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MEV-023: Mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change

MEV-023: Mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MEV-023/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MEV-023

Assignment Name: Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer any five questions. All question carries equal marks. The marks for each question are indicated against it within brackets on the right-hand side.

Please write all answers in your own words.


Q 1. Write short notes on the following: (20 marks)

Q 1. a. Kyoto Protocol

Ans) The Kyoto Protocol was an international treaty that extended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. It is based on the scientific consensus and global warming is occurring that human-made CO2 emissions are driving it. It obligates state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified on December 11th, 1997, in the city of Kyoto, Japan, and it did not become legally binding until February 16th, 2005. In the year 2020, there were 192 parties that had signed the Protocol.


In a nutshell, the Kyoto Protocol makes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change operational. It does this by obligating industrialised countries and economies in transition to limit and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in accordance with individual targets that have been mutually agreed upon. The Convention itself only requests that these countries adopt mitigation policies and measures and to report on a periodic basis.


The principles and provisions of the Convention serve as the foundation for the Kyoto Protocol, and the structure of the Protocol is based on the Convention's annex system. Because it recognises that developed countries are primarily to blame for the current high levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, it only binds developed countries and places a heavier burden on them in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities."


The Kyoto Protocol was based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. This principle acknowledged that individual countries have different capabilities in combating climate change as a result of economic development. As a result, the obligation to reduce current emissions was placed on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Developed countries include countries like the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Q 1. b. UNFCCC

Ans) The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) seeks to compel all countries to submit to the convention on a regular basis a comprehensive and comparable inventory of anthropogenic greenhouse gases as well as measures taken to protect the climate. The world is warming, and a concerted effort is needed in the coming years and decades to avoid a global temperature rise of more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, as well as the catastrophic effects of climate change on people and biodiversity. In this context, we face two challenges: reducing emissions and coping with the consequences of global warming. In technical terms, these two aspects are known as the mitigation and adaptation pillars of climate change.


While mitigation addresses the causes of climate change, adaptation addresses the phenomenon's consequences. In general, the more mitigation there is, the fewer the impacts we will have to adjust to and the fewer the risks we will have to try to prepare for. Conversely, less mitigation means more climatic change, necessitating more adaptation. This is the basis for the urgency surrounding greenhouse gas reductions. Mitigation encompasses all actions taken not only to reduce emissions but also to remove GHG/carbon from the environment, also known as carbon sinking or sequestering.


Addressing climate change necessitates the participation of the entire international community. The Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, after years of debate focused on securing political commitments from all countries to reduce emissions (UNFCCC). The Agreement aims to keep global average temperatures from rising to dangerous levels that would cause irreversible environmental damage. It is the first multilateral climate change agreement to include all countries' commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


As part of the Agreement, countries committed to collectively:

  1. Limit global warming to well below 2°C, while also pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

  2. Increase the international community’s ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

  3. Make global financial flows consistent with low-carbon and climate resilient development.



The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is to "stabilize GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." The Paris Agreement adopted under the UNFCCC aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.


Q 2. Explain the key features of Climate smart agriculture. (20 marks)

Ans) Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is defined as an "agricultural approach that increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes greenhouse gases (mitigation), and improves achievement of national food security and development goals in a sustainable manner." The goals of CSA are to increase food security and reduce poverty while also maintaining and improving the productivity and resilience of natural and agricultural ecosystem functions.


Climate -smart agriculture aims to tackle three main objectives:


Productivity: CSA aims to increase agricultural productivity and income from crops, livestock, and fish while minimising environmental impact. As a result, food and nutritional security will improve. Sustainable intensification is a key concept in increasing productivity.


Adaptation: CSA aims to reduce farmers' exposure to short-term risks while also strengthening their resilience by increasing their capacity to adapt and thrive in the face of shocks and longer-term stresses. Protecting the ecosystem services that ecosystems provide to farmers and others receives special attention. These services are critical for sustaining productivity and adapting to climate change.


Mitigation: Climate Smart Agriculture should help to reduce and/or eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions wherever and whenever possible. This means that we reduce emissions for every calorie or kilogramme of food, fibre, and fuel produced. That we avoid agricultural deforestation. And that we manage soils and trees so that their ability to act as carbon sinks and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere is maximised.


Key Features of Climate Smart Agriculture


CSA addresses climate change: Climate Smart Agriculture, in contrast to traditional agricultural development, systematically integrates climate change into the planning and development of sustainable agricultural systems.


