Stiff penalty: India’s disposal of its plastic waste has fallen to such lows that its states will be slapped with a Rs 1 crore fine a month to get them moving | Image credit: Yale

CPCB fines states for failing to report on waste management plans

Twenty-five Indian states will have to pay a fine of Rs1 crore each per month to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for failing to submit their action-plans on systematic disposal of plastic waste.

The decision came after the CPCB moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over the states’ failure to report on plans to implement the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules 2016 — amended in 2018 — for segregation, collection and disposal of plastic waste. Globally, emissions from waste disposal, 43% of which is from solid waste, currently constitute about 3% of total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. India consumes over 16 million tonnes of plastic every year, of which 80% is discarded as waste. As per India’s report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015-16, GHG emissions from solid waste in the country had grown at 3.1% per annum between 2000 and 2010.

Green court stays Andhra’s river linking project

India’s green court (NGT), has stayed the Andhra Pradesh government’s scheme to link the Godavari, Krishna and Penna rivers over missing environmental clearances. The NGT ordered the environment ministry to submit a report within a month. Experts warn that controversial river-linking schemes end up diverting water from agriculture to industry in a more-dollars-per-drop scenario, which can threaten food security. Experts say governments should not use the water crises to justify river linking, as over 50% of land is still monsoon dependent.

80 countries to increase climate pledges, UN says

Ahead of the September UN climate summit in New York, around 80 countries are expected to announce new climate targets, higher than what they pledged in the Paris accord, the UN said. While the host of next climate summit, Chile, has vowed to end coal power by 2040 and become carbon neutral by 2050, South Korea has set the target of raising its share of renewable energy capacity to 35% by 2040.

Experts, however, say that unless countries ramp up targets “exponentially”, the world won’t succeed in averting the worst impacts, even if every country met their 2015 Paris targets, which are far from being achieved. While the Indian government has committed to a series of policy steps to lead the country towards low carbon growth, the country’s policy think-tank NITI Aayog has estimated that “mitigation activities for moderate-low carbon development” would cost an astonishing $834 billion by 2030!

Campaigners allege European commission deliberately harmed climate action

For a year, the European Commission sat on a research paper that criticised Europe’s farming policy – that’s the allegation of environmentalists, including those from WWF and Greenpeace. Campaigners have alerted that some members of the European commission may be “deliberately harming climate action”. The study questions the current subsidy rules that allow farmers to farm on wetlands and plough up “permanent grasslands”, releasing large volumes of CO2. Agriculture makes up 10% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Amazon rainforest deforestation surges to record high under new Brazil Prez Bolsonaro

Satellite data has confirmed the worst concerns about Brazil’s climate-change denier President Bolsonaro. Under his watch, the Amazon rainforest has suffered the worst deforestation in a decade in the month of May – 739 sq km of forest has been cleared. Illegal loggers are to blame after the President eased green laws. Bolsonaro has moved the forestry commission to the agriculture ministry, which is run by farm-industry allies, Reuters reported.

Big firms admit, climate change could cost them $1 trillion in near future

According to the latest report by charity CDP, over 200 of the world’s top firms, including Apple, Microsoft, Infosys and Sony, forecast that climate change could cost them a combined total of almost $1 trillion, and it could be as early as the next five years. The authors of the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) study said that most firms have a long way to go in terms of properly assessing climate risk.

The firms anticipated a total of $970 billion in extra costs to tackle factors, including extreme weather and pricing of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, which also gauged companies’ readiness to adopt low-carbon initiatives, had praise for indian companies. “Indian companies are at the forefront of this initiative where science-based targets (SBTs) are rapidly becoming the new norm for sustainable business practice,” states the report.

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