Newer India: India’s worsening water crisis could soon see scores dying of water shortage as it rivers run dry and its groundwater disappears | Image credit: Wikimedia

Facing its worst water crisis, India aims to provide potable water to all by 2024

India plans to provide piped water to all rural houses by 2024 – which is a highly ambitious aim considering the country is grappling with its worst water crises in history, experts say. State data says water levels in 54% of groundwater wells have dipped and 21 major cities will run out of groundwater by 2020 (there’s zero water in Chennai reservoirs). Official data says 200,000 people die annually because of the lack of safe drinking water in India and by 2030 the demand for water will double. Down to Earth said, finally, the government acknowledged there was a water and agrarian crisis in the country. 

EU fails to agree on carbon neutrality by 2050 

Ahead of the UN climate talks in September, EU leaders failed to agree on going carbon neutral by 2050. Countries that are heavily dependent on coal energy, namely Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Poland, blocked the deal. Earlier, the UN chief had called on EU to raise the 2030 climate goal to 55%. The world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter may miss its 2030 goal because of its rising emissions in transport, farming and construction sectors.

Impasse over carbon credits continues: “Make or break” issue for Paris accord  

The deadlock over future UN carbon markets continued as climate talks opened in Bonn. The “make or break” issue of carbon trading can damage the Paris accord, experts warn. Brazil and other emerging economies want the offset scheme of the 1997 Kyoto protocol to continue, but the EU says transferring the old carbon credits would flood the market with credits of little environmental value and are calling for the creation of a new scheme from scratch. 

IEA to develop pathway to tougher 1.5°C climate goal

Pressure works. Months after businesses and campaigners attacked the International Energy Agency (IEA) for “normalising” a dangerous climate future, by ignoring tougher temperature targets of the Paris accord in its annual energy outlook, the influential agency has decided to develop a 1.5°C scenario from this year.  Businesses and governments use the IEA report as a benchmark for modelling the energy industry.

A report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has revealed that subsidies to coal-fired power plants given by G20 countries almost tripled between 2014 and 2017 despite growing calls to move away from coal. The report, released just days before the G20 Summit kicks off in Osaka, Japan A draft communiqué put out by Japan mere days before the commencement of the G20 Summit in Osaka later this week omits the phrases “global warming” and “decarbonisation” and downplays the Paris climate accord compared with previous communiqués. Analysts say Japan’s watering down of climate commitments in the G20 document has been under pressure from the US, which has made clear its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Want investments? Disclose climate impact information, 22 Indian firms told

Stick to global norms of disclosing climate impact information to attract investments, that’s the message 22 Indian firms received recently on behalf of nearly 100 investors. CDP, a global body of investors with combined assets of over $10 trillion, has urged over 700 multinationals, including 22 Indian firms, to disclose environmental impact information. Indian firms, including Bharti Airtel, ITC and Coal India, have been asked to reveal the full extent of their impact on climate crisis, water shortages and deforestation, by July 31 by filling up an open questionnaire developed by CDP, but there has been no response yet.

Global plastics boom fueled 2018 CO2 emissions rise

The booming global market for plastic products was partly the reason behind 2018’s massive spike in CO2 emissions, the highest since 2011, says BP’s latest energy review. Aside from coal running China’s steel industry, the huge demand for petrochemicals used to make plastic products led to the massive spike in CO2. China, India and the US were responsible for the largest increases in emissions in 2018, the BP review said.  

India may miss carbon sink commitment 

India is not planting ‘open forests’ and ‘shrubs’ fast enough to meet its 2030 target, the government said. India pledged to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 through additional forest and tree cover by 2030, but its afforestation schemes are under-funded. India will host a UN convention to fight desertification in early September.

Want to register your house? First plant two trees, please

The small town of Kodungallur in the southern India state of Kerala has made it mandatory for owners to plant a mango and a jackfruit tree to get their houses registered. The municipality of Kodungallur has made it mandatory that once construction is completed, they will keep a check on the planted trees. 

Indonesia to make tree-cutting ban permanent

Across the ocean, Indonesia has made the ban on cutting forests for the sake of palm oil plantations permanent. The nation of islands is prone to outbreaks of forest fires during dry seasons, often blamed on the draining of peatland forests and land clearance for agriculture.

Pentagon emits more than many smaller industrialised countries

The US military headquarters emits more than an industrialised country. The Pentagon emits more than Sweden and Portugal, latest study has found. The Pentagon calls climate change a national security issue, but consider this: it released about 59 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in 2017, more than many smaller countries’ emissions. It is the 55th largest contributor of CO2 in the world. 

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