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India Environmental News Compilation, November 19th - November 22nd, 2011

Amrita Batra

Posted November 28, 2011

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Himalayan nations agree on climate change adaption plan

“Four Himalayan nations facing the threat of weather changes have agreed to collaborate on ways to adapt to climate change after a two-day summit in Bhutan. India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan were part of the Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas held in Bhutan's capital Thimphu on Saturday. They agreed to cooperate on energy, water, food and biodiversity issues.”

(The Associated Press, 11/20/11)

New Delhi now more polluted than Beijing

“India has recently pulled far ahead of China on one dubious development marker – air pollution in the country’s capital. The air quality in New Delhi on Monday afternoon was significantly worse than the air quality in Beijing, according to real-time air monitors run by the Indian and U.S.  governments in both cities.”

(New York Times, 11/21/11)

Add equity principle to climate draft

“Attending the seventh meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) in Rome, environment minister Jairam Ramesh demanded that the principle of cumulative per capita emissions be embedded in the draft of the long-term deal. He invited the climate negotiators to a meet on the equity principle that he proposed could be hosted by India ahead of the UN climate talks at Cancun, Mexico, in November. Insisting that the current text had ignored the principle of common but differentiated targets, Ramesh demanded that the negotiating text be revised. "It is critical that we arrive at an operational set of formulae on equity, based primarily on cumulative per capita emissions," he said.

(The Times of India, 11/19/11)


Energy efficient labeling for laptops set to gather pace

“The newly introduced Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) labelling regime for laptops is set to gain traction in the coming days, with one more major manufacturer about to adopt it and others getting ready to follow suit, according to the Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology (MAIT). To qualify for the label, BEE Star version 1, laptops have to meet specified energy efficiency parameters. BEE is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power.”

(The Hindu, 11/21/11)

U.S. will loan $18.9 Million for SolarWorld Exports to India

“The U.S. Export-Import Bank approved an $18.9 million loan for an Indian solar power project that will import photovoltaic panels from SolarWorld AG’s California unit. The funding will allow Tatith Energies to buy the crystalline-based devices from the manufacturer and construction services from North Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based American Capital Energy for its 5-megawatt plant in the western state of Gujarat, according to an e-mailed statement from the Washington- based lender.”

(Bloomberg Business Week, 11/22/11)  

Q & A: Praveen Kadle MD & CEO Tata Capital

“Tata Capital, the funding arm of Tata Sons, has announced a joint venture with World Bank arm International Finance Corporation to tap the unexplored potential in the Indian climate change space. The move, apart from generating a mammoth $750-million business for the company, would go a long way in buttressing the rural economy, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Praveen Kadle, tells Sudheer Pal Singh in an interview.”

(Business Standard, 11/22/11)

World Bank plans $1.5-bn investment in Indian energy sector

“The World Bank expects to invest about $1.5 billion in the country's fast growing energy sector over the next two years, according to a top official. The multilateral lender, which has a long association with the Indian energy sector, has already put $4 billion in the segment. “Our investment in energy sector is around $4 billion and another $1.5 billion is under preparation -- means projects that are not finalised but are under the process of finalisation,” World Bank's India Energy team leader (South Asia Sustainable Development) Ashish Khanna said.”

(Hindustan Times, 11/20/11)

SEWA to provide solar lanterns and energy efficient stoves to its members

“International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is helping India’s Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) provide energy-efficient cook stoves and solar lanterns to more than 200,000 of its members in Rajasthan and Gujarat over the next three years. IFC will guarantee a loan from local banks to SEWA members by signing a memorandum of understanding with SEWA. The project is subject to regulatory approvals. It is in line with IFC’s clean-growth strategy and will also help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. It will also serve to demonstrate a self-sustaining business model that could also be introduced in other parts of Asia and in Africa.”

(Economic Times, 11/19/11)

India Canada to extend cooperation in renewable energy

“India and Canada have agreed to extend co-operation in the field of renewable energy. An official statement issued here said that the matter was discussed when Ms Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, Canada met Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy. India already has an umbrella Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada in the field of energy, including renewable energy. It was agreed that the two sides would further explore co-operation between institutions of repute of India and British Columbia in identified fields, the statement said.”

(The Hindu Business Line, 11/19/11) 

Environmental Governance and Compliance

 Green Ministry to clean up its act

“Under attack for delays in environment clearances and dilly-dallying over issues like the no-go area for mining, the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has planned various changes. It wishes to strengthen infrastructure for better management of environmental and forest clearance systems, decentralise its monitoring to regional offices and amend the the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 to raise penalties for non-compliance. Its strategic plan for 2012-13 to 2016-17 (aligned with the 12th Five-Year Plan) proposes to strengthen technical manpower and upgrade laboratories, including those of the central and state pollution control boards.”

(Business Standard, 11/22/11)

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