A $5 trillion economy for India: At what cost?
PM Narendra Modi wants India to be a “$5 trillion economy” by 2024. The consequences of such high GDP growth –even setting aside questions regarding its distribution or true worth– will result in depriving the dispossessed sections of society of access even to natural resources, while driving fragile ecologies to a point of no return….
Read More about A $5 trillion economy for India: At what cost?
The terrifying implications of India’s elections for people and the planet
Basav Sen, director, Climate Policy Project, writes: The Modi government’s far right bigotry is well known, but its equally disturbing environmental record isn’t. While indigenous peoples and other rural populations have borne the brunt of the Indian state’s environmental recklessness, urban populations aren’t faring much better. Half of the 50 most polluted cities worldwide are in India….
Read More about The terrifying implications of India’s elections for people and the planet
NDA 2.0: What it means for India’s environment
From Mongabay: Activists fear dilutions of the green laws and rules against the interests of forest dwellers and tribals would continue unabated. The union environment already has, on its table, an amendment in the Indian Forest Act 1927, revision of the national forest policy and the new set of rules for the environment clearance regime….
Read More about NDA 2.0: What it means for India’s environment
How the Narendra Modi government is diluting green clearance norms
From Down to Earth: It looks like the environmental clearance process is becoming a formality. The quality of assessment, compliance of clearance conditions and the involvement of local community through public hearings are being further weakened. The purpose is to ease the process of obtaining clearances for mega projects like Bharatmala Pariyojana and Sagar Mala….
Read More about How the Narendra Modi government is diluting green clearance norms
Read: A PIL to protect India’s vital, life-supporting natural resources
The full text of a Public Interest Litigation initiated before the Supreme Court of India, by Akhilesh Chipli and Shankar Sharma, requesting the court to draw firm legal limits on India’s suicidally destructive economic growth during the last three decades, which has led to rapidly deteriorating ecological conditions (air, water, soil, climate) in the country….
Read More about Read: A PIL to protect India’s vital, life-supporting natural resources
The National Green Tribunal is not so green anymore
Rajeev Suri writes: In keeping with his belief that most cases are being filed by blackmailers, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, the new Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal, has been following the three D rule; Dismiss, Dispose, Disburse. The Chairperson is also known for his previous association with the ruling party and strong RSS leanings….
Read More about The National Green Tribunal is not so green anymore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with former environment minister Prakash Javadekar
India’s political leadership failed the environment in 2017
From DNA: Under the leadership of PM Modi, governments pushed down the bar on environmental standards this year. At both Centre and state levels, there have been numerous reversals in environmental legislation. Today, there are 2357 applications with the Centre that were rejected approvals by state institutions or have nearly completed construction with no approvals….
Read More about India’s political leadership failed the environment in 2017
How govt policies are recklessly threatening India’s wildlife reserves
From Scroll.in: While the UPA government had been steadily weakening safeguards for India’s environment, forests and wildlife, the present NDA government is carrying forward this agenda in an even more aggressive and systematic manner. A new book by Prerna Singh Bindra details how ‘ease of doing business’ has become an excuse to ignore wildlife protection….
Read More about How govt policies are recklessly threatening India’s wildlife reserves
Spotlight: Who is running our pollution control boards?
Ritwick Dutta writes: The National Green Tribunal recently passed a landmark judgment ruling that only those persons who have ‘special knowledge’ and ‘practical experience’ in ‘matters relating to environmental protection’ are eligible for appointment to pollution control boards. Unfortunately, across various states, persons who do not fulfill the criterion have been appointed in these posts….
Read More about Spotlight: Who is running our pollution control boards?
Environment Ministry’s rules for polluters in India, copied word for word from the US
Jay Mazoomdar reports: Three-quarters of the Environment Ministry’s Environment Supplement Plan — 2,900 words of the 3,850-word draft — is directly lifted from a similar US government document. The draft notification proposes to allow those who go ahead with project work without prior environmental clearance. Under existing laws, these are criminal offences punishable with imprisonment….
