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Shravya Reddy’s Blog

India Climate Change and Energy News - Week of September 14, 2010 to September 20, 2010

Shravya Reddy

Posted September 24, 2010

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Climate Change

Record Rains Wreck Havoc in North India 

“Relentless rains over the weekend and Monday have wreaked havoc across north India and Delhi was no exception. Haryana released 7.44 lakh cusecs of water from the Yamuna into the Capital which, officials said, is a record for the last 32 years…. This year's rainfall in Delhi has been an unprecedented 25 per cent above normal even before the monsoons have shown a sign of abating, leading to fears of flooding…. Apart from Delhi, large parts of north India, including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were rained out after the principal rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna, began overflowing following incessant rains for the last three weeks.”

(India Today, 9/21/10)

India to Phase out Hydrochlorofluorocarbons by 2030: Jairam Ramesh 

India will phase out ozone-depleting substance hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), used for refrigeration and air-conditioning, by 2030, environment minister Jairam Ramesh said today…. This will be achieved in line with the Montreal Protocol, a treaty to protect the ozone layer…. He also pointed out that India has played an important role in framing the Montreal Protocol which was signed on September 16, 1987 by the members of the United Nations to take steps to protect the ozone layer…. The ozone-depleting chemicals are used in industrial and pharmaceutical aerosols, refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, foam manufacturing, fire extinguishing equipment and pre-shipment applications.”

(DNA India, 9/16/10)

Panel to Submit Interim Report on Low Carbon Growth Path 

“A panel of experts headed by economist Kirit Parikh will submit an interim report to the government next week outlining a road map to achieve low carbon growth to tackle climate change. The report is in keeping with India's commitment to achieve 20-25 per cent cut in emission intensity by 2020 (rpt) 2020 from 2005 levels as was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year at Copenhagen climate meet…. [T]he report will give details on the plans and scope available to reduce energy consumption in major carbon emission sectors such as cement, transport, building and infrastructure to attain low carbon path but the cost analysis to achieve the steps is yet to be done.”

(IBN Live, 9/17/10)

India Offers to Host Next Meet on Global Sustainability

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, here to attend an international meet on sustainable development, today proposed to hold the next meeting of the high-level panel in India next year…. The 21-member high-level Panel, formed in August, includes Ramesh, United States envoy to the UN Susan E Rice, Foreign Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, European Union''s Commissioner for Climate Change Connie Hedegaard…. ‘I’m proposing that the second meeting of this panel should be held in India sometime in April next year... India is going to offer to host the second meeting of the panel,’ Ramesh told PTI.”

(MSN News, 9/20/10)

NASA Data Tracks Seasonal Pollution Changes over India

“Data from the Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft have been used in a groundbreaking new university study that examines the concentration, distribution and composition of aerosol pollution over the Indian subcontinent. The study documents the region's very high levels of natural and human-produced pollutants, and uncovered surprising seasonal shifts in the source of the pollution…. The scientists found very high levels of both natural and human-produced aerosol pollutants. The level of atmospheric pollution across most of the country was two to five times higher than World Health Organization guidelines.”

(Science Daily, 9/17/10)

India Stresses on Climate Change Ahead of MDG Summit

“India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said that New Delhi was working on implementing the India Endowment for Climate Change announced by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh during the SAARC summit in Thimphu last April…. Bangladesh is organising a meet of the South Asian countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to assess the impact of climate change on the Millennium Development Goals in New York on September 21.  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who left for New York on Saturday, will co-chair the meet that will try to thresh a common position for the ensuing climate change summit at Cancun in Mexico.”

(BD News, 9/18/10)


BHEL to Invest Rs. 1,200 cr in R&D by 2012

“India's biggest power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) is revamping its production processes to develop low cost and more efficient equipment as it seeks to counter the threat of cheap imports from China. The company plans to increase its expenditure on research and development (R&D) by almost 50% to Rs 1,200 crore by 2011-12, said Bhel’s chairman and managing director B Prasada Rao at the 46th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company…. ‘Bhel proposes to play a lead role in ‘development and deployment’ of advanced Ultra Supercritical Power Plants under the proposed National Mission for Clean Coal (Carbon) Technologies,’ he said.”

(The Economic Times, 9/18/10)

Guidelines, Rating for Green Campuses on the Cards

“India is tapping all sources of renewable energy to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and cut down emissions. The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is leading India’s renewable energy drive. MNRE secretary Deepak Gupta discusses with FE’s Kakoly Chatterjee his ministry’s various plans to promote renewable energy across the country.”

(The Financial Express, 9/20/10)

Environmental Compliance and Governance

Vedanta Responds to Showcause Notices Issued by MoEF

“Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) today submitted its response to the showcause notices slapped by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on August 31…. VAL has pointed out that the latest MoEF circular contradicts the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006…. ‘According to the 2006 notification, any project proponent who wishes to undertake capacity expansion work without any change in process or technology does not require environmental clearance and the same applies to VAL as the company is using the same technology and processes for our capacity expansion work,’ said a company official.”

(Business Standard, 9/16/10)

India Watchdog Blocks New Lafarge Plant Plan

“Lafarge’s plans to build a cement plant in the Himalayas have been blocked by India in a further sign of a tougher approach to environmental regulation of major industrial projects by the country…. A tribunal that rules on environment projects reversed last year’s clearance of the plan by the environment ministry…. In its judgment, made public this week, the NEAA found that Lafarge’s environmental impact assessment report failed accurately to convey the impact the quarry and cement plant would have on natural resources and the livelihoods of local people, especially those who would be displaced by a limestone mine.”

(The Financial Times, 9/14/10)

(Prepared by Andy Gupta, Program Assistant)

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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