framework together (see link http://gisserver.civil.iitd.ac.in/natcom) and the same shall be shared with the participants of the workshop.

Presentation (pdf format)*


The governance of climate change in the UK and its Devolved Administrations

Prof Sharon Turner, School of Law, QUB


Increased urbanisation: understanding the implications for climate change

Amit Dhorde, Department of Geography, University of Pune

Urban centres are the wealth generating machines of a country and it is essential that their health remains in good state as they progress and develop further. Climate can be regarded as a natural resource that enables to carry out economic activities within its limits. Any change in the average climatic conditions, for example, higher temperatures can have negative impact on the national economy. Developing economies are particularly susceptible to climate change related impacts. One of the most debated issues of the present times is climate change, which is been attributed to increasing urbanisation and industrialisation. Therefore, effect of urbanisation on climate is being investigated throughout the globe. The other side of the issue is that climate change affects cities where large populations congregate to earn their livelihoods. Because of their enormous populations cities/urban centres are highly susceptible to climate change. Keeping in mind that about two third of the total world population will reside in cities in very near future, the policy makers have to plan cities that can stand the negative impacts of climate change. In its recent release  ‘Cities and Climate Change: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011’ United Nations Human Settlements Programme states that if concerted action is not taken to reduce greenhouse gases and promote more environmentally sustainable and fairer urban development, there will be a deadly collision between urbanization and climate change. The risk is high for cities from developing countries like China, India and Thailand. In India, cities with million plus population are growing and are growing very fast. Most of these cities have recorded many fold rise in mean annual temperatures than the global average in the last century. Winters are getting warmer and summers are becoming hotter. Satellite data have made it clear that at local level the increase in temperatures due to urbanisation and associated land use modifications is much higher. If climate change is going to lead to increase in extremes such as heat waves, then these heat waves will be more intense over cities. Moreover, in tropics, with increase in impervious surfaces, temperatures as well as evaporation over urban centres will rise leading to more discomfort. It has also been observed that some areas of southern India have witnessed increase in high temperature extremes in the last three decades. Together, this will also increase the demand for electricity in cities. Thus, not only urbanisation but climate change will significantly demand for power in future. It is high time that climate change should be one of the factors that have to be considered for planning of urban centres.

Presentation (pdf format)*


The use of Ecological and Carbon Footprint Analysis in policy making: application and insights using the REAP model

Robin Curry, Institute for a Sustainable World, QUB

This paper builds on and extends previous research to contribute to ongoing discussion on the use of resource and carbon accounting tools in policy making. The Northern Visions project produced the first evidence-based footpath setting out the actions that need to be taken to achieve the required step changes in the Ecological and Carbon Footprint of Northern Ireland. A range of policies and strategies were evaluated using the Resources and Energy Analysis Programme (REAP). The analysis provided the first regional evidence base that current sustainable development policy commitments would not lead to the necessary reductions in either the Ecological Footprint or greenhouse emissions. Building on previous applications of Ecological Footprint analysis in regional policy making, the research has demonstrated that there is a valuable role for Ecological and Carbon Footprint Analysis in policy appraisal. The use of Ecological and Carbon Footprint Analysis in policy making is evaluated and recommendations made on ongoing research priorities and methodological development.

Presentation (pdf format)*


Update on Initiatives on Human Settlements and Climate Change

Mahavir, School of Planning and Architecture, Dehli

Presentation (pdf format)*


* Please note that content from any of the presentations may not be used without prior consent being sought from the authors.

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