In a major boost to exit-coal campaigners, a new report estimated that the shutting down of older and under-construction coal power plants could not only cut down on emissions but also save the government, power distribution utilities and the consumers around ₹1.1 trillion. The report by environment consultancy firm Climate Risk Horizons (CRH) that shutting down of old power plants (20 years and above) alone could save up to ₹530 billion over five years and across 11 states.
The report stated that shutting down older plants would be a more economical option rather than trying to retrofit them to make them emissions compliant because the latter requires additional expenditure.
Maharashtra govt to declare 600 acres of Mumbai’s Aarey colony as ‘reserved forest’
Days after Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asked his government to look for an alternative site for a Mumbai Metro car shed, which was to be built in Mumbai’s green lung Aarey Milk Colony, comes some more good news. The government said 600 acres of the area will be declared a ‘reserved forest’. The area will be clear of any infrastructure projects and may either be opened for eco-tourism or a night safari or may be left as is, the government said.
Can’t declare flamingo hotspots in Navi Mumbai to be conservation reserves: CIDCO
Maharashtra planning agency City Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has quashed a bid to declare flamingo dense regions in Navi Mumbai, which is on the outskirts of Mumbai, as conservation reserves. The agency, instead, termed these areas as ‘developable land parcels’ and pointed to the fact that revenue records show them as saltpans.
Several flamingos migrate to the Talawe wetlands in April and May each year. CIDCO claimed it had built several bunds along the region’s coastline for development and accused local fishermen of breaking these bunds for fishing, which allowed creekwater to create several ponds. These regions, therefore, don’t qualify as wetlands according to 2017 wetland rules, CIDCO claimed.
Google’s lifetime carbon footprint now zero: Sundar Pichai
Google declared its carbon footprint is now zero because it invested in ‘high-quality carbon offsets’. The company claimed it became carbon neutral in 2007. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google next aim is to run all its offices and data centres on carbon-free energy by 2030.
EU parliament’s environment panel votes for 60% emissions cut by 2030
In a move to update its emissions target, the EU Parliament’s environment committee voted in favour of a legally binding target that ensures 60% emissions cut by 2030 as compared to 1990 levels. The EU is seeking to make the economy climate neutral by 2050. The committee is set to formally seal its approval of the law with another vote on Friday. The EU parliament will vote on the law in October.
UK climate assembly proposes taxes on frequent flying, ban on private planes
A UK climate assembly called for a levy on frequent flyers and a ban on private jets and helicopters. The citizens’ assembly was tasked with finding ways to decarbonise the country’s economy by 2050. The assembly was in favour of taxing air travel not only based on the duration of flight but also the frequency of travel. If implemented, this would be a major change for a system that does not tax frequent fliers at all.
Poland to push ahead with $40-bn plan to build nuclear power plants in bid to phase out coal
As part of its plan to phase out coal, Poland is looking to go ahead with its $40 billion plans to build nuclear power plants. The first unit is set to come online in 2033, the government said. Coal accounted for 74% of the country’s electricity generation last year, which was one of the highest levels in the EU. The government estimated that the nuclear power plants would reduce coal’s share in power production by 11%-28% by 2040.