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NEWS UPDATE #167


As of December 7, more than 300 coal power plants across the country are still violating emission standard norms that were given by the MoEFCC in 2015. But despite being given two years to implement these norms, the Ministry of Power and the power industry, are attempting to push the dates further by 5-7 years.

INDIA

Environment ministry wants Supreme Court to dilute air pollution norms for thermal power industry
Scroll.in
The new norms, notified in December 2015, require thermal power plants to reduce the emission of pollutants – mercury and hazardous oxides of nitrogen and sulphur – below specified limits. The deadline for doing do was December 7, 2017, and any power plant that has still not capped its emissions is violating the law. But the environment ministry has told the Supreme Court thermal power plants would require another five years to meet the emissions standards and asked it to pass an “appropriate order”.

India second most unequal region in wealth distribution: report
Down to Earth
India emerged as the second most unequal region in the world after the Middle East, according to the World Inequality Report 2018. The 10 per cent of super rich population share 55 per cent of the national income of the country. The report says that in European countries the share of the rich is 37 per cent of the national income, making it a low unequal region in comparison to the rest of the world. Brazil and sub-Saharan African region stand equal to India followed by US-Canada (47 per cent), Russia (46 per cent) and China 41 per cent.

Agri labourers’ suicide rate higher than farmers’: Study
Tribune India
As per a door-to-door survey report, presented by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) before a Vidhan Sabha committee recently, agricultural labourers (6,373) accounted for 44% of the 14,667 rural suicides between 2000 and 2015 in six districts. The study concludes that 77% per cent of the agricultural labourers committed suicide due to indebtedness.

‘Chai pe Charcha’ fame farmer commits suicide over mounting debt
Nagpur Today
The farmer Kailas Kisan Mankar (27), native of village Dabhdi, Tehsil Arni, ended his life around 6 pm on Monday. Kailas reported took the extreme step due to mounting debt. The deceased farmer owned three acres of farm land. After the demise of his father, Kailas was the sole bread winner in his family. Frequent crop failure and debt devastated him and to escape the ignominy, he consumed some poisonous stuff and ended his life.The village Dabhdi drew attention of entire country as Modi, during the campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha election, had held a ‘Chai pe Charcha’ there.

BHEL bags Rs 7,300 cr order to set up plant in Tamil Nadu
Economic Times
BHEL has won a Rs 7,300 crore order for setting up a Supercritical Thermal Power Project (TPP) in Tamil Nadu. The order for setting up the 2×660 MW Udangudi TPP has been placed on the state-owned firm by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd. This is the fourth order for supercritical sets finalised in the last three years by TANGEDCO, and all the four orders have been won by Bhel. 


India on verge of looming soil crisis: Report
Business Line
A third or 120 million hectares of soil of the total 350 million hectares has already turned problematic. The reasons for the declining health of the soil is that they are either acidic, saline, sodic or alkaline soils. Whatever be the name, the net result is the poor health can have a big impact on agriculture productivity, sustainability and also on human health, says a report brought out by a consortium of agriculture institutes.

As India struggles to breathe, over 300 coal power plants are violating air pollution laws and MoEFCC does nothing
Greenpeace
As of December 7, more than 300 coal power plants across the country are still violating the emission standard norms that were given by the MoEFCC back in 2015. These norms were to come into effect by the 7th of December 2017. But despite being given two years to implement these norms, the Ministry of Power, the Central Electricity Authority, and the power industry, are attempting to push the dates further by 5-7 years until 2022-24 and also relaxing the water usage limits.

In Assam, 40 elephants die in 100 days as man-animal conflicts increase
Times of India
Data collected by conservationists has revealed that 40 elephants have died in Assam in the last 100 days. All of them have been killed due to unnatural causes, with the primary reasons being mowing down by moving train, electrocution, poisoning and accidentally falling in ditches especially in tea garden areas.

We have breached the planetary limit fornitrogen
Down to Earth
After 10 years of intense studies, with-out any government help, SCN published the 568-page compilation of 30 review papers called The Indian Nitrogen Assessment, India’s first-ever such attempt. The Assessment encapsulates the complete journey of nitrogen in India from different emission sources to the various processes through which it escapes to the environment and the effects of the pollution that it causes. It also paves a way forward for minimising nitrogen pollution in India by cutting down its emission at the source.

