This year’s G7 summit, held in Japan, made some significant progress on tackling the climate crisis. Chief among them was providing more certainty on the phaseout of fossil fuels. Member countries “underlined their commitment” to phasing them out latest by 2050. THis is strong language signalling an increase in ambition on this front. The G7 also committed to “a collective increase in offshore wind capacity of 150 GW by 2030, based on each country’s existing targets and a collective increase of solar PV to more than 1TW by 2030.” This is more in line with the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) pathway to limit warming to 1.5°C. Leaders also committed to reducing additional plastic pollution to zero by 2040. This is significant because in 2019, plastics accounted for 3.4% of global emissions.
Biodiversity funds are hardly being used for conservation in India, finds analysis
Government funds allocated to State Biodiversity Boards are not being used for biodiversity conservation, a new analysis found. The funds themselves are meagre and not enough to meet the goals mentioned in the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2002, the analysis by Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE), which is yet to be published, found. Only 0.44% of the total funds given to eight states in the past two years by the National Biodiversity Authority was used to conserve Biodiversity Heritage Sights, the study found.
Wildlife board meeting lasts 5 mins; most projects on agenda cleared without discussion
The latest meeting of the State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) lasted just five minutes. During this meeting projects affecting protected areas, eco-sensitive zones, and tiger corridors were passed without any discussions. The proposals that were cleared include one for manganese mining in the Pench-NNTR corridor, which has a dense forest and a lift irrigation project in Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary.
Sources who attended the meeting told TOI forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar cleared the agenda in the absence of SBWL chairman and Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, who was attending other meetings. By the time Shinde arrived, all projects barring two had been cleared, the sources added. Mungantiwar told TOI the proposals were cleared without discussions because most of them were about laying optical fibre cables.
EU Parliament votes in favour of stricter methane rules for oil, gas companies
The EU’s lawmakers voted in favour of tougher rules for Europe’s oil and gas companies in order to cut down their methane emissions. Tough negotiations are set to follow as there are some EU countries that are seeking more lenient rules for the greenhouse gas. The stricter rules will require oil and gas firms to check for and fix methane leaks in their above-ground infrastructure every two-three years. The regulations will most likely also cover other fossil fuels by 2026, especially to ensure fuel imports comply with the rules.
2 mn people died due to climate change in 50 years, mostly in poor nations: UN
Extreme weather triggered by climate change led to 2 million deaths and economic damage of $4.3 trillion in the past 50 years, a UN report found. According to the World Meteorological Department (WMO), 11,778 weather disasters were reported between 1970 and 2021. The report found 90% of the deaths that occurred as a result of these disasters were in developing countries. The good news, however, is that early warning systems and improved disaster management have reduced the number of human casualties drastically, according to the report.
EU passes deforestation law, $1.3 billion of India’s exports to get affected: Report
The recently implemented European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) is likely to affect India’s annual exports of about $1.3 billion to the EU, according to the Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI). Coffee, leather hides, skin, oil cake, paper, and wood furniture are among the Indian goods that would be impacted. The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and EUDR will cover around 1,200 Indian tariff lines (products), the EU’s share of which in India’s total exports is 23.6%. According to the newly adopted EUDR, exporters to the EU must ensure that these products have been grown on the land which has not been deforested after December 31, 2020.