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India Green News : Air Pollution Growing Deadlier, US-India rifts over Solar Mission

Grace Gill

Posted February 15, 2013 in Curbing Pollution

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

Health & Environment

The Air That Kills in India

The thick haze of outdoor air pollution common in India today is the nation’s fifth-largest killer, after high blood pressure, indoor air pollution (mainly from cooking fires), smoking and poor nutrition, according to a new analysis presented in New Delhi by the Boston-based Health Effects Institute. In 2010, outdoor air pollution contributed to over 620,000 premature deaths in India, up from 100,000 in 2000.

(The New York Times, 02/11/2013)

Pollution has shrunk Indian newborns

LONDON: Scientists may have found the major reason why 1 in every 4 babies born in India (of the 2.6crore births in India annually) are of low weight (below 2.5kg).

A worldwide study announced on Wednesday has shown that pregnant mothers exposed to air pollution emitted by vehicles are significantly more likely to have smaller babies. The study, the largest of its kind, analysed data from more than three million births in nine nations at 14 sites in

Publishing the findings on Wednesday, researchers found that at sites worldwide, the higher the pollution rate, the greater the rate of low birth weight. India's pollution hate has been very high.

(The Times of India, 02/07/2013)

Climate Change

Does Arctic climate impact Indian monsoon?

New Delhi: How does climatic change in polar region impact Indian monsoon? To understand this, India is planning a major initiative with 10 other nations. "India is planning a major programme on impact of changes in polar regions on the Indian monsoon," Ministry of Earth Sciences secretary Shailesh Nayak said in an interview.

There is no scientific evidence but according to researchers, climate change has impacted the monsoon with extreme weather events such as excess rainfall or drought in the last few years. Several studies have found that global warming has led to melting of the Arctic sea ice and it could affect Indian monsoon.

The region is also of special significance to the subcontinent as several studies have shown that there exists a connection between the northern polar region and Indian monsoon, which forms the backbone of Indian economy.

(Zee News, 02/10/2013)

Indian birds under threat from climate change: Study

KOLKATA: Climate change is threatening the survival of a number of Asian bird species, including those in India, a new study warns.

The research conducted by Durham University and BirdLife International says that many avian species from the region are likely to suffer from climate change. 

The species will require not just enhanced protection of important and protected sites, but also better management of the wider countryside, the study says.

"In some extreme cases, birds may be required to be physically moved to climatically suitable areas for survival," says the report recently published in the journal" Global Change Biology".

(The Times of India, 02/07/2013)

Energy

SunEdison Says U.S. Companies Benefited From India Solar Policy

India’s solar policy has benefited U.S. companies and not given much help to domestic suppliers even though it restricts imports of the technology, said an industry executive for a unit of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc.

Pashupathy Gopalan, South Asia managing director of MEMC’s SunEdison LLC, which provides solar services, said India’s decision to relax policies favoring local companies has directly helped First Solar Inc., an Arizona-based competitor. The executive spoke from Chennai on India’s East coast.

The comments support India’s decision last week to reject U.S. claims that it violated World Trade Organization rules on solar equipment purchases. India is set to begin talks with the U.S. over the complaint filed with the WTO. Most of India’s solar projects under the second round of the National Solar Mission were completed with imported thin film, he said.

(Bloomberg, 02/12/2013)

World keenly watching India’s solar power initiatives: Farooq Abdullah

The world is looking to India for ideas to capture solar energy to fuel development, according to Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy.

He said this while inaugurating the State’s off-grid rooftop solar power programme in which 10,000 households are involved initially.

Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), Kerala, an autonomous body under the department of power, is spearheading the programme.

(The Hindu Business Line, 02/11/2013)

MNRE to hold consultations with industry on solar mission

NEW DELHI: Faced with the US' complaint to the WTO, the government will hold consultations with domestic solar energy producers next week on their ability to supply equipment for the ambitious national solar mission.

India had made provisions in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to source certain equipment for setting up solar energy plants from domestic producers with an aim to give a boost to the industry which was being overtaken by Chinese, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said.

Speaking at the India Energy Congress here, Abdullah said there were two groups within the country--one favouring local content and another which has "very strongly" opposed it.

(The Economic Times, 02/08/2013)

India Energy Congress to focus on energy security issues

NEW DELHI: The two-day India Energy Congress starting this week will focus on issues related to energy security in the context of policy and regulatory framework.

More than 300 professionals from the energy sector are expected to participate in the event starting here on February 7. It is organised by World Energy Council India under the patronage of Power Ministry.

The theme is 'Securing Tomorrow's Energy Today: Policy and Regulation'.

(The Economic Times, 02/04/2013)

For more news on the issues we care about, visit our India News archive or read our other International blogs.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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