India Green News: India Plans Renewable Targets; Global Preparation for Climate Summit; Moving Towards Energy Efficiency
India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
Compiled by Ariel Cooper
Week of September 12th-19th
Gujarat city on India’s west coast is preparing to cope with twin disasters brought on by rapid growth and global warming
According to the climate change experts, it is only a matter of time. The city of Surat (population 4.5 million), in the state of Gujarat on the west coast of India, will soon be exposed to recurrent flooding, with the risk of malaria and dengue fever epidemics in its aftermath. It also faces higher temperatures, which may force companies to relocate. So its citizens are planning for twin disasters that rapid urban development and global warming bring in their wake.
In 2008 Surat, which owes its success to the textile, diamond and petrochemical industries, was one of the pioneer members of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (Acccrn) set up by the Rockefeller Foundation. It now receives technical and financial assistance to identify threats and test solutions. “Cities are where the interplay of climate risk and poverty lead to the direst consequences,” the Foundation warns on its website.
(The Guardian, Sept 15th, 2014)
NEW DELHI: India and the European Union stressed the need for a global agreement on climate change at the UN conference in Paris next year.
During their meeting, environment minister Prakash Javadekar and European Union climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard discussed various steps taken by both sides to tackle global warming.
"We had a very good discussion with the visiting delegation," Javadekar said after the meeting.
The minister said he told the visiting EU delegation that India is going ahead with its domestic action plan "which is more pro-active and more green" to tackle climate change.
(Times of India, Sept. 12th, 2014)
According to statistics, India’s carbon emission in 2011 was 1.97 giga tonnes, while that of China’s was 9.86 giga tonnes
While India is on the right path in reducing green house emissions, it should delink its international negotiations on the issue to suit the local scenario, said the managing director of U.S.-based think tank Brookings Institution, William Antholis, at a seminar here.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to use renewable energy in Gujarat during his tenure as Chief Minister, Mr. Antholis said India should increase ways to trap renewable energy sources.
According to statistics, India’s carbon emission in 2011 was 1.97 giga tonnes, while that of China’s was 9.86 giga tonnes. Carbon emission of the European Union (EU) was 3.74 giga tonnes and that of the U.S.A. was 5.19 giga tonnes. Despite India’s low contribution in the global category, India’s population is a decisive factor in increasing carbon emissions in the future, Mr. Antholis said.
“While the population of the EU and the US is set to decrease, hence helping in reducing carbon emission, that of India is going to increase which is why the country has to take important decisions on how to reduce emissions,” he said.
(The Hindu, Sept. 17th, 2014)
India will play hardball at the United Nations climate summit in New York next week asking rich nations to deliver on their promise to capitalise Green Climate Fund to buy copy rights of clean technologies and have a new climate treaty on the cardinal principles enshrined in Kyoto Protocol and Rio plus 20 outcome document.
Kyoto Protocol is based on the principle that only the rich nations have commitment to reduce global warming causing carbon emission while others can take voluntary action whereas Rio plus 20 speaks of right of the development countries to grow for poverty eradication.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar will represent India at the global summit in which 120 heads of the states including US President Barack Obama and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin will participate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had decided not to participate apparently to express India’s displeasure at the UN agreeing to rich nations to host a conference to push for a climate deal.
“We are against starting a parallel negotiating platform. Our stand is clear that all negotiations regarding climate change should be held under UN framework on climate change (called UNFCCC),” Javadekar said, in an oblique reference to the summit refusing to name it.
(Hindustan Times, Sept 19th, 2014)
The Indian government is working rapidly towards setting up a renewable energy infrastructure as it plans to push for an aggressive expansion in renewable energy capacity.
The Asian Development Bank will soon release $150 million in loans to the Rajasthan state government to partly finance a transmission network dedicated for carrying electricity generated for large-scale solar and wind energy projects. The $150 million tranche is part of a $500 million loan deal under which ADB will finance Rajasthan’s renewable power transmission corridor. The state government will contribute $127 million towards the project.
The Rajasthan belt of the renewable energy transmission network is just a small part of the national renewable energy transmission corridor which will be spread across the country to supply renewable power from resource-rich areas to the high-demand centers. Renewable energy resources are mostly concentrated in the northwest (solar energy) and west and southern states (wind energy).
The Indian government has proposed an ambitious program to tap the arid areas to set up large-scale wind and solar power projects. Through this project, the government intends to use the barren wastelands across the states to install ultra mega solar power projects and wind parks with installed capacity of up to 4,000 MW.
(Clean Technica, Sept. 16th, 2014)
India plans to ask power generators to invest in clean-energy projects as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to accelerate the nation’s shift away from the troubled coal industry.
The government is preparing a rule that would mandate companies building fossil fuel based plants to also set up renewable capacity, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said yesterday. Coal generates 60 percent of the nation’s electricity even as supply bottlenecks contribute to chronic blackouts.
“A generator will have an obligation to bundle his supplies with a certain share of renewable energy,” Goyal said at a conference in New Delhi. He’s asked the nation’s biggest generator NTPC Ltd. (NTPC), as well as state-run miner Coal India Ltd. (COAL), to make investments to promote clean energy.
Modi’s administration has pledged to quicken clean-energy deployment in India. The country’s 20 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity is one-fifth of China’s installations. India expects to receive more than $100 billion of investment in the next four years as it targets raising renewables’ share of the electricity mix to 12 percent, according to Goyal.
(Bloomberg, Sept. 12th, 2014)
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND GOVERNANCE
NEW DELHI: In view of incessant rains and floods causing massive destruction in Jammu and Kashmir, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier today said governments should take initiatives to stop disruption of environment to prevent catastrophes in the future.
Referring to a media report which suggested that a report on disruption caused to the environment in that particular region was submitted to the State and Central Governments five years ago, he said, "One cannot be sure whether JK floods is a result of climate change or not, but efforts should be made to stop climate change and help prevent future destruction.
"We can assume that this report, which was made under the auspices of the Jammu and Kashmir government and sent to the central governments is well established by saying that some destruction of the environment has been made and that is causing risk for the near future.
He was speaking at the Global Leadership Summit on 'Climate Change and Calamities...Sharing experiences and strategies' organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) here.
Noting that one per cent of the country's GDP is lost in post disaster management, Head/Scientist in the Department of Science and Technology in the Ministry of S&T, Akhilesh Gupta, said the country would really benefit if the government invests 0.1 per cent of the GDP in preparedness for disaster.
(India Times, Sept. 17th, 2014)