1. WTO advocates for India against US on
Renewable Energy Incentives
A series of US renewable energy incentives
violated International Trade rules, according to the World Trade Organisation.
The WTO has ruled in favour of India against the case. The ruling panel said
that the US measures are inconsistent with certain provisions as specified by
GATT and claimed that they have invalidated the benefits ensuing to India under
the Agreement. India deemed the measures to be discordant with the global trade
norms because of their reduced accommodating nature towards imported products
as compared to like domestic products. The ruling transpired at a time when
both the countries are at dispute pertaining to various affairs.
2. The developed World responsible for most of
the Climate Change situation today: India
Replying to the opposition’s claims, the
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar vocalized the Government’s intent to
take up issues of developing countries not meeting their commitments towards
aiding the developing nations to reduce emissions, financially and
technologically. He also expressed the firm stand that the Government will not
bow down to the developed world while talking about Climate Change. He also
highlighted the major role India had played in the Paris Climate Summit. There
was a mention of various technical plans of the Government with regards to
reducing emissions and creating an additional forest and tree cover. The
opposition, however, deemed the Government’s efforts as insufficient and
demanded that action happen at the grassroot level.
The North Atlantic Right Whales among the most threatened species in the
The Canadian Officers have uncovered the
death of five critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in the Gulf of
Saint Lawrence, as a result of which, commercial fishing has been closed for
16000 square kilometres by Transport Canada. Amongst the found dead whales was
a forty-year old female, known to the known by the name of Punctuation, who
likely died in a collision with a ship and a nine-year old male, known as
Wolverine, whose reason for death is unidentified. More autopsies are under
way. The tracking of these whales through aerial and marine surveillance has
been augmented by the Canadian Government. The total population weighs up to
413 after this month’s deaths and seven new calf births.
Coal Side-lined; Renewable Energy in Heed
This April proved to be a renewable energy
friendly month, not only because of low electricity demand, but also relatively
high wind energy. For the first time ever in US history, coal furnished less
electricity than the clean energy sources. Renewables such as wind, solar and
hydroelectric dams yielded 23 percent of the month’s electricity whereas coal
was left at 20 percent. Bloomberg reported that coal’s numbers were actually
down in April because several coal plants were being serviced. Despite all,
coal is likely to surface as the second biggest source of electricity after
Natural Gas in US, however, it may not be able to hold the position for long. Moreover,
natural gas also proves to be a worrying development towards the climate
Petition filed in NGT; Noida to pay Rs. 1 crore penalty
52 million litres per day untreated sewage is
being dumped into drains in Noida, harming the environment immensely, CPCB
Report said. The CPCB learned this during an inspection conducted on NGT
directions, as per a plea filed by a Noida resident. All agencies of Delhi and
UP held a meeting on March 20 and inspected major drains while submitting the
report on April 18. The penalty on Noida has been imposed under Section 5 of
the environment (Protection) Act 1986. According to CPCB, the capability that
Noida possesses of treating the sewage is 216 MLD but it only treats 152 MLD.
The CEO of the Noida Authority has ensured to submit an Action Plan to CPCB.
6. New Subglacial lakes added to the
Using aerial imaging tools, researchers have
mapped fifty-six lakes under Greenland’s Ice Sheet. Lead Author Jade Bowling
from Lancaster University said that this study for the first time allowed to
understand where lakes form under the Greenland’s Ice Sheet, which is important
to ascertain their impact on the overall subglacial hydrological system.
Subglacial lakes form below the ice sheets and aid in the elevation of Global
Sea levels. On research, it was confirmed that the range of the lakes was 0.2
to 5.9 kilometres and that they were mostly found under slow-moving ice, away
from the interior. The lakes below Greenland’s Ice Sheet differ from Antarctica’s
as they are mostly stable and small, however, the researchers believe that a
warming climate may cause these lakes to become active.
Can Factory Emissions be stopped from contributing to the Climate Crisis?
UK’s biggest Carbon Capture Project to block
thousands of tonnes of factory emissions from contributing to the climate
crisis by utilising them to aid in making certain chemicals used in antacid,
eyedrops and Pot Noodle. This work will be initiated by the Chemical Plant in
Cheshire, which block 40000 tonnes of carbon from the air every year, which is
equivalent to 22000 cars being removed from the roads. The owners of the plant
are a division of the Indian-owned Tata Conglomerate. The trapped Carbon
Dioxide could be piped into underground storage facilities and can also be
purified to make products. The move will
highly assist in creating job opportunities as well.
8. 50% hike in Eel Smuggling across Europe
Eels are in high demand in China and several
other East-Asian countries while about 350 million of them are being trafficked
from the European Union, thus, establishing it as the gravest wildlife felony
in terms of the number of creatures trafficked. Eels have been classed as
endangered with increasing threat by overfishing and illegal fishing along with
pollution. Eels were once the staple food for poor people and they have an
unusual lifecycle taking as long as two decades to reach sexual maturity.
Europe has been developing the technology to track the DNA of such trafficked
eels to tackle the problem.
A new innovation ‘Fit-Pack’ could replace the existing Beer Packaging
Beer Maker Grupo Modelo with an unwavering
commitment to the environment, is following an environment-friendly
interlocking beer can design to do away with the need for plastic pack rings.
