India Green News: India's Goals in the Wake of U.S.-China Climate Deal, Energy Efficient Buildings, and Environmental Health Threats

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

Compiled by Ariel Cooper

Week of Nov. 9th-14th


After U.S.-China climate deal, focus on India to follow suit

WASHINGTON/NEW DELHIAfter this week's carbon deal between the United States and China, No. 3 emitter India faces growing pressure to devise a clear strategy and step out of China's shadow during pivotal global climate talks. 

India has given no sign what kind of commitment it will make to address climate change in a global agreement. Officials previously stressed that India would likely opt to slow emissions growth rather than set a peak year on the grounds it is entitled to economic growth.

That position might no longer be tenable after China - often India's ally in resisting specific pledges at talks to reach a global accord - said this week its carbon emissions would peak by no later than 2030.

President Barack Obama deepened U.S. cuts to 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, a goal it should be on track to meet with proposed new rules on power plant emissions.

(Reuters – Nov. 14th, 2014)


Piyush Goyal: Hope to make India power surplus by 2019

New Delhi: The government is working towards making India a power surplus country by 2019, Minister of State for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said Thursday. He said that ensuring the availability of power on a 24×7 basis was one of the most pressing challenges the Narendra Modi government faced.

The minister was addressing a session at the India Economic Summit being organized by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry here. He pointed out that 53 million homes in the country were not yet electrified. There were still many offices and factories operating on diesel gensets.

The government had made it a priority to find ways of ensuring that power reaches these consumers. He expected that the demand for power in the country would double in the next five years. Goyal said the government was pursuing a two-pronged strategy to improve the utilization of existing assets by improving plant load factor and freeing up stranded assets and improving access to fuel supplies.

( – Nov. 6th, 2014)

India’s first net zero energy building

It’s India’s first net zero energy building that has been constructed with adoption of solar passive design and energy-efficient building materials. 

Functional since a year, a tour of the Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, a building under the Central Government, was organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Association for Development and Research of Sustainable Habitats on Tuesday. It was aimed at reinforcing the need for more such buildings across the country.

Speaking about the energy efficiency of the building, TERI (Sustainable Habitat Division) director Mili Majumdar said: “The Indira Paryavaran Bhavan is one of the first buildings in India to have deployed energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at a large scale. It is one of the exemplary projects to be rated under Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment [GRIHA] and has set standards that can be emulated by upcoming buildings in the region.”

(The Hindu – Nov. 12th, 2014)


Panel, suggesting changes in green laws, submits its report

NEW DELHI: The high level committee, which was set up in August to review green laws and suggest appropriate amendments to bring them in sync with the government's economic development agenda, on Tuesday submitted its report to the Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar.

The committee, headed by former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian, is learnt to have suggested some amendments in almost all green laws including those relating to environment, forest, wildlife and coastal zone clearances.

Sources in the ministry said based on the suggestions of the Committee, the government would bring Bills to amend couple of existing green laws during the winter session of the Parliament, beginning November 24.

(The Times of India – Nov. 18th, 2014)

PCB begins study on water contamination

NOIDA: The Uttar Pradesh pollution control board said on Thursday it was conducting a detailed study of industrial belts in Greater Noida, especially in areas that have shown a spurt in cancer cases over the last few years.

The state pollution board has started this exercise after the National Green Tribunal heard a couple of petitions on alleged groundwater contamination by industrial effluents in the region and asked it to list industries along NH-91, adjoining Bisrakh in Greater Noida where an alarming number of cancer cases have been detected.

"From pesticide usage to effluents disposal systems, we have made a survey of all details. We are now compiling a detailed report to reach a conclusion on alleged groundwater contamination due to the local industries," said JS Yadav, member secretary, UP pollution control board.

(The Times of India – Nov. 14th, 2014)

Smog scare: Patients told to stay indoors

NEW DELHI: Air quality in the city is deteriorating every day as agricultural waste burning continues unabated in Punjab and Haryana. Doctors, too, are seeing a jump in cases of acute bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and asthma. They are advising those who are vulnerable or already suffering from respiratory disorders to avoid going out during peak traffic hours, keeping inhalers handy and, if smog is severe, recommending a few weeks stay outside Delhi.

The PM2.5 (fine respirable particles) levels have increased from 180 microgram per cubic metre on November 4 to about 205 microgram per cubic metre on November 9, about 3.5 times the safe standard of 60 microgram per cubic metre according to data with System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) under Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). PM10 (coarse particles) increased from 289 microgram per cubic metre to 315 microgram per cubic metre on Sunday. At 6.45pm, the PM2.5 level at Mandir Marg was 303 microgram per cubic metre, five times the standard and at RK Puram it was 343 microgram per cubic metre, almost six times the standard.

(The Times of India – Nov. 9th, 2014)

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