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India Climate Change and Energy News - December 5 to December 12, 2010

Shravya Reddy

Posted December 17, 2010

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Climate Change

India’s Role in Cancun Appreciated

“India's role in convincing the BASIC countries to accept the draft proposals in the final stage of negotiations and its five insertions in the draft texts, which was a precursor to the Cancun agreements, has been appreciated by Mexico…. The president of the Conference of Parties (COP) Patricia Espinosa on Friday had a special word of praise for India. Speaking to The Hindu Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said India's position in global environmental diplomacy has been redefined. ‘We were responsible for the Nagoya Protocol and we are substantially responsible for the Cancun outcome.’ This is a part of repositioning India in world diplomacy and shared vision the Prime Minister has been talking about, he explained. It was also an exercise in India's responsibility and responsiveness as a global player, he remarked.”

(The Hindu, 12/12/10)

Jairam Ramesh ‘Built Bridges’ in Cancun Climate Talks

“Environment minister Jairam Ramesh has been praised for his role as a bridge-builder on contentious issues at the UN climate conference in Cancun which ended with a deal to curb global warming, including a $100 billion fund to help developing countries. The two-week long conference closed on Friday with "Cancun Agreement," which marked some progress for finance, technology, adaptation and transparency, but isn't viewed as a decisive boost for combating climate change…. ‘The minister (Ramesh) has been instrumental in bridging gaps,’ Mohamed Aslam, the environment minister of Maldives, told PTI…. The UN climate conference on early hours of Saturday reached a ‘compromise’ to set up a $100 billion 'Green Fund' to fight global warming, a decision India described as an ‘important step forward’…. ‘We are very happy with the text,’ Ramesh earlier said, noting that the major emerging economies -- Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) -- had welcomed the decision.”

(Hindustan Times, 12/12/10)

Ramesh Calls for Legally Binding Commitments

“India's attempt to be part of a climate change solution was reflected in a major departure from stated policy on Wednesday, when Minister for Environment Jairam Ramesh said all countries must take on binding commitments in an appropriate legal form. He was speaking at the plenary of the high level segment of the United Nations climate change conference here…. Mr. Ramesh departed from his written speech in the afternoon to make this statement and later clarified to the Indian media that ‘a legally binding agreement is not acceptable to India at this stage.’ There were various ways of looking at legal forms, and even the Conference of Parties (COP) was a legal form, he added. The way forward for negotiations on a binding agreement was however open…. Mr. Ramesh's statement has been seen as a move to give India's image a boost but it may backfire as it has little support from the country's allies and the developing countries. He told the press that this was a deviation from policy.”

(The Hindu, 12/10/10)

Climate Change: India Among Top 10 Countries

“The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) for 2011, prepared by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network - Europe, has ranked India as the tenth best performer in combating climate change. The index evaluates and ranks 57 highest emitting countries based on their emissions and climate policies. While none of the countries managed to occupy the first three ranks, Brazil, Sweden and Norway were ranked fourth to sixth respectively.  Meanwhile, Australia, Canada and Saudi Arabia occupied last position in the ranks indicating their poor performance on the issue. India’s rank in the performance index had slid consecutively over the last couple of years. While it was placed at 7th position in 2009, it dropped to 9th in 2010 and now stands at 10th in 2011. ‘The reason for India’s slide has been its increasing emissions over the past two years which can be attributed to its economic growth. But it has been a great performer in framing and implementing the climate policies,’ said Jan Burck, author of the report.”

(Express Buzz, 12/8/10)

India Objects Shifting of HFC’s from Kyoto

“India will not agree to the restrictions on Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) being shifted from the Kyoto Protocol that deals with climate change to the Montreal Protocol to protect the Ozone layer, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said here on Tuesday…. Kyoto Protocol obligations only apply to industrialised countries but the Montreal Protocol, which phases out Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs) applies to all parties from developed and developing countries including India…. ‘This is not acceptable to India,’ Ramesh told European Union's top climate official Connie Hedegaard during a three-hours meeting here, noting that India had just phased out CFCs and started using HFCs.”

(Zee News, 12/8/10)

Modi Seeks Role for Chief Ministers in Climate Change Discussions

“Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to involve all the Chief Ministers in defining the country's commitments for climate change before submitting the papers for international negotiations…. Quoting the current reports about the stand taken by India at the COP-16 summit on climate change at Cancun, Mexico, Mr. Modi, in a letter to Dr. Singh on Tuesday, said India's stand on domestic climate actions as reported from the summit was contrary to the assurances given by the Centre to Parliament. He said it was not only a compromise on national sovereignty, but it also raised questions about the federal structure of the country…. Mr. Modi pointed out that about 70 to 80 per cent of the mitigation and adaptation works on climate change were being implemented at the State levels and regretted that so far no mechanism had been put in place to involve the Chief Ministers in a consultative process before deciding on India's national approach to climate change.”

(The Hindu, 12/8/10)

Climate Change to Affect India the Most

“Nearly five million people may die due to climate change in the next 10 years if nations fail to put up an effective response to the problem says a study by the Climate Vulnerable Forum. About a million fresh deaths will occur every year starting from 2030 if the problem is not addressed…. The report assesses each country according to estimated effects of climate change on the areas of health, weather, disasters and human habitat loss in the country. The report acknowledges India as a country acutely impacted by the problem of climate change on an overall basis…. ‘In absolute terms India will face the highest number of excessive deaths due to health impacts of climate change. India alone will carry more than a third of total global health burden,’ notes the report.”

(Express Buzz, 12/5/10)


India’s Clean Power Sector could Attract $169 Bn by 2020

“India could attract as much as $ 169 bn in clean power project investments in the next decade, says a report…. According to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the annual clean energy investment in India is forecast to grow by as much as 763 percent over the next 10 years…. Within the G-20, India is on track to climb from tenth to third place in terms of clean power project investments worldwide, it said…. Enhanced clean energy policies would increase private investments in India by 48 percent, tied with the United Kingdom for the highest rate of increase in the G-20, the Pew report said…. Over the next decade, India is projected to increase its renewable energy generating capacity to 91 gigawatts, five times than what is currently installed, it said.”

(The Economic Times, 12/8/10)

Environmental Compliance and Governance

Jairam Ramesh Shakes Up India’s Environment Ministry

“India's environment ministry led by Jairam Ramesh is becoming increasingly assertive. The construction of dams, power and steel plants have all been delayed by him and he has spoken out against fuel-guzzling big cars…. Mr. Ramesh's decisions have pitted him against big business and his ministerial colleagues…. In recent months he has kicked up a storm with his efforts, which he says are in order to balance development with the preservation of the environment…. In several instances he has blocked major industrial development on environmental grounds, angering those who say such projects would boost India's economy. Some recent decisions have also been criticised by environmentalists - he gave the go-ahead to a new Mumbai (Bombay) airport and a nuclear power station in Maharashtra state.”

(BBC News, 12/10/10)

(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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