News Article | April 7, 2017
A nine-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for failing to take action on climate change, warning that young people will pay the price for the country’s inaction. In the petition filed with the National Green Tribunal, a special court for environment-related cases, Ridhima Pandey said the government had failed to implement its environment laws. “As a young person [Ridhima] is part of a class that amongst all Indians is most vulnerable to changes in climate, yet are not part of the decision making process,” the 52-page petition reads. It calls on the tribunal to direct the government “to take effective, science-based action to reduce and minimise the adverse impacts of climate change”. Speaking to the Independent in the UK, Ridhima said: “My government has failed to take steps to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing extreme climate conditions. This will impact both me and future generations. “My country has huge potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and because of the government’s inaction I approached the National Green Tribunal.” India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Central Pollution Control Board have been asked to respond within two weeks. India has four of the 10 worst cities in the world in terms of air pollution. Together, India and China accounted for more than half the total number of global deaths attributable to air pollution in 2015, according to a recent study. Greenpeace released a report in January estimating that nearly 1.2 million Indians die each year owing to high concentrations of airborne pollutants such as dust, mould spores, arsenic, lead, nickel and the carcinogen chromium. At the time, India’s environment minister declared the report inconclusive, adding: “There is no conclusive data available in the country to establish direct correlation-ship of death exclusively with air pollution.” Despite several laws to protect India’s forests, clean up its rivers and improve air quality, critics are concerned that implementation is poor and economic growth often takes precedence over the environment. Flash floods and landslides in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, where Ridhima lives, killed hundreds of people and left tens of thousands homeless in 2013. The devastation affected Ridhima, the daughter of an environmental activist, according to Rahul Choudhary, a lawyer representing her. “For someone so young, she is very aware of the issue of climate change and she is very concerned about how it will impact her in future,” he said. “She wanted to do something that can have a meaningful effect, and we suggested she could file a petition against the government.” India is taking some action on air quality. As a signatory to the Paris agreement on climate change, it is committed to ensuring that at least 40% of its electricity is generated from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2030. In her petition, Ridhima asks the court to order the government to assess industrial projects for climate-related issues, prepare a “carbon budget” to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and create a national climate recovery plan. “That a young girl is doing so much to draw the government’s attention is something. We hope the case puts some pressure on the government to act,” said Choudhary.
News Article | April 13, 2017
An expert panel appointed by India's top environmental watchdog has said that damage caused by a cultural festival held on the banks of the Yamuna River a year ago would need at least a decade to be fixed. The panel set up by the National Green Tribunal after the Art of Living Foundation's World Culture Festival said Wednesday that restoring the river banks would cost around 420 million rupees ($6.5 million). It said construction of roads, ramps and a massive stage for the three-day spectacle damaged vast tracts of the river's flood plains. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top Delhi government officials attended the festival hosted by Hindu spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar despite criticism from environmental activists about damage to the river banks. The festival to mark the 35th anniversary of the Art of Living Foundation drew some 3.5 million visitors who came to see thousands of singers, dancers and other performers. People filed complaints to the tribunal almost immediately after construction began, but much of the damage was already done and the tribunal allowed the organizers to go ahead with the event. It did issue an immediate fine of 50 million rupees ($740,000). Afterward, the watchdog set up the panel comprising environmental engineers and biodiversity experts to assess the impact that the festival had. In their report, the experts said that an area comprising around 170 hectares (420 acres) had been "completely" destroyed and not simply damaged. "The ground is now totally levelled, compacted and hardened and is totally devoid of water bodies or depressions and almost completely devoid of any vegetation," the panel said. The Yamuna is one of the main tributaries of the Ganges River. Art of Living Foundation has dismissed the findings of the panel as biased. The foundation was a "responsible and environment-sensitive NGO" that has consistently worked to preserve and revive the environment, Kedar Desai, a spokesman said.