Supreme Court Allows Cement Industry To Use Petroleum Coke
NDTV
The Supreme Court today allowed the cement industry to use petroleum coke, a dirtier alternative to coal which had temporarily been banned as pollution levels shot up in Delhi last month.India is the world’s biggest consumer of petroleum coke, better known as petcoke, a dark solid carbon material that emits 11 percent more greenhouse gas than coal, according to studies.

WORLD

Overfishing and climate change push seabirds to extinction
The Guardian
The study reveals that kittiwakes and gannets are among a number of seabirds that have now joined the red list of under-threat birds drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It also says that overfishing and changes in the Pacific and north Atlantic caused by climate change have affected the availability of sand eels which black-legged kittiwakes feed on during the breeding season.

Juvenile delinquency could be a result of air pollution: study
Down to Earth
A new study conducted by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California has linked the incidence of teenage delinquency with the rise in air pollution levels. The study tracked 682 children from Greater Los Angeles for nine years, beginning when they were aged nine. The parent’s responses were recorded four times at intervals through the checklist, which assessed if their child engaged in lying, cheating, truancy, stealing, vandalism, arson, or substance abuse among other rule-breaking behaviours.

Arctic permafrost thawing faster than ever, US climate study finds
The Guardian
Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing faster than ever, according to a new US government report that also found Arctic seawater is warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years.The annual report released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed slightly less warming in many measurements than a record hot 2016. 

Arctic Report Card 2017: Ice Cover Is Shrinking Faster Compared With Prior 1,500 Years
EcoWatch
The 2017 Arctic Report Card reflects contributions from 85 scientists representing 12 countries. The pace of sea ice area (hereafter extent) decrease is unprecedented over the past 1,500 years, according to Emily Osborne’s et al. 2017 contribution to the Arctic Report Card released.

These Countries Are Banding Together To Create A Safe Haven For Sea Turtles
Green Matters
The turtle corridor is being created in the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape, which encompasses waters that are part of territories in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Protecting sea life is especially challenging in animal conservation, as the certainly have no passports or commitment to staying in one country over another. The sea turtle is especially mobile, and the Coral Triangle is home to six out of seven of those turtle species.

Trump to Open the Door for Oil Drilling Off U.S.’s East Coast
Bloomberg
President Donald Trump ordered his Interior Department to write the new blueprint with the aim of auctioning oil and gas drilling rights off the U.S. East Coast — territory that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had ruled out. The Interior Department’s coming draft proposal, an initial milestone in replacing the Obama-era sale plan, dovetails with the oil industry’s push for new places to drill.

New Zealand creates special refugee visa for Pacific islanders affected by climate change
Straits Times
New Zealand’s newly-elected Labor-led coalition government has become the first country in the world to introduce a climate refugee scheme. The Prime Minister, Ms Jacinda Ardern, plans to create a special refugee visa for Pacific Island residents who are forced to migrate because of rising sea levels. The government wants to discuss the scheme with Pacific nations next year and plans to start with 100 places annually.

Trump, Zinke to Auction Away 700,000 Acres of Western Public Lands for Fracking
Ecowatch
President Trump and Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke are continuing their onslaught against American public lands this holiday month and moving forward with plans to auction off 700,000 acres for fracking, endangering clean air and water, the climate and sacred lands.

China Building Second Enormous Floating Solar Farm on Top of Defunct Coal Mine
Ecowatch
The state-run energy company China Three Gorges New Energy Co. is building a 150-megawatt floating solarfarm that sits on top of a lake that formed from a collapsed coal mine in the eastern Chinese city of Huainan. Construction of the $151 million facility started in July and is already partially connected to the grid. The whole plant is expected to switch on by May 2018, and can power about 94,000 homes at full capacity. The project takes the “world’s largest” title from China’s other floating solar farm in the same city of Huainan—the 40-megawatt farm by Sungrow Power Supply Co. that also sits on top of a former coal mine.

 

 

 

 

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