India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
November 16-24, 2015
Consensus continues to elude the outcome document for the Paris climate summit where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a global solar alliance while US President Barack Obama will announce another programme on the R&D on renewable energy.
The draft of the final agreement still as gaps as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius admitted there are "too many things in the bracket" in the draft negotiating text prepared in Bonn last month.
The Bonn text is the basis for negotiations at the UN climate summit, which is officially called the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
India had rejected a large portion of the Bonn text and raised its objections at the final pre-CoP meeting in Paris.
"We hope that the Paris agreement would be fair and equitable. We are trying to find out landing zones on several issues and hope that Paris agreement would be a move forward from the Kyoto Protocol," Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said here...
(Deccan Herald - November 21, 2015)
India wants the proposed Paris climate agreement to be enforceable through new domestic regulations rather than a WTO-type global treaty having punitive action for countries failing to meet the commitment.
The arrangement India is seeking is a semi binding type and is midway from what the United States and Europe, the two biggest players in the global climate negotiations, have proposed.
The US wants a framework to push low-carbon growth through bilateral or multi-lateral means without any binding obligation for a country. The Europe, on the other hand, is seeking a binding international treaty having punitive action for those failing to meet the commitments to listed in their climate action plans.
"What we are proposing is the middle-path that suits all," said Ajay Mathur, member of the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change and member of the country's negotiating team for the Paris summit. "It will provide a degree of sanctity to Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and ensure implementation of the proposed climate deal"...
(Hindustan Times - November 23, 2015)
Heavy rains and deadly flooding in south India, a region that saw a killer heat wave this summer, are weather patterns that appear to fit the scenarios of climate change in India, IMD chief Laxman Singh Rathore has said.
"They (emerging weather patterns) fit the larger picture of climate change predicted by Indian scientists as well as global reports," Rathore told HT. Episodes of excessive rainfall are increasing while the number of rainy days is decreasing, Rathore, director-general of the India Meteorological Department, said.
Rathore said extreme weather events in India in recent years do match the predicted effects of global warming, although "individual episodes" could not be straightaway linked to larger climate changes without the evidence.
Torrential rains -- the heaviest in a decade -- pounded southern states Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh over the week and are continuing. The region is getting the "northeast monsoon" or winter monsoon, a rain-bearing system that mainly drenches the south...
(Hindustan Times - November 19, 2015)
Beijing: Calling for close Sino-India cooperation for clean energy development, a state-run Chinese daily today said the India-led solar alliance may be the highlight of next week's Paris climate conference.
"India boasts a huge market. Currently, more than 300 million people in the country's rural areas are not hooked up to the grid. By adopting solar power to generate electricity, New Delhi hopes to remove the bottleneck of fossil fuels and enter into an era of clean energy," an article in Global Times said.
"The India-led solar alliance may be a highlight of the upcoming Paris conference," the article said.
"From a long-term perspective, Beijing and New Delhi can jointly exploit energies on the moon. They can put solar panels on the moon, using existing technology to transfer the energy to Earth," the article titled 'India offers bright future for solar power' said...
(NDTV - November 24, 2015)
Considering India's notable policy reforms in the renewable energy sector, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has ranked the country at fifth place on a list of 30 countries on ease of doing business in the renewable energy space. The ranking done by Bloomberg New Energy Finance's annual Climatescope report indicates that clean energy's centre of gravity is shifting from developed to developing countries. The report ranked China in the first place, followed by Chile, Brazil, South Africa and India.
The report said: "The new policy ambitions from the (Narendra) Modi government signal clean energy opportunities in the country." The strongest parameter in favour of India was value chain, while lower-than-expected investment continues to be the weak link.
As solar energy became more cost-competitive in emerging markets in 2014, there would be a surge of investment and capacity-building in the Asian countries, especially China and India, the report noted. Last year, India added 5 gigawatt (GW) of clean energy generation capacity...
(Business Standard - November 23, 2015)
Kuala Lumpur, Nov.23: With an aim to strengthen energy security while increasing energy access, both India and Malaysia have agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on new and renewable energy at the earliest that would serve as a good platform for both countries to exchange ideas and forge mutually beneficial collaboration.(Read: France targets debit cards in fight against terror finance)
In a joint statement issued by the two nations, it was said that sustainable energy development has been a key component towards achieving energy security in the future with both Malaysia and India having actively pursued to increase renewable energy sources...
(India.com - November 23, 2015)
CLEAN AIR & ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
New Delhi: A day after holding its second car-free day in the capital, the AAP government today claimed that the south Delhi's Dwarka stretch used during the event showed "significant" reduction in level of pollutants in the air.
The government said this while releasing the comparative ambient air quality figures collated by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on November 20 and November 22.
The figures show up to 55 per cent reduction in level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) along one of the car-free stretches. This happened at Dwarka's Sector 3 where level of NO2 fell from 318 micrograms to 140 micrograms per cubic metre.
At the Panchsheel apartment area, PM 2.5 fell from 315 micrograms per cubic metre on November 20 to 276 yesterday as number of cars came down owing to car-free day. The safe limit is 60 micrograms per cubic metre...
(NDTV - November 23, 2015)
Residents of the state will soon get real time air quality data on air pollution as the continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) are being commissioned at Golden Temple in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh, which are believed to be highly polluted.
Costing Rs 3.26 crore, these stations will be in place till the end of next month. The main objective behind monitoring the ambient air quality is to draw an action plan for pollution abatement in these cities where these stations are coming up.
This comes hot on the heels of the Supreme Court taking cognisance of air pollution in Delhi and Chief Justice of India HL Dattu making an unusual admission that his grandson "looks like a ninja" because of the mask he's forced to wear. Moreover, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has recently imposed fines ranging between Rs 2,500 and Rs 15,000 on farmers to prevent them from burning paddy fields in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The NGT, in its order on November 4, asked the five states to notify it about the steps taken to check this harmful practice...
(The Tribune - November 23, 2015)
Note: The linked articles and excerpts in this post are provided for informational puposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the India Initiative or of the Natural Resources Defense Council.