Read More about Environment Ministry’s rules for polluters in India, copied word for word from the US
Ghost Plantations: The 17 million hectare hole in India’s green cover
Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava reports: Massive plantation drives over the past decade have not translated into any significant increase in India’s green cover, an analysis of government data shows, putting a question mark over the money-guzzling schemes and the government’s recent move to distribute Rs 41,000 crore to the states for plantation and regeneration of forests….
Read More about Ghost Plantations: The 17 million hectare hole in India’s green cover
Red alert: The Centre’s new law spells doom for the environment
Ritwick Dutta writes on the Environment Ministry’s new draft notification, which if finalised, will sound the death knell for the crucial process of Environment Impact Assessment of developmental and industrial projects in India, and thus legitimise all violations of environmental law. The notification holds serious consequences, for the environment, and for ‘Rule of Law’ itself….
Read More about Red alert: The Centre’s new law spells doom for the environment
NDA cleared more projects in wildlife habitats in 2 yrs than UPA did in 5 yrs
Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava reports: The National Board of Wildlife, the highest advisory body to the government on wildlife issues, has cleared more industrial projects in and around wildlife habitats in past two years of NDA rule than what its predecessor UPA-II did in its entire tenure of five years, shows the data compiled by CSE….
Read More about NDA cleared more projects in wildlife habitats in 2 yrs than UPA did in 5 yrs
Report card: Environmental governance under NDA government
Two years of NDA government have meant a mixed bag for environmental governance in India, according to a performance review by the non-profit Centre for Science and Environment, While there was commendable progress on pollution control and waste management, forest governance took on a more industry-centric approach and the Paris Agreement was a missed opportunity….
Read More about Report card: Environmental governance under NDA government
Spotlight: Prakash Javadekar@2 years of Modi Government
India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar has been constantly in news, and not always for the right reasons. Under fire for diluting environmental protection mechanisms, critics have in the past labelled him ‘minister for environmental clearances’ for favouring industry over the environment. As the Narendra Modi government completes two years, here’s a look at Javadekar’s chequered record….
Read More about Spotlight: Prakash Javadekar@2 years of Modi Government
The venue of the Art of Living event on the Yamuna floodplains
When communalists turn on environmentalists
Wildlife conservationist Neha Sinha writes: In the past, environmentalists have often been blamed as obstructionist and anti-development. Legal environmental clearance processes have been described as green terrorism because questions of sustainable development and conservation do not always go hand in hand with polluting industrial expansion. But many environmentalists feel being called anti-cultural and anti-Hindu is something new….
Read More about When communalists turn on environmentalists
NEWS UPDATE #87
The Guardian reports: According to a new NASA study, the average global surface temperature in February was 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month between 1951-1980, a far bigger margin than ever seen before. The unprecedented leap led scientists, usually wary, to label the new record a “shocker” and warn of a “climate emergency”….
Read More about NEWS UPDATE #87
NEWS UPDATE #86
Bill McKibben reports: On March 3, across the northern hemisphere, the temperature, for a few hours, crossed a line: it was more than two degrees Celsius above “normal” for the first time in recorded history and likely for the first time in the course of human civilization. Two degrees Celsius is the must-not-cross red line….
Read More about NEWS UPDATE #86
Parliamentary Standing Committee rejects TSR Subramanian report on environmental laws Down to Earth A Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) rejected a high-level committee (HLC) report that reviewed various Acts administered by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). The committee precisely noted that some of the essential recommendations made by the HLC “would result…
Read More about News update
In the news: Modi govt and the state of the environment
Outlook Magazine Mangroves in peril Navi Mumbai airport site How The NDA Is Whittling Down Green Norms Change in definition of no-go area in dense forest, leaving more area open for project Keeping powers with the Centre to even allow projects in ‘no-go areas’ of dense forests Proposal to allow firms to take over afforestation,…
Read More about In the news: Modi govt and the state of the environment