CSA integrates multiple goals and manages trade-offs: Climate Smart Agriculture should result in three wins: increased productivity, increased resilience, and lower emissions. However, it is not always possible to achieve all three. When it comes to CSA implementation, trade-offs must frequently be made. This necessitates identifying synergies and weighing the costs and benefits of various options in light of stakeholder objectives identified through participatory approaches.


CSA maintains ecosystems services: Farmers rely on ecosystems for essential services such as clean air, water, food, and materials. It is critical that CSA interventions do not contribute to their demise. Thus, CSA takes a landscape approach to integrated planning and management, which builds on the principles of sustainable agriculture but goes beyond the narrow sectoral approaches that result in uncoordinated and competing land uses.


CSA has multiple entry points at different levels: CSA should not be thought of as a collection of practises and technologies. It has several entry points, including the development of technologies and practises, the development of climate change models and scenarios, information technologies, insurance schemes, value chains, and the strengthening of institutional and political enabling environments. As such, it extends beyond single farm-level technologies to include the integration of multiple interventions at the food system, landscape, value chain, and policy levels.


CSA is context specific: What is climate-smart in one place may not be in another, and no intervention is climate-smart everywhere or all of the time. Interventions must consider how various elements interact at the landscape level, within or between ecosystems, and as part of various institutional arrangements and political realities. Because CSA frequently strives to achieve multiple objectives at the system level, it is especially difficult to transfer experiences from one context to another.


CSA engages women and marginalised groups: CSA approaches must include the poorest and most vulnerable groups in order to achieve food security goals and boost resilience. These communities are frequently found on marginal lands, which are particularly vulnerable to climate events such as drought and flooding. As a result, they are the most vulnerable to climate change. Climate smart agriculture provides a path to achieving long-term development goals such as poverty reduction, food security, and environmental health.


Agriculture is one such industry that has the potential to capitalise on both mitigation and adaptation strategies. Crop management activities, for example, which aim to improve soil carbon status, reduce soil erosion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions have both mitigation and adaptation potential. Furthermore, increases in farm and household adaptive capacity help to ensure food and nutritional security.


Climate change adaptation in agriculture, such as crop diversification, water conservation measures, and intensive agriculture, increases farmers' adaptive capacity of agroecosystem resilience. Agroforestry practises significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also providing food security and income diversification to households. Few adaptation activities, such as changes in sowing/planting, can be implemented by farmers themselves. Furthermore, initiatives such as crop insurance and proactive extension services can significantly improve farmers' resilience capacity.

Q 4. Write short notes on the following: (20 marks)


Q 4. a. Green Building

Ans) The practise of constructing buildings through the use of methods that are less harmful to the natural environment, more efficient with regard to the use of resources, and more environmentally conscious at each stage of the building process (design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction). This practise broadens and complements high-quality building design by bringing about lower costs, increased utility, increased durability, and increased comfort. A green building is also sometimes referred to as a sustainable building or a high-performance building.


A building is considered to be "green" if it is "designed," "built," and "operated/maintained" in such a way as to reduce its negative effects on the environment, increase its resource efficiency, and take "cultural and community sensitivity" into consideration. When trying to achieve higher levels of performance efficiency, it is helpful to make use of equipment that is energy efficient. Complex "lighting and control systems" and "mechanical systems" are characteristics of high-performance buildings, which contribute to the enhanced performance of these buildings. In order to reduce their reliance on artificial lighting and maximise their use of the sun's energy, "green" buildings are constructed in specific ways.


There are a number of features which can make a building ‘green.’ These include:

  1. Efficient use of energy, water, and other resources

  2. Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy

  3. Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling

  4. Good indoor environmental air quality

  5. Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical, and sustainable

  6. Consideration of the environment in design, construction, and operation

  7. Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction, and operation

  8. A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment.


Any structure, be it a house, an office, a school, a hospital, a community centre, or any other kind of building, has the potential to be considered a green building as long as it possesses the characteristics outlined in the preceding paragraphs.


However, it is important to keep in mind that not all green buildings are the same, nor do they necessarily need to be. There is a wide range of environmental, economic, and social priorities that vary from country to country and region to region. These factors, along with varying climatic conditions, cultural norms and customs, architectural styles and ages, and other factors, all play a role in determining how each nation and region approaches environmentally responsible construction.


Q 4. b. Engineered landfills

Ans) Landfills are man-made systems that are specifically designed to hold solid waste. It is possible for them to be operated as pits in the ground or as canyons that have been filled in. In order to reduce the amount of pollution that is caused by landfills, the regulations that govern modern solid waste disposal facilities require that the waste be kept as dry as possible within the landfill and that the landfill itself be isolated from the environment (groundwater, rain, air). With the help of a bottom and side liner containment system, complete separation from the groundwater can be achieved (compacted clay liner, geomembrane, geotextiles).


