Reading Time: 14 mins On January 16th, 2020, the government amended EIA Notification, 2006 to allow projects involving hydrocarbon exploration to be exempted from Environmental Impact Assessment by categorising them under the B2 category. This comes in response to the request from companies like Vedanta Ltd and ONGC to be exempted from public hearing as they are facing public criticism for their proposed projects. Vedanta Ltd proposed to explore hydrocarbon in Cauvery delta and ONGC had applied for permission for hydrocarbon exploration in Nagapattinam and Cuddalore. These proposed projects involve the drilling of wells and the use of environmentally dangerous techniques, making them highly hazardous for both the environment and the public. EIA is already having numerous limitations and drawbacks. Exempting these harmful projects from scrutiny by the public and the competent authorities is making this system even worse.
Reading Time: 7 mins Drought is a recurrent calamity that has grappled India over decades and centuries. An isolated subcontinent of India provides for unique climate conditions coupled with the variety in geography, the characteristic southwest monsoon has dealt with severe drought conditions in the past. The developmental needs, increasing population and climate change have been creating conditions of drought. The drought and its management is important governance and developmental issue.
Reading Time: 6 mins Four and a half years after nations negotiated the Paris Climate Agreement (now ratified by 187 of them), the global climate change action is taking place at a slow pace. Though there is incremental progress in the activities, the finance issue is still looming large as the main contributors, the developing countries are yet to meet their obligations. In this background, it is important to take stock of the Climate finance regime as we are lagging behind the targets and the gap between what is to be done and what is being done is increasing.
Reading Time: 7 mins Carbon emission trading is currently one of the popular approaches used by policymakers to mitigate climate change. However, there is a growing number of cases of countries or private players exploiting the flaws or loopholes that exist within this mechanism. Reforming to address these gaps also seems to be a difficult feat as there are interferences from powerful players involved in pollution, making it highly unreliable. Thus, there is a need for a new approach, the one that comprehensively addresses the existing limitations and transparently reduce emissions while also promoting the inclusive economic growth of the countries.
Reading Time: 9 mins The annual UN Climate Conference, 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) in Madrid, became the longest on record, following more than 2 weeks of fraught negotiations. Nearly 27,000 delegates went to Spain’s capital in early December last year aiming to finalise the “rulebook” of the Paris Agreement. However, the COP25 failed to address the issue of climate change despite yearlong demonstrations and demands across the globe to mitigate it. Mere technicalities hindered the progress that needs to be made by the global community to safeguard the future generation and the vulnerable biodiversity.
Reading Time: 7 mins The on-going Australia bushfires have already destroyed millions of acres of land, making it worse than that of the last year’s Amazon rainforest fire. The blaze due to these fires have turned the skies orange and made breathing air in Sydney equivalent to smoking 19 cigarettes. It is hard to even fathom the impact on the land and biodiversity. An estimated 1 billion animals have died and the scientists fear long-term damage to many sensitive ecosystems. This is one of the many symptoms of global warming and the blaze may even contribute to it. This disaster is a warning to the world that the extreme fire events like this one will only grow more likely to occur.
Reading Time: 4 mins Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) to promote sustainable management of groundwater resources in India. This scheme was launched on the 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Reading Time: 17 mins Since August 2018, when Greta Thunberg initiated a protest in front of the Swedish Parliament, there have been hundreds of similar “climate strikes” across the world. This, along with extreme weather conditions like unpredictable monsoons, extended droughts and frequent cyclones are doing little to make the global leaders undertake measures to address this issue. At the UNFCCC’s 25th COP that was held in Madrid last year, global leaders were unable to move forward to fulfil the commitments they made in the 2016 Paris Agreement. Although India has been more proactive than many other nations in dealing with the global climate crisis, it too has fallen short on the implementation. If the necessary steps are not taken soon, the decade we are going to embark on is going to be a lot more dangerous due to the rapid, out of control climate change.