Insights Daily Current Events, 03 October 2015
Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.
India to cut emissions intensity
The Union Environment Ministry has finally submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), committing to cut the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
- All nations were due to come out with emission targets ahead of a climate change conference in Paris in December, where they are supposed to adopt a landmark deal to fight climate change.
- Including India, 120 countries have now submitted their INDCs.
What are INDCs?
INDCs lay out the blueprint for tackling climate change. These are individual country commitments which are expected to indicate through their form and strength what shape any 2015 agreement might take.
- Every country is submitting these action plans, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, in official language, ahead of an annual climate change conference in December — this time being held in Paris — that is expected to deliver a global climate agreement.
- In preparation, countries have agreed to publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement, known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
- Through INDCs countries put forward their agreements in the context of their own national circumstances, capabilities and priorities, within the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.
- The INDCs will not only contain steps taken towards emission reductions, but also aim to address steps taken to adapt to climate change impacts, and what support the country needs-or will provide to address climate change.
INDCs emphasise eight key goals — sustainable lifestyles, cleaner economic development, reducing emission intensity of GDP, increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based electricity, enhancing carbon sink, adaptation and mobilising finance, technology transfer and capacity building.
India’s proposed targets:
- Reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
- Achieve about 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with help of transfer of technology and low cost international finance.
- Create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
How much it will cost?
- Preliminary estimates suggest India would require at least USD 2.5 trillion at current prices to implement all these plans till 2030.
- NITI Aayog has said that the mitigation activities for moderate low carbon development would cost around 834 billion dollars till 2030.
India’s ongoing efforts to achieve its climate objectives:
- India had set for itself in the run-up to the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen, the previous time the world had attempted to finalise a climate agreement, but had failed. At that time, India had said it would cut its emission intensity by 20 to 25% by the year 2020 compared to 2005.
- In its INDC, India says its emission intensity in 2010 had already been cut by 12% as compared to 2005.
- India has already planned to install 175 GW of power generation capacity through renewable energy sources by the year 2022.
- It has also planned to increase the coal cess and increase taxes on petrol and diesel. India has already cut its petroleum subsidy by 26% over the last one year.
- Several of government’s flagship programmes like the Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Swachh Bharat Mission, National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), National Mission for Clean Ganga, Make in India policy, Soil Health Card scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and many others aim to achieve the climate objectives.
India is the fourth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, the United States, and European Union as a whole.
Sources: the hindu, ie, ndtv.
Paper 3 Topic: Bio diversity.
Nilgiri tahr population over 3,000
In a comprehensive study of the Nilgiri tahr population in Western Ghats, the WWF-India has put the population at 3,122.
- It has also said that with diligent conservation and planning, the population could reach the 5,000 mark.
- The study was conducted in the habitat spread over 5,790 sq km in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- During the survey, WWF has discovered 17 unrecorded pockets of tahr habitat inhabited by 131 animals. These potential areas had not been located in the past owing to their rugged terrain that remains inaccessible for over half the year owing to heavy rain, mist and fog.
- Then study recommends periodic monitoring for conservation.
- The study also helps in preparing a comprehensive conservation plan.
The threats identified by the study include:
- incidents of forest fire destroying fodder
- spread of diseases through unregulated cattle crazing in areas close to the habitat
- unsustainable non-timber forest produce collection
- poaching and unabated human intervention in the habitat in the name of pilgrimage to sacred places
The Nilgiri tahr, known locally as the Nilgiri ibex or simply ibex, is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India.
- It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
- It has been classified as endangered as per IUCN.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.
Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
TRAI stands by its decision of making GPS mandatory in all handsets
TRAI has stood by its proposal of a sunset date for making GPS mandatory in all handsets, which can help find out exact location of the caller in an emergency.
- It says feature phones are slowly being replaced, with users shifting to smartphones, and introducing a GPS chip in handsets should not be very costly once it is mandated.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in April came out with recommendations on making 112 as the single emergency number.
- TRAI proposed implementation of public safety answering point (PSAP) based integrated emergency communication and response system (IECRS) in the country, which will be accessed through a single emergency number 112.
- It had proposed that DoT may consider mandating a transition to global positioning systems (GPS) enabled handsets in a certain timeframe to obtain more accurate location information of the caller.
- However, the proposal was rejected by the Department of Telecom (DoT), saying there is a major percentage of low-cost handsets with subscribers which do not support GPS and the impact of enabling all mobile phone handsets with GPS may be studied before taking a call on the issue.
- It is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.
- It was established in 1997 by an Act of Parliament to regulate telecom services and tariffs in India.
- In January 2000, TRAI was amended to establish the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory functions of the TRAI. The TDSAT was set up to resolve any dispute between a licencor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers. In addition, any direction, TRAI orders or decisions can be challenged by appealing to TDSAT.
Sources: ie, pib.