THE GREEN BULLETIN
Fifth Issue, 26th October - 01st November.
Row over legal nature of Paris climate deal
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, was quoted as saying that December’s agreement (COP Paris) was “definitively not going to be a treaty”. But his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, said that, unlike previous negotiations, the Paris talks were not just “hot air” and Kerry was perhaps “confused”. The EU has warned thEe Obama Administration that a global climate deal at the Paris summit must be international legally binding agreement. The title of the agreement is yet to be decided but it will not affect its legally binding form. This is not a political discussion. This is a real accord with facts.
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Climate Change May Increase World’s Poor by 100 Million, Warns World Bank
The UN’s heavily-hyped Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were approved by more than 160 world leaders at a summit meeting in September, are an integral part of the world body’s post-2015 development agenda, including the eradication of hunger and poverty by 2030. But that ambitious goal, warns the UN’s sister institution, the World Bank, can be thwarted by the devastating impact of climate change on the world’s poorest people. In a new study released Monday, the World Bank says climate change is already preventing people from escaping poverty. And without rapid, inclusive and climate-smart development, together with emissions-reductions efforts that protect the poor, there could be more than 100 million additional people in poverty by 2030.
For more information please visit: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/11/climate-change-may-increase-worlds-poor-by-100-million-warns-world-bank/
Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Is Too Flawed for a 'Yes' Vote in Congress
The Obama administration surely negotiated the TPP in good faith, and the accord would likely add to global and U.S. economic growth. This is not a pernicious accord, the fruits of a secret cabal as some have feared. Nor is globalization an evil to be fought tooth and nail. The sad truth, however, is that while the administration promised a 21st-century agreement, we have yet another late 20th-century agreement. And we already know the likely results: economic growth at the expense of widening income inequality; excessive power of big pharma, big finance and other sectors with strong lobbying power; and the growing threats of negative-sum trade conflict with China. Climate change is not even mentioned, much less addressed boldly and creatively.
For more information please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/tpp-flawed-vote-congress_b_8534286.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green
Africa Demands for More Input to Save the Climate
African civil society organisations championing for climate justice have criticised the Intended Nationally Determined Commitments (INDC’s) presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, calling them “weak, inadequate and not ambitious enough.” The civil society plan to mount pressure on developed countries during the Paris negotiations to ensure they take responsibility for their actions and account for historical injustices. This is not a fair trend, it negates equity and justice but let us not also forget that we are all in this one climate change boat, whether developed or developing countries and when the boat sinks, we sink together.
For more information visit : http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/11/africa-demands-for-more-input-to-save-the-climate/
There is no room for more pollution either in our air or in our lungs, says CSE’s pre-Diwali assessment
Centre for Science and Environment has issued a warning about the deadly impact of cracker pollution at the onset of winter when the air is already saturated. The new analysis of the air quality data available from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee shows that the levels of tiny particles of less than 2.5 micron size has already increased 7 times since October 1st this year. This leaves no room for additional pollution in the city especially from crackers that not only pushes up the pollution spike but also laces it with deadly cancer causing substances.
For more information please visit: http://cseindia.org/content/there-no-room-more-pollution-either-our-air-or-our-lungs-says-cse%E2%80%99s-pre-diwali-assessment
The Haunting Legacy of South Africa’s Gold Mines
The name is derived from “happy prospect” in Afrikaans, and once upon a time, life and the gold haul were both good at the Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine, 50 miles west of Johannesburg. But two years after the mine’s owners abandoned it because it was unprofitable, sewage runs in the streets of the old mining village, tailings impoundments cover nearby towns in dust, and illegal miners rule the abandoned shafts. South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources, or DMR, holds a list of 6,000 “derelict and ownerless” mines, which became the government’s problem over the years when the former owners disappeared. In the meantime, millions of South Africans live around waste facilities and many deal with respiratory, skin, and other health effects that they blame on the mine waste piled in and around their communities.
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A Real Victory: President Obama Rejects the Keystone XL Pipeline
President Obama did the right thing and put a final stop to the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline would have connected the tar sands oil fields in Canada to a massive refinery and port complex near Houston, Texas. But people across North America on both sides of the border said “No” to shipping tar sands oil. Barack Obama has become the first world leader to kill a big project because of its effect on the climate. It is a real victory: as the pipeline would put 1,000 bodies of water along its route at serious risk for spills.