The leachate collection system, the stormwater management system, and the gas collection and removal system are the fundamental components of a landfill. A leachate collection system gathers liquids that are produced from waste, while a stormwater management system collects rainwater before it percolates into the waste mass. Last but not least, the cover system encases the waste mass by capping the landfill and preventing any further waste from escaping. To guarantee that it is operating in accordance with the regulations governing the protection of the natural environment, a modern landfill needs to be meticulously planned out and closely monitored.


The use of an engineered landfill offers the possibility of effective waste management, which in turn makes it possible to recover resources from waste. However, in order to accomplish this goal, the design of a sanitary landfill needs to consider a number of different technical parameters. These technical parameters include the selection of an appropriate site that will have minimal adverse effects on the environment and the hydrology of the area, as well as the selection of a liner network that will prevent the leachate from seeping into the ground. In addition to this, there is a pressing requirement for the establishment of an integrated network in order to keep track of the movement of waste and the quality of leachate.


Because the landfill is airtight, anaerobic bacteria are able to decompose organic waste even in the absence of oxygen, making the landfill an ideal environment for this process. Biogas is produced as a by-product of anaerobic digestion, and its primary components are methane (approximately 70 percent), carbon dioxide (approximately 25 percent), and trace amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen sulphide. The types of waste that are disposed of at each landfill site have a direct impact on the biogas that is produced at those sites. A collection network allows for the removal of the biogas, and in order to accomplish this goal, a series of pipes are installed inside the landfill in order to capture the biogas.


Q 5. Explain the waste-to-energy technologies. (20 marks)

Ans) This overview of waste-to-energy technologies aims to provide a clear and concise explanation of the various options currently available on the market. Each type of technology that has been discussed possesses a unique set of advantages, disadvantages, and fields in which it can be used. As Waste to Energy International (WTEI), we provide a wide variety of environmentally friendly options for the utilisation of thermal residue.


The disposal of waste in landfills, such as municipal or industrial waste and sludge, as well as hazardous waste from either the medical or industrial sectors, is cut down significantly by thermal treatment. The energy output results in a new revenue source, which has economic benefits for the local community as well as environmental benefits in the form of cleaner air, water, and soil. These benefits are a direct result of the energy's generation.


Waste-to-energy, abbreviated as WtE, refers to the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, as well as the processing of waste into a fuel source. This can also be referred to as the recycling of waste. WtE can be thought of as a type of energy recovery. The majority of WtE processes either directly generate electricity and/or heat through combustion, or they produce a combustible fuel commodity, such as methane, methanol, ethanol, or synthetic fuels. This can be done either indirectly or directly.


"Waste to Energy" is an all-encompassing term that refers to a variety of technologies that convert waste, particularly the portion of waste that cannot be recycled, into energy (heat, fuels, electricity). The conversion of waste into usable energy involves a number of different processes, including "incineration," "gasification," "pyrolysis," "anaerobic digestion," and "landfill gas recovery." "Municipal Solid Waste" (MSW), "Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris," "Agricultural Waste," and "Industrial Waste" are some of the types of waste that can be used as feedstock for waste-to-energy technologies. However, this list is not exhaustive.


With the assistance of Kyoto mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), as well as other measures to increase worldwide rates of landfill CH4 recovery, the total global economic mitigation potential for reducing landfill CH4 emissions in 2030 is estimated to be >1000 MtCO2-eq (or 70 percent of estimated emissions) for waste-to-energy. This figure refers to the potential for waste-to-energy to convert carbon dioxide into usable energy.


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is making a concerted effort to raise awareness about all of the potential technological solutions for extracting usable energy from municipal and commercial waste. It is also promoting the research on waste to energy by providing financial support for R&D projects on a cost sharing basis in accordance with the R&D Policy of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. This policy was established in accordance with the R&D Policy of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.


Q 6. Write short notes on the following: (20 marks)


Q 6. a. Natural Resources Management

Ans) Natural resource management (NRM) is the long-term use of vital natural resources such as land, water, air, minerals, forests, fisheries, and wild flora and fauna. Natural resource management (NRM) is an abbreviation for "natural resource management." Collectively, these resources help to provide ecosystem services, which improves the quality of human life. Natural resources provide essential life support in the form of directly consumable services as well as those that benefit society as a whole.


