India Green News: EVs, Climate and the Election

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

April 8th to April 18th 2019

Energy

Electric 3W, 4W must produce public transport permit to avail FAME-II sops: Govt

Starting April 1, electric three-wheelers and four-wheelers will have to produce a valid permit from a government agency stating that the vehicle will be used only for public transport purposes, to avail incentives under the Rs 10,000 crore FAME India scheme.

The second phase of the FAME India scheme is proposed to be implemented over a period of three years, with effect from April 1, 2019.

The scheme will support 5 lakh e-rickshaws having ex-factory price of up to Rs 5 lakh with an incentive of Rs 50,000 each. It will offer a sop of Rs 1.5 lakh each to 35,000 electric four-wheelers with an ex-factory price of up to Rs 15 lakh, with an aim to boost clean mobility in mass transport. (…)

(The Hindu Business Line, 25 March 2019)

Delhi to get 131 charging stations for electric vehicles

New Delhi: The capital will get 131 public charging stations for electric vehicles to address the concerns of potential buyers and to ensure that people have access to recharging facilities in their vicinity. 

According to the plan approved by the power ministry and the Delhi government, 33 such facilities will be set up at Metro stations, 34 at CNG stations, 24 at Indian Oil petrol pumps, 15 at Bharat Petroleum fuel stations and nine at Hindustan Petroleum pumps. One each will be set up in the parking area of T-3 at IGI Airport and Jamia Millia. (…)

(India Times, 25 March 2019)

Climate Change

BJP, Congress Address Climate Change In Manifestos & Now Is The Time To Walk The Talk

India’s two biggest political parties—Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—have released their manifestos as polls are underway in different parts of the country. Interestingly, this is for the first time that a grave issue like climate change has found space on their respective manifestos.

On April 3, India’s oldest political party, Congress, released its manifesto highlighting the NYAY scheme and also underlining an action agenda that will place India at the forefront of the battle against global warming and the protection of environment. (…)

(India Times, 15 April 2019)

Sunstroke claims three lives in Kerala

IMD warns of further rise in temperatures; ₹50 lakh allotted to Collectors for emergency steps.

As Kerala braces for a sweltering week ahead, two more suspected cases of death due to sunstroke were reported from Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur districts on Sunday. The number of sunstroke deaths in the State over just the weekend has now risen to three.

In Ayira in Thiruvananthapuram, a 42-year-old man, identified as Karunakaran, was found dead in a field. In Eramamakuttur in Kannur, Narayanan, 67, was found dead near his home. Narayanan was reportedly missing since Saturday. In both cases, sunburn marks were reportedly found on the men, but autopsy reports are awaited to ascertain the cause of death. (…)

(The Hindu, 25 March 2019)

Extreme weather, strong signs of global warming marked 2018: United Nations

Rainfall in Kerala in August was 96% above the long-term average, resulting to deluge

Sea levels rose at a record pace last year, vast ocean stretches continued to become acidic, posing a threat to marine biodiversity, and most monitored glaciers are retreating, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said Thursday, highlighting how the world was regressing on key climate indicators.

WMO’s Statement on the State of the Global Climate, which was released by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in New York on the sidelines of a high-level meeting on climate and sustainable development, should trigger alarm about the worsening impact of climate change across the world. The record sea level increase, ocean acidification and very high land and ocean temperatures over the last four years is linked to rising anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The CO2 levels, which were at 357 parts per million (PPM) when the statement was first published in 1994, kept rising to reach 405.5 PPM in 2017. For 2018 and 2019, greenhouse gas concentrations are expected to increase even further, WMO said. (…)

(Hindustan Times, 29 March 2019)

Environmental Health & Governance

In India, air pollution is the third-highest cause of death among all health risks: report

Study claims poor air quality caused 1.2 mn deaths each in India and China in 2017

The current high level of air pollution has shortened the average lifespan of a South Asian child by two-and-a-half years while globally the reduction stands at 20 months, according to a global study released on Wednesday.

State of Global Air 2019, published by Health Effects Institute (HEI), said exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to over 1.2 million deaths in India in 2017. The report added that worldwide, air pollution was responsible for more deaths than many better-known risk factors such as malnutrition, alcohol abuse and physical inactivity.

In India, air pollution is the third-highest cause of death among all health risks, ranking just above smoking; each year, more people globally die from air pollution related disease than from road traffic injuries or malaria. (…)

(The Hindu, 4 April 2019)

AMC's action plan to beat the heat saved lives across India

Summer days are upon us, and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has already predicted a sweltering next few weeks to come. To battle the upward surge of mercury, local and state authorities are readying different measures in order to help people cope with the extreme heat over the next few months.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and IMD have both been conducting national and regional workshops on heat wave preparedness, while a number of states and cities across the country are participating with their plans on tackling this heat.

Special credit for this should go to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), which made the city the first in south Asia to implement a comprehensive heatwave action plan in 2013. It's been six years that the Heat Action Plan (HAP) was implemented with support from IMD and IIPHG (Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar). (…)

(DNA India, 27 March 2019)

Summer action plan to focus on bad air hotspots in Delhi

This year, for the first time, the Capital’s pollution monitoring and controlling agencies are preparing a hotspot-based action plan to tackle bad air even during summer months.

Winter is over and Delhi’s pollution levels have dropped. With the Air Quality Index (AQI) hovering largely in the “moderate” zone, as opposed to “very poor” and “severe” in winter months, this is usually the time when authorities in the Capital forget about pollution, only to be rudely woken when a sudden spike around Diwali plunges Delhi into another public health emergency.

This year, for the first time, the Capital’s pollution monitoring and controlling agencies are preparing a hotspot-based action plan to tackle bad air even during summer months. This, they say, will help them prepare better for next winter.

According to senior government officials, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has identified at least 12 areas—Anand Vihar, Okhla Phase 2, Mundka, Dwarka Sector 8, Bawana, RK Puram, Rohini Sector 16, Narela, Jahangirpuri, Vivek Vihar, Wazirpur and Ashok Vihar—where pollution levels have been found to remain at least two to three times above the permissible limits on most days of the year, including in the summer. (…)

(Hindustan Times, updated 1 April 2019)

Submit clean air action plans in a month or pay Rs 1 cr, NGT tells six states

NEW DELHI: Noting non-compliance of its order on air pollution by six states, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed chief secretaries of Maharashtra, Punjab, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Nagaland to submit their clean air action plans by next month or pay Rs 1 crore each. All the states/UTs were supposed to submit plans with respect to cities in the list of 102 ‘non-attainment’ ones to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) by December 31, 2018, and get it approved by January 31. These six states, however, failed to comply with the tribunal’s order of October 8, 2018, despite repeated reminders. “If such action plans are not furnished till April 30, the states will be liable to pay environment compensation of Rs 1 crore each,” an NGT bench headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said in an order on March 15. (…)

(Times of India, Updated March 25, 2019)

TERI pitches for resource efficiency to minimise environmental degradation

NEW DELHI: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) - an independent energy and environment think tank - on Friday submitted a report on resource use efficiency to environment ministry, suggesting use of 6R (reduce, reuse, recycle, redesign, re-manufacture and refurbish) principle to reduce the country’s heavy dependence of imported scrap and minimise environmental degradation. The material (fossil fuels, biomass, metal ores and non-metal ores) consumption in India has increased more than six times - from 1.18 billion tonnes in 1970 to more than 7 billion tonnes in 2017 - which is 7.2% of globally extracted raw materials. (…)

(Times of India, April 13, 2019)

Lindsay Weinberg contributed to this compilation. 

About the Authors

Anjali Jaiswal

Senior Director, India, International Program

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