Goans have been vociferously protesting against three Centre-funded infrastructure projects – the double-tracking of a railway line, a highway expansion and a power line – that will cut across Goa’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and its sister, Mollem National Park. These sanctuaries cover an area of 240 sqkm along Goa’s eastern frontier. These projects will collectively need to divert or destroy 170 hectares of forest along with the felling of thousands of trees. The public outcry seems to have pushed Goa’s chief minister Pramod Sawant to soften his stance on the projects.
Baghjan oil field operating illegally: NGT committee
A National Green Tribunal (NGT) committee said the Baghjan oil field was operating without mandatory environmental clearances at the time of the massive blowout on May 27, this year, which was followed by a fire that continues to rage. Oil India Limited (OIL) claims to have obtained all the clearances necessary to operate near the Dibru Saikhowa National Park (DSNP) in Tinsukia district. The committee recommended the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) take legal action against OIL for the alleged violations.
Australian pension fund settles climate change lawsuit
One of Australia’s largest pension funds will settle a landmark climate risk litigation case filed by a citizen who claimed it had failed to protect his retirement savings against climate change. In a statement, REST said that climate change could lead to catastrophic consequences and it was a “material, direct and current financial risk” to the superannuation fund. It committed to net zero emissions in its portfolio by 2050. The case assumes importance because it could influence how other global funds approach and manage such risks.
Climate risk disclosure to be made mandatory for UK businesses and financial institutions
British Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Monday announced that large companies, businesses and financial institutions in the UK would have to start reporting their exposure to climate risks within five years. The move comes as the UK chases a tougher regime to tackle climate change as it ramps up towards the 2050 carbon neutrality target. Sunak also announced plans to launch Britain’s first ever ‘green gilt’ in 2021- a financial bond which will be utilised to fund carbon-reducing technologies and create sustainable employment opportunities.