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India Climate Change and Energy News - November 21 to November 27, 2010

Shravya Reddy

Posted December 2, 2010

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Climate Change

India Seeks to Resolve Climate Disputes in Cancun

“India has offered two proposals for the U.N. climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, in hopes of redefining its global image and helping to resolve disputes that have stymied agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, its environment minister said Saturday…. Expectations for a treaty mandating significant emissions cuts have dimmed after last year's conference in Copenhagen failed to reach a consensus on how to divvy up responsibility for global warming.… No one expects the two-week Cancun summit starting Monday will resolve the core conflicts, but India hopes to offer a middle ground for smaller deals that can be built on in the future…. ‘India has been seen to be obstructionist and petulant’ in the past, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in an interview Saturday. ‘I'd like to think that perception is different now’…. The two Indian proposals, obtained by The Associated Press, address the sticky subjects of monitoring emissions cuts and sharing environmentally friendly technologies with poor and developing nations.”

(Bloomberg Business Week, 11/27/10)

India’s CO2 Emissions Increased by 6% in 2009

“India recorded an increase of nearly six per cent of carbon dioxide emissions during 2009 as a result of ‘strong economic performance’ despite global slowdown, a study said on Sunday….
The results published in the journal Nature Geoscience also warned that global levels of the green house gas — one of the major factor[s] for increase in planet’s temperatures — may reach record levels during 2010. The researchers say during the year 2009, global levels of carbon dioxide dipped 1.3 per cent below the record 2008 which was just half the decline predicted. Western countries which are the biggest contributors to the carbon emissions showed a decline in their emissions because of the economic slowdown where as ‘strong economic performance’ by emerging economies like China and India despite the global phenomenon saw an increase in their emissions, the study says.”

(The Asian Age, 11/22/10)

Action Plan for Climate Change Likely by March

“A comprehensive State Action Plan for Climate Change (SAPCC), complete with details of vulnerable sectors, Green House Gas inventory, strategies, plan of action, timeline and evaluation criteria for UP [Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state] will be ready by March 2011…. This was decided at the first daylong meeting of the State Action Plan Committee on Climate Change here on Wednesday. The committee, constituting top bureaucrats from the state government, educationists, climate change experts and researchers were speaking in response to the Prime Minister's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).”

(The Times of India, 11/25/10)

India Climate Tribunal Gives Voice to People Affected by Climate Change, Demands Action from Governments

“Ajantha and Prabhati were two of at least nine witnesses who spoke at the recent National People's Tribunal on Climate Crisis, held in Delhi on November 16. It was the second in a series of three; one was held in Bangladesh the week before, and another will be in South Africa next year.… The climate tribunal has the dual objective of provoking national governments to take action against climate change, and exploring legal actions that affected countries can take to defend their environmental, social and economic futures. The event allows people to communicate the numerous and unforeseen ways in which a changing climate is changing lives on the ground. The debate over whether climate change is real or not, Oxfam Global Mobilisation Coordinator Conor Costello pointed out, distracts entirely from any discussion of solutions.”

(Treehugger, 11/24/10)


Solar Power Rates to Drop by 20% by 2013

“The first phase of the National Solar Mission, that ends in 2013, would bring down solar power tariff by around a fifth to Rs 4.50 per unit…. At present, the average cost of solar power in India is over Rs 15.30 per unit according to the norms fixed by the electricity regulator CERC…. According to the ministry, the 20 per cent drop in cost at which solar power would be sold henceforth to distribution companies has been made possible because of huge discounts quoted by developers who have put their bids for setting up projects under the Phase-I of the solar mission…. ‘The CERC tariff is Rs 17.9 for Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) and Rs 15.3 for solar thermal. If this power was to be bundled and sold to distribution companies the average cost was coming out to be around Rs 5.5 as per our earlier estimate. Now, it is going to be less than at Rs 4.50 owing to the discounts offered,’ said Deepak Gupta, secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).”

(Business Standard, 11/23/10)

Govt to Give Incentives to Electric Vehicle Makers to Rev Up Sales

“The ministry of new and renewable energy has decided to offer incentives to electric vehicle makers in the current and the next financial years in a bid to boost the sales of the environment-friendly vehicles…. The ministry will pay up to 20% of the ex-factory price of these vehicles, which the manufacturers are expected to pass on to buyers, said the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), a lobby group…. The cap on the incentive will be Rs.4,000 for a low speed electric two-wheeler, Rs.5,000 for a high speed electric two-wheeler and Rs.1 lakh for an electric car…. The ex-factory price of electric two-wheelers is Rs.26,000-43,000, while the price of electric cars manufactured by Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd, India’s only maker of such cars, is Rs.3.5 lakh…. Some 85,000 electric vehicles were sold in the country in 2009-10.”

