An Evaluation of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change

This study evaluates the design and implementation of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, and provides actionable recommendations to facilitate policy implementation.

With the challenge of climate change becoming ever more relevant, India is under the spotlight to come up with a sound climate policy that addresses the increasing emission of greenhouse gases that have accompanied its impressive economic growth. Climate change is expected adversely affect the agriculture sector, intensity of rainfall and freshwater availability. With these in view, the Government of India has come forward with the National Action Plan on Climate Change, Prime Minister’s Council for Climate Change, Government of India (2008) (NAPCC). The NAPCC indicates a shift in the development pathway, adopting a climate strategy that considers both development agendas as well as climate change. This study presents an overall assessment of the design of the NAPCC, with the goal to condense the insights into a snapshot for policy makers, academics and researchers, civil society groups and others. It evaluates the design of the eight missions of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

The study is based on interviews of experts in particular domains who also understand climate change. A process of interviewing experts was adopted, an Approach which can be defined as a modified Delphi method. The authors and the Advisory Committee identified at least four, and generally up to six experts in each domain. The experts were proficient in their respective fields with a good understanding of the climate mission. The criteria that was used to evaluate the NAPCC were as follows: (i) Goals and targets, (ii) Mission ambition and consistency with NAPCC, (iii) Technology features, (iv) Institutional mechanisms, (v) Financial instruments, (vi) Collaborations and partnerships and (vii) Challenges to implementation.

Key Findings

Water, Green India and Agriculture are large areas that are embedded in existing development debates. As a result, mission sin these domains would call for dealing with long-standing difficulties and setting priorities. These missions do not, however, demonstrate such a prioritisation, which could then lead to a striking directional shift in the development pathway. The Solar and Energy Efficiency missions, on the other hand, are sharp, clear and relatively focussed. The policies mentioned may lead to avoided emissions, but there are no clear emissions reduction targets in the missions. Generally, there is therefore no mention of the level of mitigation or abatement expected in describing the climate action plans. Moreover, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets have not been articulated and specified clearly.

The study has important implications for informing course corrections regarding the design and implementation of the NAPCC. The results of the study will also be useful to the future design of climate policies related to climate mitigation and adaptation.

Thematic Area

Institutions and Society

Project Leads

Sujatha Byravan, Sudhir Chella Rajan




Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation