India Green News: Ahmedabad releases 2014 Heat Action Plan, while Modi leans toward Solar
March 5th-12th 2014
India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
Environmental Health and Governance
AHMEDABAD: The Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Gandhinagar has developed a plan to combat severe heat this summer. It will help reduce the impact of extreme heat by continuing efforts to initiate an early warning system for residents, providing preparation and training to medical and community workers, building public awareness of heat-related health risks and coordinating inter-agency emergency response efforts when heat waves hit.
The plan, originally created by the AMC, in partnership with an international coalition of health and academic groups, in response to the deadly heat wave in May 2010 which killed hundreds of residents. IIPH will train police, engineering and road construction workers and construction groups to protect themselves while toiling it out in the heat.
(Times of India, 3/12/2014)
Panaji: India's beach and boho tourism mecca, Goa, may well have to drop one key four-letter USP. Fish.
Pollution, global warming, overkill both for export and to feed the burgeoning tourism industry is threatening to trigger a fish famine off the Western Indian state's coast and rivers.
Molecular biologist George Easow’s move to India to start a clinical diagnostics business lasted just three weeks before he decided to give up and return to the U.K. Within days of the family’s move to New Delhi, his 7-month-old daughter, Fiona, was wheezing and gasping for air because of smog. “She could hardly breathe,” says her father.
Fiona was kept indoors and put on medication. Nothing worked. “We had to make a call,” Easow says, adding that her symptoms disappeared once they were back in the U.K. and haven’t returned. For the 16.8 million residents of India’s capital, the wheezing continues. The bad news is, it’s going to get worse.
(The Bloomberg Businessweek 3/6/2014)
Chief minister of Gujarat state Narendra Modi said, “We have to focus on generating more power from our abundant renewable energy resources.”
Narendra Modi hasn’t said much about how he’d govern India if he wins the general election in May. One thing is clear: he’s signaling a clean energy revolution to end blackouts and revive economic growth.
The election frontrunner pioneered India’s first incentives for large-scale solar power in 2009 in sun-baked Gujarat province a year before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh backed the technology. Modi also shook up utilities, giving his state uninterrupted electricity supplies, a rarity in India.
India and United States on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate in the field of energy, and to and promote greater technological and business innovation, scientific cooperation and research development.
Participating in the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue here, representatives of both countries also agreed to collaborate on energy development and deployment of environmentally-friendly technologies and products, open trade, and sound regulatory frameworks to deliver energy solutions for sustainable growth.
(The Business Standard, 3/11/2014)
The growth in energy demand in India would be the highest among all countries by 2030-35, beating even China, says the 2014 energy outlook report issued by British oil giant BP.
“We project that by 2035, India will become increasingly import-dependent, despite increases in non-fossil fuel production,” it said.
(The Business Standard, 3/8/2014)
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz arrives in India today for high-level meetings that many hope will help ease recent diplomatic tensions between the two countries, including a spat over renewable energy.
The U.S.-India Energy Dialogue was originally scheduled for January but was upended by bitter feelings in India over the strip search and arrest of a diplomat in New York who was charged with visa fraud. That tension has been exacerbated by an escalating trade dispute over solar panel rules.
(E&E News, 3/10/2014)
NEW DELHI: Snowfall in the middle of March; heavy showers in the drying-up phase of the monsoon; catastrophic floods before the rainy season; searing heat in parts of south India — extreme climate events seem to be the norm in the past year, deepening concerns about climate change.
The unusually cool and rainy weather currently prevailing in the north is raising concerns about potato and sugar production while mustard and wheat harvests, which were earlier headed for a record, would be lower. To make matters worse, the dreaded El Nino phenomenon, in which changes in temperature in the Pacific Ocean disrupt global weather patterns including Indian monsoon, seems more likely than earlier forecasts.
(The Economic Times, 3/11/2014)