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NEWS UPDATE #130

The New York Times reports: India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is surpassing China’s as the world’s deadliest, a new study shows. India has registered an alarming increase of nearly 50 percent in premature deaths from particulate matter between 1990 and 2015, it says.

NEWS UPDATE #129

Disclose TV reports: Unimaginable disaster: Japan declares crisis due to unprecedented events at the Fukushima nuclear reactor. Officials have said that the damages at the reactor are “far worse than previously thought”. They have now found that melted fuel has contaminated underground water and melted core appears to have spread out over an “extensive area”.

NEWS UPDATE #128

Common Dreams reports: The symbolic Doomsday Clock inched closer to midnight on Thursda.. For the first time in the 70-year history of the clock, “the BAS board has decided to act, in part, based on the words of a single person: Donald Trump, the new President of the United States,” according to a press statement.

NEWS UPDATE #127

Business Standard reports:  The NDA government changed regulations meant for protection of tribal rights and forests in order to ensure that more than 130 mines do not face fresh auctions and are instead retained by existing miners. Documents show regulations were changed in a coordinated manner by the environment, tribal affairs and the mines ministries.

NEWS UPDATE #126

Common Dreams reports: Global sea ice levels are at their lowest in recorded history, according to the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center. In the Arctic, the loss is due to climate change and extreme weather events likely influenced by global warming, while the changes in the Antarctic may be attributed to natural variability.

NEWS UPDATE #125

The Guardian reports: A breakthrough in the race to make useful products out of planet-heating CO2 emissions has been made in southern India. A plant at the industrial port of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu is capturing CO2 from its own coal-powered boiler and using it to make baking soda. Crucially, the technology is running without subsidy.

NEWS UPDATE #124

Aesha Dutta reports: The Forest Advisory Committee approved proposals to divert over 4,300 hectares of forest land— mostly for mining. With this the total area of forest land approved for diversion in 2016 is 10,000 hectare. The actual diversion of forests, however, is much larger, as these are the projects involving more than 40 hectares.

NEWS UPDATE #123

Common Dreams reports: For the first time, solar power is becoming the cheapest form of electricity production in the world, according to new statistics from Bloomberg. While unsubsidized solar has occasionally done better than coal and gas in individual projects, 2016 marked the first time solar power has out-performed fossil fuels on a large scale.

NEWS UPDATE #122

Double Whammy On Farmers: On Top Of Demonetisation India Scraps Wheat Import Duties! Colin Todhunter, Countercurrents Just this week, the Indian government scrapped wheat import duty (from 10 percent to zero). The logic behind this move is questionable and will surely have a devastating effect on Indian farmers the way cheap edible oils import already have. Cheap

NEWS UPDATE #121

The United Nations Emission Gap Report 2016 finds that 2030 emissions are expected to reach 54 to 56 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The predicted 2030 emissions will, even if the Paris Agreement pledges are fully implemented by all countries, place the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4oC this century.

NEWS UPDATE #120

Common Dreams reports: Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe. The recently released Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean.

NEWS UPDATE #119

Scroll.in reports: As demonetisation enters its second week, traders in Patna’s Maroofganj mandi are seeing something unprecedented. In the last seven days, the supply of new stocks in this market has plummeted. The supply of cooking oil, for instance, is down by 80%. In the same period, orders from shopkeepers have fallen steeply as well.

NEWS UPDATE #118

Michael T. Klare writes: Whoever enters the Oval Office, it may be time for the rest of us to take up those antinuclear signs long left to molder, and put political pressure on leaders globally to avoid strategies and weapons that would make life on this planet so much more precarious than it already is.

NEWS UPDATE #117

The Economic Times reports:  The International Energy Agency has said it was significantly increasing its five-year growth forecast for renewables, thanks to strong policy support in key countries like United States, China, India and sharp cost reductions. Renewables have surpassed coal last year to become the largest source of installed power capacity in the world.

NEWS UPDATE #116

Live Mint reports: Environment minister Anil Dave has said that his ministry was thinking of giving environmental clearances for industrial projects within 60 days, or half of the present 120 days. “When the Modi government took charge, it used to take 300 days to grant clearances; this has been reduced to 120 days” he said.

NEWS UPDATE #115

Live Mint reports: By 2030, without significant investment into making cities more resilient, climate change may push up to 77 million more urban residents into poverty, said a new World Bank report. It stated that a growing number of natural disasters, economic, social, and environmental shocks and stresses, pose the greatest risk to rapidly-growing cities.

NEWS UPDATE #114

The Guardian reports: The International Monetary Fund has urged governments to take action to tackle a record $152tn debt mountain before it triggers a fresh global financial and economic crisis. New research covering 113 countries had shown that debt was currently 225% of global GDP, with the private sector responsible for two-thirds of the total.

NEWS UPDATE #113

Scroll.in reports: India will ratify the Paris agreement on climate change today, after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the deal. The move was originally announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said the government had chosen Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary for the occasion. The Union cabinet had approved the move on September 28.

NEWS UPDATE #112

The Guardian reports: Environmental destruction and landgrabs could lead to governments and individuals being prosecuted for crimes against humanity by the international criminal court following a decision to expand its remit. The ICC said it would prioritise crimes that result in “destruction of the environment”, “exploitation of natural resources” and the “illegal dispossession” of land.

NEWS UPDATE #111

The Washington Post reports: Wilderness areas on Earth have experienced alarming losses in the past two decades, a new study suggests. Researchers have concluded that a 10th of all the world’s wilderness has been lost in just 20 years. South America lost nearly 30 percent of its wilderness area, and Africa lost about 14 percent.

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