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Anubhav Gupta’s Blog

India Climate Change and Energy News - February 26 to March 5, 2011

Anubhav Gupta

Posted March 11, 2011 in Solving Global Warming

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Climate Change

Business Standard “Budget has a Strong Green Leaning” 3/1/11

“From an allocation of over Rs 600 crore towards forest regeneration and environmental remediation programs, to exemptions given to hybrid automobile makers and solar lanterns, the 2011-12 Budget, though low on financial commitments, shows a strong green leaning…. The central plan outlay for the Ministry of Environment and Forests increased only by a notch in 2011-12, to Rs 2,300 crore from Rs 2,200 crore in the last financial year…. Acknowledging that protection of forests had great ecological and economic value, Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee has allocated Rs 200 crore towards the regeneration of forests. He has also allocated Rs 200 crore for the clean-up of some important lakes and rivers other than the Ganga.”

The Economic Times “Jairam Ramesh Suggests Ways to Phase out HFCs” 2/27/11 

“India is attempting a creative solution to the problem of phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC)…. As part of its efforts to craft a practical approach to phasing out these potent greenhouse gases, India will discuss the issue with China, South Africa and Brazil at the BASIC meet in New Delhi. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh has suggested a four-fold approach to the phase out HFCs…. Ramesh's four-fold approach includes action at the multilateral level, through for example, new or modified international treaties and multilateral funds. Second, action at the bilateral level. Third, action at the national level, through autonomous actions, national-level regulations and incentives. Fourth, action at the industry to industry level, where there are enormous opportunities for technology development and co-operation, with US companies in particular.”

Hindustan Times “Cancun Pact no Proxy for Bali Roadmap: BASIC Nations” 2/27/11

After a step forward at Cancun, the global climate talks is heading backwards with the environment ministers from Basic group (India, China, Brazil and South Africa) agreeing on Saturday that Cancun Agreements cannot be a “substitute” for the Bali Road Map. ‘There are number of issues not addressed in the Cancun agreements which needs to be brought back on the table,’ environment minister Jairam Ramesh said, after holding talks for two days with the ministers from other Basic countries in New Delhi…. A joint statement issued afterwards, reflected the concern, saying: ‘The Bali Road Map must, therefore, continue to be the template for future work of the parties’.”

Sify “India Slams Parties to Copenhagen Accord” 2/27/11

“India today slammed the US and other parties to the Copenhagen Accord for failing to deliver "fast track" financial obligations to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and other nations facing the risk of climate change…. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the United States and other parties to the Copenhagen Accord had agreed to raise USD 30 billion for helping poor nations most at risk of climate change…. ‘The continued inability to deliver on fast track finance to my mind is a betrayal of the trust and the betrayal of a grand bargain at Copenhagen,’ he told reporters after the conclusion of Sixth BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change here.”

Businessworld “Green Policies Should Not Slow Growth: Survey” 2/25/11

“It said the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol in its second commitment period and adoption of robust mitigation commitments by developed countries would be essential for maintaining the credibility of the multi-lateral process to tackle climate change…. The detailed mention on environment aspects was mentioned for the first time in the Economic Survey at a time when the government is trying to balance the twin challenges posed by climate change and achieving economic growth…. It called for careful planning and customized policies to ensure that green growth strategies do not result in slow growth…. "The increasing importance of climate-related issues should not shake the foundations of our inclusive growth strategy," the survey said.”

Sify “Soot on Tibetan Snows Causes More Rainfall over India and China” 3/4/11

“A new study has suggested that in some cases, soot - the fine, black carbon silt that is released from stoves, cars and manufacturing plants - can pack more of a climatic punch than greenhouse gases…. Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Michigan and NOAA found that soot landing on snow on the massive Tibetan Plateau can do more to alter snowmelt and monsoon weather patterns in Asia than carbon dioxide and soot in the air…. Soot on snow causes the plateau's annual glacial melt to happen sooner each year, causing farmers below it to have less water for their crops in the summer. In a domino effect, the melting then prods two of the region's monsoon systems to become stronger over India and China.”

Energy

Hindustan Times “Mukherjee Unveils Green Rebates” 2/28/11

“India’s bid to be seen as an environment friendly country got a stamp from finance minister Pranab Mukerjee, who announced a slew of tax rebates to promote green technologies and a National Mission on hybrid and electric vehicles. The budget indicated the government's intention to promote cleaner fuel, such as hydrogen and electricity, for the automobile industry, which witnessed 30% growth in 2010…. Mukerjee, who had earlier provided funds for 15,260 low floor buses, has proposed additional funds for development of metro networks, an alternative to use of personal vehicles in cites such as Chennai, Kolkatta and Bangalore. However, for Delhi and Mumbai metros, the Central assistance has been reduced.”

Bloomberg “India Lagging on Channeling Coal Tax for Clean Energy, Solar Lobby Says” 3/3/11

“The Indian government, which expected to raise 25 billion rupees ($555 million) in its first year from a carbon tax on coal, failed to disclose how it will spend the money, a solar industry group said…. The proceeds from the coal tax, which took effect last July, were meant to fund renewable energy technologies, Anil Lakhina, managing director of the Gurgaon-based Forum for Advancement of Solar Thermal, said today in an e-mail. The government has yet to consult companies on how the fund will be used or its terms, he said…. ‘The fund needs to be activated at the earliest with express earmarking of certain portion for meeting the debt funding requirements of solar projects,’ Lakhina said.”

The Economic Times “Green Energy to Drive Tower Co.’s [Business]” 3/5/11

“Telecom tower companies are beginning to use green and efficient alternatives in renewable energy, especially in rural areas where electricity is scarce, opening up new business avenues worth over $1 billion for clean energy equipment makers…. Indian telecom infrastructure companies, including Indus Towers, American Tower Company, GTL and Viom Networks (erstwhile Tata Quippo), that depend heavily on diesel generators to power more than 3.5 lakh towers across India, are conducting pilot tests on solar, wind energy, bio-diesel and fuel cell-based equipment and rolling out clean energy solutions strategy…. ‘The increasing interest of telecom companies opting for fixed cost model would fuel the growth in the coming years. However, there may be limited progress on the number of towers being powered by solar energy in the next few years,’ said Jaideep Ghosh, Executive Director, KPMG.”

Bloomberg “Tidal Power Demonstration Projects May Get 50% Funding from India” 3/4/11

“India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said it may provide financial incentives for as much as 50 percent of the cost for projects seeking to demonstrate how to produce electricity from ocean tides…. The ministry is considering providing the financial incentives to state agencies to develop tidal energy projects as technology demonstration projects, according to a written response to parliament by Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah…. India may have the potential to produce more than 8,000 megawatts of tidal power along its western coast, he said. A government study has found 7,000 megawatts of potential in the Gulf of Cambay and 1,200 megawatts in the Gulf of Kutch, both located in Gujarat state, he said.”

Environmental Governance and Compliance

The Times of India “Jairam Scraps Relocation Guidelines” 3/5/11

“Environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday scrapped the illegal guidelines meant to relocate thousands of people from national parks and sanctuaries…. He ordered withdrawal of the guidelines after a meeting of wildlife enthusiasts, scientists, activists and senior forest officers called by him on Friday. He has ordered a fresh set of rules to be made in consultation with public and experts present at Friday's meeting…. The guidelines were meant to relocate tribals and forest dwellers from more than 600 protected areas across the country.”

 

Note: The linked articles and excerpts in this post are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the India Initiative or of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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