India Green News: India to Talk HFCs Under Montreal Pact; India Will Be Renewables Superpower Says Energy Minister

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

Compiled by Nehmat Kaur

September 26 – October 16th

CLIMATE CHANGE

India to talk HFCs under Montreal pact

NEW DELHI: The government agreed to discuss the phasing out of refrigerant coolants under the Montreal Protocol, marking a change in its stand from earlier this month when the environment minister had refused to discuss the issue under the same norms.

The coolants, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), are said to be a major cause of global warming and are over 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The United States has been pressing India to discuss their phasing out under the Montreal Protocol, a global treaty to phase out substances that deplete earth’s ozone layer.

In return, the US agreed that accounting of the phasing out of the coolants can be done under the United Nations convention on climate change that provides for reducing global warming-causing gases.

 (Hindustan Times, Oct. 1, 2014)

Coastal cities need to be climate-proof, says study

VISHAKHAPATNAM: A devastated Vishakapatnam has brought home the need for coastal cities to be climate resilient in terms of extreme events with respect to preparation and infrastructure. Recent studies indicate that there is a long way to go in achieving this. Both the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 and the Environment Ministry had said there would be a high likelihood of increase in the intensity of cyclonic events on the east coast of India.

A working paper on Planning Climate Resilient Coastal Cities — Learning from Panaji and Visakhapatnam by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), released last week, says that it is highly pertinent to start climate proofing infrastructure and services, given the climate sensitive nature of the existing infrastructure systems in the cities. The study says it is imperative to assess sea level rise combined with other factors like storm surge and cyclones and changes in precipitation.

 (The Hindu, Oct. 15, 2014)

ENERGY

India will be renewables superpower, says energy minister

NEW DELHI: India will be a “renewables superpower” according to its new energy minister, but its coal-fired electricity generation will also undergo “very rapid” expansion.

However, Piyush Goyal dismissed criticism of the impact of India’s coal rush on climate change, as western governments giving “homilies and pontificating, having enjoyed themselves the fruits of ruining the environment over many years.”

The aggressive statements are significant in setting out both how prime minister Narendra Modi will fulfil his government’s ambitious goal to bring electricity to the 300m power-less Indians and also how India will approach the crucial 15 months of negotiations ahead before a UN deal to tackle global warming must be agreed.

 (The Guardian, Oct. 1, 2014)

Power ministry to sell LEDs at Rs10 against the market price of Rs 400

NEW DELHI: A day after the Nobel Prize in physics was won by the scientists who invented blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the power ministry Wednesday launched a business model enabling the sale of LEDs to households at Rs.10 against the market price of Rs.400.

"The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) together with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), which is a joint venture of four central public sector undertakings in the power sector, have worked with electricity distribution companies (discoms) to develop a business model under which EESL procures LED bulbs in bulk and sells them to households at Rs.10," an official release here said.

 (Economic Times, Oct. 8, 2014)

Green-rated buildings not keeping their promise, says CSE report

NEW DELHI: Green-rated buildings are falling below the minimum benchmarks of their official star rating by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), says a report — “Building sense beyond the green façade of sustainable habitat” — by the Centre for Science and Environment released recently.

Data put out by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) on energy consumption of large commercial buildings that were rated and awarded silver, gold and platinum ratings, under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green-rating programme, show they are grossly underperforming, the report says.

(The Hindu, Oct. 11, 2014)

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & GOVERNANCE

India's air pollution policies more successful than water pollution ones: Study

NEW DELHI: India's air pollution policies are more successful than the water pollution ones because of the country's Supreme Court's effective intervention to address matters polluting the atmosphere, according to a new study.

The study, published in the October issue of the American Economic Review, says that high levels of citizen engagement persuaded India's Supreme Court to become active in the implementation and enforcement of the air regulations.

 (Zee News, Oct. 9, 2014)

India Has Signed Pact on Minamata Disease: Javadekar

NEW DELHI: India has signed a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.

Javadekar, who returned from the US today after attending the UN Climate Summit, said India has signed the pact on Minamata to address the emissions and releases of one of the most notorious heavy metals – mercury.

(Times of India, Sept. 26, 2014)

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