Nambi A.A.,Ms Swaminathan Research Foundation Mssrf |
Bahinipati C.S.,Gujarat Institute of Development Research GIDR |
Raghunath R.,Anna University |
Nagendran R.,National Green Tribunal
International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management | Year: 2015
Purpose – This study aims to provide a methodology for constructing farm household-level adaptation metrics for agriculture and water sectors. The livelihood of farm households is at risk now and in the foreseeable future, as both agriculture and water sectors are vulnerable to climate variability, particularly in developing nations. Adaptation is critical to protect their livelihood. Vulnerable farmers have adopted various adaptation mechanisms to counteract negative impacts of climate variability, though the extent varies temporally and spatially. Design/methodology/approach – It is, therefore, imperative to understand current adaptation practices for successfully implementing them. A few studies have emerged so far in this context, investigating different issues associated with micro-level adaptation strategies related to agriculture and water sectors, e.g. output and cost-effectiveness, and constraints related to farm, household and institutional levels. Findings – While such analysis is critical to enhance micro-level adaptation measures, there is a felt need to formulate adaptation metrics that can investigate the underlying factors in an integrated manner. For empirical assessment, 146 farmers were interviewed from different agro-ecological zones of Tamil Nadu, India, regarding seven adaptation measures, such as micro-irrigation, rainwater harvesting, resistant crops, use of bio-fertilisers, crop insurance, income diversification and community-based efforts. Practical implications – These adaptation measures were evaluated through an Analytical Hierarchy Process using four criteria: effective awareness, economic viability, individual and institutional compatibility and flexibility and independent benefits. Originality/value – The present study provides a methodology to identify barriers that limit implementation of adaptation measures, and enable target-oriented policy measures to promote appropriate adaptation strategies at the local level. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Khanday S.A.,University Of Kashmir |
Yousuf A.R.,National Green Tribunal |
Reshi Z.A.,University Of Kashmir |
Rashid I.,University Of Kashmir |
And 2 more authors.
Limnology | Year: 2016
Lakes have an esthetic significance that is particularly important for attracting tourism. In this context, it is often preferable for lakes to have clear water, so many lake managers attempt to achieve clear lake water by various means. However, the lakes of Kashmir Himalaya are undergoing several complex ecological changes due to, for example, increasing tourism, overfishing, and intensive agriculture, which are making these lakes less clear. One such change is the vigorous growth and development of aquatic weeds in the shallow-water areas of Kashmir Himalayan lakes. We thus, investigated the response of Nymphoides peltatum, a rapidly multiplying clonal species, to water depth, in order to determine whether water depth can be used to control the spread of this proliferating macrophyte. Different traits of the given plant species, such as the mean number of ramets, were significantly higher (F = 55.412, p = 0.000) at depth zone D1 (0–100 cm) than at depth zones D2 (101–200 cm) and D3 (201–300 cm). In all of the lakes, mean spacer length—a tool for facilitating plant spread—was observed to be significantly higher (F = 45.890, p = 0.000) at lower water levels (0–100 cm). Also, the reproductive structures (flowers) of N. peltatum showed significant variation with depth (F = 51.909, p = 0.000) and with the lake examined (F = 9.909, p = 0.001). Thus, the results obtained during the present study indicate the importance of water depth in the management of N. peltatum in various Kashmir Himalayan lakes. © 2016 The Japanese Society of Limnology
News Article | December 16, 2015
According to an order passed on Wednesday, the registration of sport-utility vehicles and other diesel cars with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc or more is banned in Delhi and the surrounding region with immediate effect until March 31. Delhi's crackdown on diesel cars has unsettled the industry, its salesmen and investors, who warn the ban and uncertainty around it could derail a tentative recovery in Indian sales and leave dealers with forecourts packed with unsold cars. Environmental campaigners and the lawyer who brought the case to the Supreme Court, however, say they want to see the order extended beyond the capital to other smog-choked cities. Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz, for whom the Delhi region represents almost a quarter of sales in the country, told Reuters the diesel ban and the uncertainty around it would "severely impact" growth plans and future investment in India. "We also have to consider the loss of jobs that this will result (in) at the dealerships, at the vendors producing diesel engines," a spokesman said in an emailed statement, adding its own workers would be affected. The court - which said the order would not hit India's "common man" - stopped short of banning the smaller cars that clog India's roads. But it did also prohibit trucks from passing through the city to reach other states and banned all trucks over 10 years old from the capital. An existing charge imposed on trucks making deliveries to Delhi itself was doubled to up to 2,600 rupees ($39). Other measures include a demand for all taxis in Delhi, mainly those operated by Uber [UBER.UL] and local rival Ola, to replace diesel with natural gas, as well as a broad, immediate ban on burning solid waste. In January, the judges will also consider an application to levy a green tax on all diesel cars sold in the country. Environmentalists have cheered Wednesday's moves, but analysts questioned the detail of the ban. "The (higher truck) levy will just go back to whoever is hiring the trucks. So eventually the consumer ends up paying the levy and inhaling the gas fumes," said Deepesh Rathore, director at consultant Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors. India's National Green Tribunal, an environmental court, last week ordered a ban on the registration of all diesel vehicles for nearly four weeks to help clean up the air in Delhi, one of the world's most polluted cities. That triggered a share price fall among automakers which have invested heavily in diesel technology in India. The drop steepened after the Supreme Court's order. Mahindra & Mahindra, India's top utility-vehicle maker, was one of the biggest losers with shares down 5.5 percent. It said the ban would affect roughly 2 percent of its total monthly sales. Rivals such as Tata Motors and Toyota Motor Corp, the world's top-selling carmaker, also have popular large cars. Greater Delhi contributes 8 percent of Toyota's sales and 80 percent of vehicles sold in this region are diesel. India's auto industry body called for a comprehensive plan, which should include a policy to remove and scrap old vehicles.
