India Green News: Paris Deal Architect Looks to India & More

India Green News: Paris climate deal architect looks to India; By 2025, renewables could power 25% of Indian Railways; Supreme Court bans registration, sale of BS-III cars from April 1

Drivers on tuk-tuks and motorbikes ride through rain and floodwaters

Drivers navigating floodwaters on a street in Kolkata


Dibakar Roy

India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.

March 27 – April 6, 2017

Paris climate deal architect looks to India

Lamenting the lack of enthusiasm from the US administration on climate change, former French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius has urged the rest of the world to step up action to compensate for the expected “four years of inaction” in the US.

Fabius, the architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, who was in India to attend an international environment meet organised by the National Green Tribunal, said: “It is clear the new American administration raises serious concerns on the future of climate action.”

He said while it was “heartening” to see the efforts being made by other countries, particularly India and China, and these would need to be stepped up to fill the void likely to be created by the lack of initiatives from the US….

(Indian Express– March 29, 2017)

India's temperature rose by 0.60 degree over last 110 years: Anil Dave

India's temperature has risen by nearly 0.60 degree Celsius over the last 110 years and extreme events like heat waves have increased in the last 30 years, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

"According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), in line with rising temperatures across the globe, all India mean temperatures have risen nearly 0.60 degree Celsius over the last 110 years. Further IMD studies have highlighted that extreme events like heat waves have risen in the last 30 years.

"Similarly, trends in extreme rainfall events in last century showed significant positive trend over the west coast and northwestern parts of peninsula," Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in a written reply….

(Business Standard– March 27, 2017)

Nine-year-old girl files lawsuit against Indian Government over failure to take ambitious climate action

A nine-year-old girl has filed a court case against the Indian Government for failing to take ambitious action to tackle climate change. 

Ridhima Pandey’s lawyer told The Independent she was a “compassionate child” who wanted her Government to help protect the planet for future generations.

The northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, where Ridhima lives, has been devastated in the past three years by heavy rains, flash floods and frequent landslides, estimated to have killed thousands of people….

(Independent– April 2, 2017)

By 2025, renewables could power 25% of Indian Railways: CEEW study

Indian Railways could draw up to 25% of its electric power needs from renewables and achieve the target of 5 GW of solar by 2025, according to a study released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on Wednesday.

An investment of $3.6 billion would be needed by Indian Railways to meet the 5 GW target. A potential 5 GW target, provides an opportunity for solar developers, with an estimated 1.1 GW coming from rooftop and 3.9 GW from utility scale projects.

The CEEW study ‘Decarbonising the Indian Railways: Scaling Ambitions, Understanding Ground Realities’, funded by UNDP, identifies key policy and regulatory challenges that developers face while supporting the Railways’ renewable energy push….

(Daily News and Analysis– April 5, 2017)

India adds record 5,400MW wind power in 2016-17

India added a record 5,400 megawatts (MW) of wind power in 2016-17, exceeding its 4,000MW target.

“This year’s achievement surpassed the previous higher capacity addition of 3,423MW achieved in the previous year,” the ministry of new renewable energy said a statement on Sunday.

Of about 50,018MW of installed renewable power across the country, over 55% is wind power.

In India, which is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China, renewable energy currently accounts for about 16% of the total installed capacity of 315,426MW.

During 2016-17, the leading states in the wind power capacity addition were Andhra Pradesh at 2,190MW, followed by Gujarat at 1,275MW and Karnataka at 882MW….

(Live Mint– April 2, 2017)

India becomes associate member of International Energy Agency 

India has joined the International Energy Agency as an associate member, a development that the IEA said makes the prestigious Paris-based body more relevant and reflects the country's move to the centre stage of the global energy dialogue. 

Power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and IEA executive director Fatih Birol announced India's entry into the elite group which the developed countries had set up in in 1974 after the OPEC cartel shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices. 

Goyal said India and its citizens had not made any additional obligations, but the country will now be involved in the key committees and dialogues of the IEA, and will be able to represent the interests of the emerging markets. Pradhan, who has held meaningful dialogues with OPEC members and negotiated more equitable terms of trade with Gulf suppliers, welcomed the move…. 

(Economic Times– March 30, 2017)

Supreme Court bans registration, sale of BS-III cars from April 1

The Supreme Court on Wednesday banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from April 1, saying the health of millions was more important than commercial interests.

The decision could deal a Rs 12,000-crore blow to auto manufactures as about 820,000 vehicles, most of them two-wheelers, are lying unsold.

India will switch to the more efficient and stringent BS-IV norms, already in place in some parts of the country, including Delhi, from April 1.

“The number of such vehicles may be small compared to the overall number of vehicles in the country but the health of the people is far, far more important than the commercial interests of the manufacturers,” a bench of justice Madan B Lokur and justice Deepak Gupta said, rejecting the plea of automobile firms for time to dispose of BS-III vehicles….

(Hindustan Times– March 30, 2017)

Heat blast across India, Maharashtra's Bhira town sizzles at 46.5°C

It's barely the end of March but temperatures across much of India are already racing to peak summer levels.

Bhira town in Maharashtra recorded a searing 46.5 degrees on Tuesday—quite unheard of in March—as the Met office warned of heatwave conditions in parts of central, west and north India.

While IMD officials cautioned that the temperature reading in Bhira may not be very accurate, other places in Maharashtra were blazing as well. Akola recorded 44.1 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, as officials said a set of meteorological conditions had come together to cause the heat.

"Hot conditions, including heat waves, are likely to continue till Saturday (April 1), after which temperatures may drop by a degree or two," said M Mohapatra, DGM of IMD's National Weather Forecasting Centre….

(Times of India– March 30, 2017)

Thermal plants must meet emission norms: Environment ministry

Sending a strong message to coal-based power plants across the country, the environment ministry has made it clear that it will neither dilute the emission norms for thermal power plants, as notified on December 7, 2015, to minimise air pollution, nor relax deadline for implementation of the stricter standards.

"The revised emission standards for thermal power plants were notified with respect to Particulate Matter (PM), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), Mercury (Hg) and water consumption on December 7, 2015, and shall come into force from December 6, 2017," said environment minister Anil Madhav Dave.

His remarks, in response to a Parliament question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, will dispel all doubts over the implementation. The minister noted that the assessment in respect to level of implementation would be done only after these standards come into effect….

(Times of India– March 31, 2017)

Compiled by Laasya Bhagavatula

Note: The linked articles and excerpts in this post are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the India Initiative or of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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