(Livemint, 11/23/10)

Tata Power Plans to Invest $1 Billion in Wind Energy, PTI Says

“Tata Power Ltd. plans to invest about 50 billion rupees ($1.1 billion) in wind energy, the Press Trust of India reported, citing Banmali Agrawala, executive director of strategy and business development…. The power producer aims to have at least 25 percent of its generation capacity, or about 8,000 megawatts, fueled by clean sources including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and gas by 2017, according to the report.”

(Bloomberg Business Week, 11/21/10)

Renewable Energy Sector to Attract More Private Equity Investments

India has the macro drivers and a clear edge to be a key clean energy market for private equity investors, states the India Infrastructure report 2010 by 3i Network - IDFC…. Private equity investment in renewable energy sector picked up pace in the country from 2004, with Citigroup Venture Capital's $22.5 million investment in Suzlon Energy being a noteworthy deal…. According to the report, from a private equity investment of $851 million in 2005, inflows into the renewable sector in India soared to $2,136 million in 2008…. Separately, a study by the Word Resources Institute recently estimated a renewable energy market of over $2 billion a year in India. The report by 3i Network too, outlines reasons for the large potential for clean energy investment in India…. According to the report, India is uniquely placed on this count due to the following reasons: one, it has a large domestic market that can provide economies of scale and reduce cost by being a testing ground for technologies that are about to be commercialised.”

(The Hindu Business Line, 11/20/10)

Environmental Compliance and Governance

SC Urged to Push Govt for Setting up a Green Authority

“Minister Jairam Ramesh’s plans to strengthen environmental governance could well receive a judicial boost. On Friday, amicus curiae Harish Salve suggested that the Supreme Court direct the Centre to set up one or more statutory authorities to ensure the country's forest policy is implemented ‘in letter and spirit’…. As part of its efforts to reform environmental governance, the ministry has put out a discussion paper for the establishment of a national environment assessment and monitoring authority (NEAMA). This is a reworked version of the, National Environment Protection Authority (NEPA). The proposed statutory body will be set up under the Environment Protection Act.”

(The Economic Times, 11/27/10)

Navi Mumbai Airport Gets Environment Nod

“Second international airport for India’s business capital, Mumbai, got green clearance with a procedural glitch — Bombay high court’s permission will have to be taken to cut mangroves. The 161 hectares of project area in Navi Mumbai is a mangrove belt and the court in January 2010 had termed them as forests. Its implication is that the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), the project proponent, will have to seek approval of environment ministry’s Forest Advisory Committee to cut these forests, if court does not change its order…. ‘We will soon approach the court for necessary action,’ Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said, along with environment minister Jairam Ramesh and aviation minister Praful Patel…. The proposed airport, which will cater to 20 million passengers when it becomes fully operational by 2016-17, had been caught in a year-long battle between Ramesh and Patel.”

(The Hindustan Times, 11/23/10)

India Panel Recommends Witholding Posco Approval

“A panel set up by India’s environment ministry recommended withholding forest clearances for a planned steel mill by South Korea’s Posco in the eastern state of Orissa…. The Forest Advisory Committee submitted its report yesterday, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in an interview in New Delhi today…. An earlier committee formed by the ministry had recommended that the project should not be given forest clearance, citing violations of the Forest Rights Act 2006 and disruption to the lives of the local tribal population…. Posco’s project, billed as the single-biggest investment by a foreign company in India, has been delayed since 2005 because of opposition from farmers unwilling to give up their land.”

(Bloomberg, 11/24/10)

Eco Committee To Review Stalled Projects

“There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for expansion projects that have been stalled for want of environment clearance…. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forward all such projects held up for environment violations, to the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC)/ State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEACs) for consideration…. ‘After the committees have made its recommendations on the project, the proposal will be processed for obtaining approval of the Competent Authority,’ said Dr S.K. Aggarwal, Director, MoEF, in a memorandum…. Post approval of the competent authority, the proposal for grant of environmental clearance, the MoEF and State Environment Impact Assessment Authority will send a communication to companies, informing them that a formal clearance will be issued after receiving a written commitment in the form of resolution to ensure that violations of the Environment (Protection) Act will not be repeated.”

(The Hindu Business Line, 11/22/10)

(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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