News Article | August 17, 2016
Persistently low oil prices have had a devastating effect on the economies of all major oil producers/exporters who are accustomed to a price regime of over $100/b. The lifting of sanctions on Iran and its ability to quickly ramp up to pre-sanction (2012) levels of production and exports has made the market even more liquid and exerted downward pressure on oil prices. Suddenly when oil prices collapsed, the major oil producers and exporters found themselves in a challenging situation, as falling oil revenues were not sufficient to balance government budgets. In an effort to sustain their economic growth, while finding it difficult to keep the economy growing at the desired pace; they had to take some unpopular measures. Austerity measures, downsizing, delaying of some major projects, removing energy subsidies, and draining of sovereign wealth funds are some of the many immediate measures that oil producing/exporting countries are undertaking to cope up with falling oil revenues. The question is for how long they can survive if such a unique situation persists over an extended period of time? OPEC and Non-OPEC need to collaborate Oil prices are likely to remain below $50/b for at least a year or so; unless all stake holders, including OPEC and major non-OPEC producers cooperate on a production freeze/cut. This is a difficult task and even harder to implement. The reason being that all oil producers/exporters are in a catch-22 situation. Almost all oil producing/exporting countries are facing a dilemma of a budget deficit due to deteriorating oil revenues. Each producer is trying to produce/export more by offering discounts to grab the market and trying to lift oil revenues to narrow-down their budget deficit. For example the headline: Saudi oil output sets record despite global glut signals that is, there is a silent war going on among oil producers/exporters to produce and sell more in an effort to sustain/revive their sluggish economies. Their individual actions continue to push up the already overflowing inventories and further exerts downward pressure on oil prices. Related: Oil Majors Leaving South-East Asia – A Red Flag For The Area? On the global oil demand front the international agencies’ forecast is always associated with strong oil demand in Asia and more particularly linked with China and India. For example, BP and IEA respectively predicted that non-OECD Asian oil demand is likely to increase by 15 and 11 million bpd during 2015/2035. It is quite possible that these forecast may not materialize as predicted due to so many on-going initiatives in both the countries. Such optimistic forecast may lead to overinvestment in the upstream sector, further dis-balancing the oil market equilibrium in the medium to long-term. In an effort to curb pollution, a number of ongoing regulatory and legislative initiatives in China and India are taking place. For example, total vehicle sales in China grew by 4.7 percent in 2015 to 24.6 million, down from 6.9 percent sales growth seen in 2014. This is partly contributable to weaker GDP growth, but mostly due to certain initiatives such as quotas imposed by the Chinese government in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai where aspiring car owners must enter a ballot to get a license plate. Other measures include alternative day driving restrictions and progressively improving average fuel consumption standards. Rapid penetration of electric vehicles in China is yet another factor that could dent the projected oil demand growth. India’s oil demand is expected to grow as the ownership of vehicles is still expected to increase significantly. However, an Indian court handed down rulings in an effort to control air pollution in urban areas in particular. Examples of this are a ruling by India’s Supreme Court in 2015 which results in banning the sale of luxury diesel cars in New Delhi and the National Green Tribunal, a special environmental court, which directed the government last month to ban all diesel vehicles in the capital that are more than 10 years old. The higher oil prices and environmental challenges in the past have motivated the auto-industry to revolutionize and move away from over a century old Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) dominance with Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Fuel Cells Vehicle (FCV). What does it mean to oil companies? Do oil companies need a new long-term strategy to remain successfully in the business? Or live with a status quo strategy? If they ignore such a threat and do nothing it may undermine their long-term objectives. One should not ignore the fact that more than 72 percent of oil demand is mainly associated with transport sector and out of this over 80 percent has been linked with road transport. Speedy penetration of EVs will certainly displace sizeable oil demand in decades to come and could be detrimental for the oil industry. Related: Can Mexico Reverse Its Steep Output Decline? Until recently, the oil industry perhaps is not giving any attention as what is happening around the auto-industry. However, a recent announcement of almost all the ICEs car manufacturers’ plans of moving away from ICE to EVs while some companies are planning to completely stop manufacturing of ICEs beyond 2050 should be alarming and eye opening for oil industry. Volkswagen and Audi are aiming for EVs to make up 25 percent or more of sales by 2025, while Mercedes is about to unveil an entire fleet of electric vehicles, other automakers Hyundai, BMW, GM, Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla, and others also unveiled big plans. In addition, the introduction of semi and fully autonomous cars and drones to replace domestic delivery will surely have a substantial impact on global oil demand. What this paradigm shift means for oil companies? Surely rapid penetration of EVs will displace sizable oil demand in road transport which accounts for major chunk of oil consumed. Author and Andreas de Vries in their recently published the article “Wake up call for oil companies: electric vehicles will deflate oil demand” predicted that under the reference case the penetration of EVs will displace 13.8 million bpd by 2040 and under the high case it could reach 39.5 million bpd. To defend the oil industry from complete disintegration, is the current lower $50/b oil price regime part of oil and gas companies’ strategy to discourage the speedy development of EVs industry? Or rather is it due to technological innovation or due to self destructive policies for individual survival (grabbing market share) rather than protecting the industry? Some smart companies already expanded their old philosophy of being purely oil and gas business towards energy business including development of renewables. I think sooner or later most oil companies will need to develop a new strategy before it is too late. Those sticking with the philosophy of “old is gold” could find themselves losing out. The post, Why Oil Companies Must Look Beyond Oil To Survive, was first published on OilPrice.com.