Each can will have a thread on the top and bottom so that one can could be fitted
into another. It is believed to be strong enough to hold up 10 cans in a single
column. This design also won the Bronze Lion Award recently. Plastic is a
global problem which need to be addressed. Ranero, Marketing Vice President of
Grupo Modelo’s Parent Company, says that they have mapped out all the issues
relating to the implementation of the design and are working diligently to
Emissions from Aviation; UK and EU Accused
The UK and EU Governments have not uncovered
their policies to tackle emissions from Aviation and thus seem to have violated
International obligations. According to Carbon Brief, as much emissions have
been released that if Aviation were to be a country, it would be the sixth
biggest emitter in the world. UK and EU have violated the Aarhus Convention
which talks about the right of everyone to receive environmental information
held by the Public authorities. The coalition of NGOs who have reported this
have decided on raising their complaint in a meeting of the Working Group of
members of the Geneva Convention. Air transport companies can reduce the carbon
emissions by using biofuels.
Vanuatu Safeguarding its future: Disposable Nappies Banned
The government of Vanuatu, suffering
disproportionately from the climate and ecological emergency, replied to the
uproar among the country’s parents saying that it had no choice but to ban
disposable nappies. They also highlighted the fact that plastics find their way
into the water and the food chain eventually and ends up being consumed by the
people. This has been classified as one of the toughest single-use plastic ban.
The ban was announced after research by the Commonwealth Litter Programme which
showed disposable nappies contributing a lot to the total weight of the waste generated.
Vanuatu has also banned various other single-use plastic items like cups,
plates, food containers, flowers etc.
Ammonia concentrations above critical level in UK
More than 60% of UK’s land area is harmed by
the rising (85%) concentrations of ammonia and nitrogen, ideally set to protect
lichens, mosses, liverworts and similar plants. The situation in Northern
Ireland is even worse at 88%. Considering particularly sensitive sites, England
is worst hit. The pollution, flowing into waterways and in the air, can have
devastating effect on the plant and animal life. Studies have also shown
grasslands losing species which is having a negative impact on the insects and
the fungi. Experts and activists have been insisting for urgent government
action to curb this rise. Halving the agricultural emissions of ammonia could
prevent at least 3000 deaths. Even rural areas are highly affected.
Tapi River Clean-up juxtaposed by Former UN Environment Chief
Former UN Environment Chief Eric Solheim
exclaimed that plastic waste is a great impediment to tourism and hence joined
the Tapi river clean-up in Gujarat. Solheim, stepping on the land of Gujarat
also praised Mahatma Gandhi for his dedication. He also took chance to
emphasize the importance of cleaning the beaches, sharing his experience from
Ghana. The students who joined the delegation said that it would take quite an
effort to clean up the river and that they would like to do their bit. Solheim
concluded by saying that rapid economic development is possible and that with
recycling of plastic waste, both prosperity and preservation of nature can be
Tender Specifications for Solar Manufacturing revised; Aim to attract more
Solar Energy Corporation India has recently
issued a request for a selection notice for Solar Power developers. Four
projects in total have been put up for bidding and a company can bid for one or
all four. Any capacity up to 1.5 GW Solar Power Projects can be quoted. The
developers will be allowed to set up a solar power plant parallel with a
manufacturing facility. Further addition to the tender is regarding
manufacturing wherein several bids can be submitted by the companies for
setting up different manufacturing units. Along with that, the expansion of
existing manufacturing facilities can be done anywhere in India. The latest
global tender would close in August 2019.
Clean-up crew grappling with clearing away Abandoned Tents and Human Waste
on Mount Everest
The record number of climbers jamming the
Mount Everest has significantly increased, thus, leaving the clean-up crew
struggling. Everest is full of garbage like the oxygen cylinders, ropes, etc.
but this year saw an estimated 700 climbers, leaving the Sherpas involved in
the clean-up drive shocked. There have been a lot of tents littering the South
Col, the highest camp and the high winds at this altitude have disbanded the
tents and trash everywhere. It becomes quite difficult to bring down such
things as big and heavy as tents. The climbers, while descending, are fatigued
and are struggling to breathe and therefore, end up leaving the heavy tents
8 Crore LPG connections to be furnished under the PM Ujjwala Yojana
The Ministry of Petroleumand Natural
gas has had a 100-day agenda which is to pull off the target of issuing 8 crore
LPG connections. Since 90% of households receive LPG connections, the Oil
Marketing Companies (OMC) have been asked to improve the quality of service and
delivery. The initial target was to proffer 3 crore connections to BPL
families; however, it was increased to 8 crore households by May 2020. The OMCs
have been solicited to come up with a mechanism, maybe through an app to cater
to the complaints and keep a check on the correct delivery mechanism. The
distributors have also been asked to provide incentives for refilling so as to
increase their sales.
New Change in the Tenders for Manufacturing-linked Solar Scheme by SECI
The SECI has been repeatedly postponing the
deadline for receiving the bids, however, now they have revised the bidding
requirements. The latest tender aims at setting up 6 GW of Solar Plants, rather
then 2 GW of manufacturing units. The scheme, foundationally, initiated in 2018
to boost the domestic solar manufacturing industry. The revised Tender has had
a variety of changes in the terms and conditions pertaining to the
requirements. The timeline for setting up the manufacturing unit has also been
amplified to 36 months in comparison to 30 months earlier.
Parallel increase in Air Pollution and Hypertension in Women in India
It has been found that increased subjection to indoor air pollution in India can heighten the risk of hypertension in women. Researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Spain have studied the Indian association wherein the air pollution and hypertension are reckoned to increase. The systolic and diastolic blood pressure of the participants have been measured and their annual residential exposure has also been estimated. A survey was also answered by the participants. Based on the findings, almost half of the participants were identified as hypertensive. The association observed was weaker in men. This increase in hypertension is regardless of the fuel being used.