Ecological processes are responsible for maintaining soil productivity, nutrient recycling, air and water purification, and climatic cycles. Natural resource management refers to the processes by which societies manage the supply of or access to natural resources on which they rely for survival and development. Because humans are fundamentally dependent on natural resources, ensuring ongoing access to or steady provision of natural resources has always been central to civilizational organisation and, historically, has been organised through a variety of schemes varying in degrees of formality and involvement from central authorities.


A "natural" resource is one that is provided by nature without human intervention; thus, fertile lands or the minerals contained within them are examples of a country's natural resources, rather than the crop that grows on them. Although the definition of a "resource" (or, for that matter, "natural") has changed over time and from society to society, resources are ultimately natural riches from which some form of benefit, whether material or immaterial, can be derived.


According to some definitions, only natural resources that can renew themselves and whose exploitation is dependent on their regenerative capacities require management. Oil, for example, is not typically thought of as a natural resource management issue, whereas forests are. The use of non-renewable resources is regulated rather than managed. The management of renewable natural resources aims to strike a balance between exploitation demands and respect for regenerative capacities.


Natural resource management entails controlling how people and natural landscapes interact with one another. This brings together the management of natural heritage, land use planning, water management, biological diversity conservation, and the future sustainability of industries such as agriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries, and forestry. It recognises that people and their way of life are dependent on the health and productivity of our landscapes, and that people's actions as land stewards play an important role in ensuring that this health and productivity is preserved.


Projects in this category include the management of a micro-watershed, the administration of irrigation water, the preservation of soil and water, the establishment of community forests, the management of community-based fisheries in coastal zones, and the protection of biological diversity. Natural resource management focuses not only on a scientific and technical understanding of resources and ecology, but also on those resources' ability to sustain life. Natural resource management and environmental management are essentially the same thing. Natural resource management and the sociology of natural resources are two distinct fields of study that are inextricably linked in academic settings.


Q 6. b. Biofuels

Ans) A fuel that is produced from organic materials or an oil that is combustible and produced from plants is referred to as biofuel. A biofuel is a fuel that is produced in a short amount of time from biomass, as opposed to the very slow natural processes that are involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil. Biomass is any organic material that can be broken down into biomass. Some people use the terms "biomass" and "biofuel" interchangeably. This is due to the fact that biomass can be directly used as a fuel (for example, wood logs). However, the term "biofuel" is typically reserved for fuels that are either liquid or gaseous in nature and are used in the transportation industry. This naming practise is followed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the United States.


The biofuels are found to be appropriate for the following reasons:

  1. Simplicity.

  2. production via well-known agricultural technologies.

  3. potential for mitigation of global warming without complete restructuring of the current working energy system.

  4. the use of existing engines for their transportation.

  5. potential to facilitate worldwide mobilization around a standard set of regulations.

  6. potential as a directly available energy source with real public acceptance.

  7. more uniform distribution than the distributions of fossil fuel and nuclear resources; and

  8. potential to create benefits for rural areas, including employment.


The use of biofuels has the potential to not only fulfil energy needs but also contribute to energy security, the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, and the delivery of benefits to rural economic development.


Following is a breakdown, in a logical sense, of the four primary categories into which the technologies that treat biomass for the purpose of converting it into fuel (or energy) fall:


1. First Generation (1G) Biofuels

The term "first generation biofuels" refers to fuels produced from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats using well-established technology. Sugarcane juice, molasses, and grains are commonly used as primary feedstocks in the production of first-generation biofuels. Starch is fermented to produce bioethanol, or sunflower seeds are pressed to produce oil, which is then chemically converted to biodiesel. Both of these processes result in the production of alternative fuels.

2. Second Generation (2G) Biofuels

Second-generation biofuels are made from non-food crops such as lignocellulosic biomass, particularly crop residue or waste biomass such as wheat stalks and straw, rice straw, corn stalks, and other biomass residues. Biomass feedstock can be converted into a variety of fuels using a variety of processes to produce cost-effective biofuels such as bio methanol, bio-DME, biodiesel, mixed alcohols, bio-oil and biohydrogen, syngas, biogas, and so on.


3. Third Generation (3G) Biofuels

Third generation biofuels are algae-derived biofuels. Algal biomass is a feedstock to consider because it has the potential to produce biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas, biohydrogen, and other products. Furthermore, algal feedstock faces no competition from food and feed production. Processes for producing biofuels or converting algal biomass into biodiesel via transesterification or conversion of algal biomass into bioethanol and biohydrogen, biogas, biooil, and syngas.

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