India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target is to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from the 2005 level. Photo: Janak Bhatta_Wikimedia Commons

India’s policies will help achieve 2030 emission targets, but GHG emissions to rebound in 2031: IMF

A new working paper by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that while India may achieve its 2030 emission target, greenhouse gas emissions will rise again in 2031. This trend will continue till 2040, according to the paper. It is considering five major emitting sectors while making its policy impact predictions—power, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and residential. India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target is to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from the 2005 level.

Some of the policies the paper is analysing are production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes, Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPOs) and the Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) schemes and the carbon trading market policy. The paper urges India to do more in order to reach its net-zero by 2070 goal announced at COP26. 

SC stays post-facto memos clearing mining projects with no green nod

Two office memos that allow post-facto clearing of mining projects that did not have green clearance when they began work were stayed by the Supreme Court on January 2. This has raised questions about whether the Apex court can similarly intervene in other projects related to post-facto clearances. 

The memos, dated January 2022 and July 2021, explained the standard operating procedure of mining projects that had violated the Environment Impact Assessment Act 2006, by starting work without a green nod. The memo stated its goal was to regularise such projects and quickly get violators under the regulatory regime. The memos also detailed the penalties for the violations along with remedial measures. The SC’s stay on this memos is also significant because the government is also granting similar post-facto clearances to forest-related projects as well.

Tree cutting begins to expand coal mines in Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo Arand

Tree felling for Parsa East and Kete Basan (PEKB) phase-2 extension coal mines in the biodiversity-rich Hasdeo Arand region of Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district has begun amid police security cover. Police said they had visited the residences of some locals to advise them not to create a law and order situation.

Permission for non-forestry use of 1,136.328 hectares of forest land for PEKB phase-II mine (Surguja), was allotted to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RRVUNL) last year. 762 hectare of land in PEKB block allotted in 2007 to RVUNL began in 2013 has already been completed. 

Local gram sabhas have not given their consent for the coal mine. The Chhattisgarh Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution on July 26 last year that mining activities will not be carried out in Hasdeo area. Instead of honouring that resolution, the new government launched cutting of trees under heavy security force after detaining protestors of Hasdeo Aranya Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, including sarpanch of Ghatbarra Jainandan Porte and Thakur Ram, Alok Shukla, Convener of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan (CBA) said. 30,000 trees have been chopped in Hasdeo. Tribals who were protesting were arrested, Leader of Opposition Charan Das Mahant stated in the Assembly.

Globally, at least 3 cases challenging climate inaction were filed every week in 2023

Last year, globally there were a minimum of three new cases that were filed each week challenging climate inaction, according to New-York based Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. The report found at least 183 new cases related to climate change were filed in 2023. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2022 report had also identified climate litigation as an important way to highlight climate issues and influence climate policy. 

Children, youth, women, senior citizens, and indigenous peoples especially were using climate litigation as a tool to ensure their voice is taken into account for climate plans and decisions made by governments and the private sector. The cases were related to human rights, carbon capture and sequestration, corporate accountability and increased climate disclosures. 

German farmers protest nationwide against subsidy cuts

Farmers in Germany began a nationwide protest against subsidy cuts. They are protesting against the government’s decision to phase out a tax break for agricultural diesel. The decision was taken after a constitutional court stopped the government from utilising funds from the unused pandemic emergency funds worth 60 billion euros. It had been earmarked for green initiatives such as sustainable renewable energy and energy-efficient infrastructure. This has put the government’s budget plans in disarray. Farmers used tractors to block roads despite sub-zero conditions. They said the tax breaks save them around 900 million euros a year, and without them, they fear they will run out of business.