Behera S.,Sambalpur University |
Mallick B.,Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar |
Rautray T.R.,Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University |
Tiwari T.N.,Unique Research Center |
Mishra P.C.,National Green Tribunal
Advanced Science Letters | Year: 2014
A study was conducted to assess the effects of different pH ranges (3.39±0.02, 4.14±0.02, 5.10±0.01 and 5.45±0.04) under simulated acid rain (SiAR) on acidic behavior of a medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri commonly known as Brahmi (India). The herb Bacopa monnieri is used in an indigenous system of medicine for memory boosting, and the treatment of cardiac, respiratory and neuropharmacological disorders. Simulated acid rain-induced effect on acidic property of B. monnieri has been studied and it possesses an interesting phenomenon. Instead of increasing acidity, B. monnieri shows a decreasing value after exposure to SiAR. Analysis by the proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) technique confirmed the presence of Ca and P elements in the B. monnieri herb. So, it is expected that the chemical reactions of AR with the above elements caused neutralization of H2SO4. In the present report, detailed pH, UV-Vis and PIXE analysis of the acid neutralization phenomenon have been reported. © 2014 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.
News Article | December 14, 2015
India's top environmental court on Friday banned the registration of diesel vehicles in Delhi until Jan. 6 as the city experiences hazardous levels of pollution, in part due to diesel emissions. But the court's ruling gave little detail, sparking a sell-off in automakers' shares on Monday and industry frustration. Shares in Tata Motors, India's second-biggest automaker by market value, fell as much as 4.6 percent, while market top utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra's stock was down as much as 2.65 percent, adding to losses on Friday after the ruling. "If our vehicles are banned in the largest market in India (New Delhi), that is bound to have an impact on the bottom growth for us or anybody else for that matter," Pawan Goenka, an executive director at Mahindra told reporters on Saturday during a media conference call. Delhi, labeled the world's most polluted city in a 2014 World Health Organization survey, alone makes up about 7 percent of total Indian auto sales, Goenka said. The ban by India's National Green Tribunal came a day before world leaders at the global climate summit in Paris struck a weekend deal to rein in rising emissions blamed for warming the planet. The ruling can be challenged in a higher court. Diesel-powered cars are popular in India as the fuel is cheaper than petrol, prompting global carmakers to invest in strengthening their diesel car portfolio over the years. But Delhi is working to shake off the most polluted city tag. It has already said it will restrict private cars circulating based on odd or even license plate numbers, from Jan. 1. South Korea's Hyundai Motor joined Mahindra in saying the ruling created uncertainty on the status of cars sold but not registered. The Society of Indian Auto Manufacturers warned the move could derail an ongoing turnaround in car sales, which rose about 9 percent to 1.8 million in April-November. "The auto industry is capital-intensive and high-technology and requires a long-term road map with clear policies and regulation...otherwise it could impact the manufacturing sector," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president, sales and marketing at Hyundai's Indian unit. About a third of cars sold by Hyundai in Delhi are powered by diesel engines, he said.
Kalaiselvan P.,Anna University |
Nagendran R.,National Green Tribunal |
Sivanesan S.,Anna University
Ecology, Environment and Conservation | Year: 2014
Industrialization and urbanization lead to change in land use patterns and increase in utilization of water resources. This paper deals with the study of transformation in spatial distribution of water bodies in a watershed area subjected to urban and industrial development between the years 1995 and 2011. The study area is the Sriperumbudur watershed of Araniyar-Kosathalaiyar (AK) river basin in Tamil Nadu, India. Thematic maps were prepared on the spatial distribution of water bodies using GIS and remote sensing data. Based on this study a negative trend in the change of spatial extent in water bodies was observed between 1995-2005. This trend changed to positive between 2005-2011 resulting in a net reduction of 11.8 % in spatial extent of the water bodies in the watershed between the years 1995 and 2011. Geospatial analysis of the study area has demonstrated that urban and industrial growth that occurred during the time period has lead to a marked transformation in spatial distribution of water bodies. Copyright © EM International.