For more information please visit: http://www.thecleanestline.com/2015/11/a-real-victory-president-obama-rejects-the-keystone-xl-pipeline.html
NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL
NGT voices concern over execution of Clean Ganga project
In a clear disapproval of the pace at which the clean Ganga Project is being executed, the National Green Tribunal wondered why any deficiency should be there when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described it as a paramount national project. The tribunal said time has come for it to issue appropriate directions in connection with cleaning of the river, environment and public health. The Prime Minister of the country took cleaning of river Ganga as paramount national project and the Finance Minister has provided Rs 20,000 crore for cleaning of the river in five years. This being the object and aim of the government we see no reason why there should be any deficiency in execution of the project.
For more information please visit: http://zeenews.india.com/news/eco-news/ngt-voices-concern-over-execution-of-clean-ganga-project_1816171.html
NGT orders sealing of hand pumps releasing contaminated water in Western UP
The National Green Tribunal directed Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam to seal forthwith all those hand pumps which are releasing contaminated ground water in six districts of Western Uttar Pradesh, observing that it is the fundamental duty of the state government to look after the health and environment of villagers. We direct that Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam to forthwith seal the hand pumps of all Western UP districts which are releasing contaminated ground water. The panel was hearing a petition filed by NGO Doaba Paryavaran Samiti head C V Singh, a retired scientist of Haryana Pollution Control Board, who has alleged that due to the consumption of contaminated ground water more than 50 villagers have died in Western UP of cancer.
For more information please visit: http://zeenews.india.com/news/eco-news/ngt-orders-sealing-of-hand-pumps-releasing-contaminated-water-in-western-up_1818724.html
Montreal Protocol starts on a positive note - Contact group formed for formal negotiations on phasing out HFCs
The resumed thirty-sixth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on “Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” which is a continuation to the previous conference held in Paris was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 29 and 30 October 2015. The parties made tangible progress towards reaching a mandate for possible contact group and are close to finding a constructive path forward. The informal meetings were mainly targeted at resolving the difference in opinion between various parties over the financing mechanisms and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) management in the terms of reference of the contact groups.
For more information please visit: http://www.cseindia.org/content/montreal-protocol-starts-a-positive-note-contact-group-formed-formal-negotiations-phasing
FOOD & AGRICULTURE
We’re Running Out Of Farmland. Can A ‘Food Computer’ Save Us?
We need more farmland for a growing population, but the space doesn't exist. So what's the solution? MIT research scientist Caleb Harper wants to build a real-life "Farmville." He had taken a first crack at experimental agriculture following a visit to Japan shortly after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, where he saw that people were afraid to eat the locally grown food. He wondered if there were ways to reproduce its growing conditions elsewhere. So his next move was to enlist students to join OpenAG, an MIT Media Lab initiative that works to develop an "open-source ecosystem" for farming technology to address global food security.
Climate Change Threatens Flavour of Argentine Wine
Purple garlic that is losing its color? More translucent wine? Climate change will also affect the flavours of our food in the absence of measures to mitigate the impacts of global warming, which are already being felt in crops that are basic to local economies, such as in the Argentine province of Mendoza. “Will climate change affect the quality of malbec?” read one sign at the exposition, referring to Argentina’s most characteristic wine. “The rise in temperature dulls the color of purple garlic,” says a study by horticulture expert Mónica Guiñazú at UNCuyo’s department of agrarian sciences.
For more information visit: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/11/climate-change-threatens-flavours-of-argentine-wine/
Why a Leading Indian Politician Is Now an Environmental Hawk
Jairam Ramesh was a self-described “economic hawk” when he became India’s environment minister in 2009, figuring that the country’s ecological problems could wait as India lifted its people out of poverty. But by the time he left his post in 2011, he had become an environmental hawk after witnessing how India’s rapidly expanding economy and soaring population had caused widespread pollution and destruction of the environment. Air and water pollution are becoming so severe in India that we are talking about existential risks.
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Hillary Clinton Proposes $30 Billion Plan To Help Coal Communities
Renewable energy is on pace to surpass coal by 2030 in electricity generation. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled a $30 billion plan Thursday that would protect coal miners' benefits and prepare their communities as the U.S. transitions to cleaner energy sources. While Clinton has embraced strong policies to combat climate change and ultimately voiced her opposition to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the Democratic front-runner’s new proposal makes clear she won’t forget about coal. As the last pillar of her energy and climate agenda, Clinton’s plan, focuses on safeguarding coal miners' health and retirement benefits, and shifting local economies away from coal production rather than injecting more money into the ailing industry. Coal has struggled to keep pace with the natural gas boom and increasingly affordable renewable energy sources.
For more information please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-coal_56449c92e4b08cda34878b5dutm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green§ion=india&adsSiteOverride=in
GNLU Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (GCESD)
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Gujarat National Law University
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