While no one was looking: India’s government reportedly drafted much laxer EIA rules behind the noise of elections to push through development projects | Image credit: DNAIndia

Centre proposes diluting green clearance norms

India’s environment ministry has reportedly “re-engineered” Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) norms, in the name of the government’s motto of “ease of doing business.” The draft proposal, leaked to the media, allows the district magistrate or district collector, with no climate expertise, to grant or reject environmental clearance for projects, and also gives municipalities the authority to grant permission for construction projects, the media reported.

Students from 110 countries skip school to demand climate action

In the latest school climate strike, thousands of schoolchildren across 110 countries from UK to India and Australia skipped school to protest and demand urgent climate action from politicians to avoid ecological collapse. The school strike movement began last August when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg held a solo protest in Stockholm. Meanwhile, a Deloitte survey of millennials and gen Z’ers across 42 countries has revealed that climate ranks as a top concern among the group.

Shipping emissions: IMO talks showed ‘total lack of ambition’

Attempts to curb emissions from shipping showed “total lack of ambition”, at the latest round of talks of International Maritime Organisation (IMO), UN’s global shipping body based in London. Countries agreed on energy efficiency targets, but big decisions on how to cut emissions were deferred again, reported Climate Home News. Shipping emits 3% of global CO2 emissions,. It is estimated to expand to 10% by 2050, in a business-as-usual scenario.

Single-use plastic accelerating climate change

While images of plastic polluting the world’s oceans have gone viral several times over, a report by the Center for International Environmental Law highlights its effect on accelerating climate change. The report, for the first time, traces the carbon footprint of plastic from the time it is manufactured to the time it is handled as a waste product – usually after single use.

The study warns that plastic will hamper attempts to meet the Paris agreement if its production isn’t immediately halted and will be responsible for 13% of the ‘carbon budget’ by 2050 – that is equivalent to 615 coal power plants.

Residents of British village could be country’s first climate refugees 

The hilly coastal village of Fairbourne, in north Wales, is rapidly slipping into the rising sea. The villagers of Fairborn could be Britain’s first climate refugees. Experts say if forecasts worsen or a storm breaches the sea defences, the 850 residents of the village would be moved out of their homes, which would be flattened, turning the site back into a tidal salt marsh.

Guardian’s “precise” style sheet to report climate change

The Guardian recently adopted a “scientifically precise” style sheet, based on the recent usage by scientists, campaigners and leaders. So instead of the “passive and gentle” term “climate change”, the preferred phrase to describe a catastrophe threatening species will be “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” replaces “global warming”.

UN chief António Guterres was one of the leaders who talked about a “climate crisis” last year. Professor Richard Betts, of the Met Office said “global heating” was more precise than “global warming” to describe the world’s climate situation.

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