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NEWS UPDATE #72


India’s energy emission growth at 8.2 per cent, highest globally: PwC
Asian Age
Buoyed by strong economic activity, India’s energy emission growth was highest in the world at 8.2 per cent last year, says a report. According to the report by global consultancy firm PwC, the sharp rise was on account of double-digit growth in demand for coal, as power consumption surged. “India’s energy emissions rose at 8.2 per cent on-year in 2014; highest in the world, driven by a double-digit growth in demand for coal, as power consumption increased in line with the rapid 7.4 per cent growth in GDP,” the report said.

Odisha to make fresh bid for Niyamgiri mining
Business Standard
More than two years after local tribals nixed plan to mine bauxite on top of Niyamgiri hills, straddling Kalahandi and Rayagada districts, the Odisha government is gearing up to conduct fresh palli sabhas and woo tribals in favour of the project. The state government is making a renewed bid to mine atop the ecologically fragile hills since its PSU Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) is still the leaseholder even after the tribals unanimously trumped the mining plan at gram sabhas held in July-August 2013.

Bauxite mining threatens to bring back violence to the tribal hills of Andhra Pradesh
Vivekananda Nemana , Scroll.in
The area has been in revolt. There were tales of mining company helicopters being shot by arrows, of blockades and even assassinations. Huge crowds thwarted official visits to the mining site, while snarky graffiti covered colourful hoardings bearing the AnRak logo in Chintapalle. Locals pointed ominously to broad new roads that they claimed were only built to allow trucks, hundreds of which would venture up and down the mountain each day. The looming mine inspires a constant, slow-burning anger that is epicentred in Jerrela, which stands to lose the most.

How India’s economic blockade of Nepal may cause more severe floods in Bihar
Ashok Swain, Scroll.in
Nepal receives 60% of all imports and nearly all its oil and gas from India. As Delhi has stopped its flow of transport trucks – claiming protesters in southern Nepal were blocking the roads – shortage of gas supply has forced Nepali households to shift to firewood for cooking. In discussions with forest management groups in Nepal, you come across the common grouse that the blockade has driven people to deforest more lands in search of firewood.

Greenpeace India’s Registration Cancelled
Countercurrents.org
Greenpeace India’s registration was cancelled by the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies. Greenpeace India, registered as an NGO in India under the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies (RoS), got the order of cancellation of its registration on Friday, although the order was formally issued on Wednesday. Greenpeace India will challenge this order in the Madras high court. “The RoS is clearly acting under directions from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Delhi, which has been trying to shut Greenpeace India down for over a year now,” said Vinuta Gopal, Interim Executive Director of the NGO.

Green highways: Rhetoric and reality
Pandurang Hegde, Deccan Herald
At one level, Gadkari wants to plant trees, but at the same time, his ministry is seeking permission to raze the natural forests for expansion of new highways. This contradiction is bound to have negative impact on implementing the principles of green highways. They build by-pass to reduce the traffic in cities, but do not think of building by-pass to protect the wild life and save the forest?

A document on corporate might, farmers’ plight
The Times of India
In one scene, Yashwanth Bandurgi, a young farmer from Kadoli says: “We are just growing what we want. We focus on rice, corn, groundnut and a lot of vegetables.” Shivayogi By akod, a farmer from Bagalkot’s Mudhol raises a pertinent question: “So, what if all farmers decided to grow and eat what they cultivate? What will all of you do for food?” While Yashwanth’s village has found answers to their woes in their own backyard several others still stare help lessly at the government which, they believe, has fallen prey to corporate controls.

Bangalore needs to break class barriers if its lakes are to be saved
Leo F. Saldanha, India Water Portal
We need to start talking about watershed communities. This is very difficult in a city like Bangalore which is highly stratified in terms of class. The upper class is able to get together because they have time to network but they won’t talk to the immediate lower class which is staying in the same watershed. It’s this myopic and self-centric vision we have to address now. It’s only then that you can think of protecting the lake system.

How Angus Deaton views India
Manas Chakravarty
British economist Angus Deaton, awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics this year, has had a long association with India. He has authored several research papers on Indian poverty and on the statistics used to measure poverty. In the Lionel Robbins Memorial lectures across three consecutive evenings on the 9, 10 and 11 December last year, delivered at the London School of Economics, Deaton spoke about poverty and inequality and the difficulties of measuring them. The lectures included many references to India. Here are some of the points made, reproduced from the lecture notes.

China Underreporting Coal Consumption, Data Says
The Guardian UK
China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, has been dramatically underreporting the amount of coal it consumes each year, it has been claimed ahead of key climate talks in Paris. Official Chinese data, reported by the New York Times on Wednesday after being quietly released earlier this year, suggests China has been burning up to 17 percent more coal each year than previously disclosed by the government. The revelation – which may mean China has emitted close to a billion additional tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year – could complicate the fight against global warming ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, which begins on Nov. 30.

Keystone XL pipeline rejection signals US taking lead on climate change fight
The Guardian UK
The symbolism was everything. Standing before a portrait of Teddy Roosevelt, the conservationist president who 104 years ago busted the Standard Oil monopoly, Barack Obama made his own tilt at an environmental legacy. The proposed 1,179-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which Obama rejected on Friday, would have borne more than 800,000 barrels of exceptionally high-carbon oil from Canada’s tar sands fields in Alberta to refineries on the US gulf coast each day. (Also read: The inside story of the campaign that killed Keystone XL)

Sweden Plans To Become World’s First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation
IFL Science
Last month, Sweden announced that they will be spending an extra $546 million (£360 million) on renewable energy and climate change action, beginning with their budget for 2016. The ultimate aim is as ambitious as it is honorable: They hope to become one of the world’s first nations to end its dependence on fossil fuels. Solar energy, in particular, has seen its budget increase by 800%. Although this nationwide goal has not got its own timetable yet, the Swedish government has announced that its capital of Stockholm aims to be powered only by sustainable energy sources by 2050. (Also read: World’s largest floating windfarm gets green light in Scotland)

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