Date of text
Sabin Center
Court name
National Green Tribunal
Reference number
Application No. 498/2014
Climate Change

In 2014, an application was filed by Gaurav Bansal, an environmental activist and lawyer, before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the Ministry of Environment and Forests questioning the state governments implementation of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The NAPCC identifies measures that promote India’s development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively. The plan sets out eight multi-pronged, long-term and integrated core missions that include solar mission, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, integrated water resource management, sustaining Himalayan ecosystem, sustainable agriculture and strategic knowledge for climate change. NAPCC mandates the state governments to develop their respective State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC) in order to achieve coherence between the strategies and actions at sub-national level. SAPCC aim to mainstream climate change concerns in the State planning process.

On July 23, 2015, the NGT in its final order did not directly rule on its jurisdiction over the implementation of NAPCC and specific State climatic violation of consequences. However, it directed the erring State governments to prepare their respective draft plan to be approved by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and have the same approved expeditiously. Further, the tribunal held that in future specific violation of NAPCC, its impact and consequences, could be filed before it.

So far, 33 States and Union Territories (UTs) have prepared SAPCC. States and UTs are also encouraged to revise their SAPCC in line with India’s Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement and emerging new scientific knowledge.

Key environmental legal questions

Whether State governments have formulated and implemented climate action plans at the state level.