India will be hosting the 46th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) in May next year. With the theme of the meeting being “Development through empowerment”, the four-day event will provide an opportunity to policy-makers and official delegations from 67 countries to brainstorm on developmental issues.http://www.thehindu.com/business/article3364738.ece
Unsustainable or U.N. sustainable ?
Representatives from around the world gather in Rio in June to try to hammer out goals for sustainable development at a U.N. conference designed to avoid being tripped up by the intractable issue of climate change.
In an attempt to avoid too much confrontation, the conference will focus not on climate change but on sustainable development – making sure economies can grow now without endangering resources and the environment for future generations.
U.N. conferences over the past decade have begun with high hopes for agreements to compel nations to cut climate-warming emissions and help adapt to a hotter world, but they often ended with disappointingly modest results. That was the case last year in the global climate change summit in Durban, South Africa. Participants at that meeting agreed to forge a new deal by 2015 that would go into force by 2020.
The “sustainable” branding for this year’s summit, rather than climate, is by design, said Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago, who headed Brazil’s delegation to the U.N. climate talks in Durban and will be a chief negotiator for Brazil in Rio.
Sustainable development is an easier sell globally than climate change, even though sustainable development is a way of tackling global warming and other environmental issues, he said.
“Climate change is an (issue) that has very strong resistance from sectors that are going to be substantially altered, like the oil industry,” do Lago said. “Sustainable development is something that is as simple as looking at how we would like to be in 10 or 20 years.”
The time seems ripe. Natural resources are at a premium. The global human population tops 7 billion. Traditional economies are failing. And the planet is warming. Leaders may accept the premise that it makes sense to ensure rich and emerging nations can grow without further damaging the environment.
The focus of global meetings has been on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, but the world’s biggest emitters, including China and the United States, have balked, arguing it would cripple economic development.
Climate change first claimed the world stage at the U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 20 years ago. That first Earth Summit in 1992 ultimately led to the carbon-capping Kyoto Protocol and a treaty on biodiversity.
This summit offers a chance to renew political will to make the world’s economies greener.
Since the 1992 summit, successive attempts to secure a new binding pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions have failed to produce concrete results, public interest in climate change has waned, and many world leaders are concentrating on upcoming elections and financial worries.
“A MISSED OPPORTUNITY”
There is concern that this new summit could fall short.
“The most it will manage is to set some voluntary goals with a vague timeline, but it will not be clear what the process is to achieve these goals,” said Andrew Light of the Center for American Progress think tank in Washington. Without real goals and a way to reach them, Light said, Rio “will be a missed opportunity.”
A U.N. draft document was released this month as a starting point for the June conference, outlining seven issues including jobs, energy, food, water and disasters.
“Without clearly defined goals, the summit will not provide the clarity and certainty that are needed to get the private sector to actively participate and potentially make the investments needed to achieve the goals,” said Stephen Starbuck, expert on climate change and sustainability at Ernst & Young.
A narrower climate focus could also put off some countries, such as the United States, where opposition to carbon-capping legislation was so strong from Republicans and the oil industry that it overturned plans for a national emissions cap-and-trade arrangement.
In the past 20 years, the debate has changed as the world has changed, according to Tim Wirth, a former U.S. senator who attended the 1992 Rio meeting and will be at this year’s conference as president of the non-profit U.N. Foundation.
“The debate’s changed because of China, India, Brazil and South Africa, the very rapid and surprisingly powerful growth of the newly industrialized countries,” he said.
In 1992 and in the Kyoto Protocol that grew from events at Rio, these developing countries and others were exempt from curbing carbon dioxide emissions, while rich countries like the United States would have had to cut back. In the end, the U.S. Senate never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which entered into force in 2005.
“Rio was really exploratory,” Wirth said. “Nobody knew what this was going to be all about. … I think Rio+20 becomes an opportunity to be very specific, especially about energy and development.”
Although fast-developing economies are eager for this shift, Wirth said there may be resistance from big energy powers like the United States and some oil producers in the Middle East.
“These are the countries that say, ‘Hey, this is our sandbox, you can’t get into it,’” he said. “But I think that’s passing by very quickly.”
Rio+20 will have to give the private sector the clarity and incentives they need over the medium term, Starbuck said.
Any goals set in Rio would likely be for the next 20 years, which could be too far in the future for most chief executives whose time in office is more likely to last years, not decades.
Instead, interim goals set along the way to 2030 would make the private sector more likely to engage, Starbuck added.
1. Hot topic: 4°C rise in temperature by 2020 in Rajasthan - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12904566.cms
2. Study finds warming speeding up rainfall cycle - http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-27/global-warming/31420975_1_climate-change-salinity-ocean
3. Earth Day celebrated in Ludhiana school - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12918198.cms
4. India, US must pool their resources on energy and climate issues: Pachauri - http://zeenews.india.com/news/eco-news/india-us-must-pool-their-resources-on-energy-and-climate-issues-pachauri_771948.html
5. Antarctica‘s massive ice shelves are shrinking because they are being eaten away from below by warm water, a new study finds. That suggests that future sea levels could rise faster than many scientists have been predicting. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12889309.cms
1. Commerce Secretary all praise for SEZs - http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article3364709.ece
3. बंगाल में सेज को अनुमति नहीं - http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/news/national/politics/5_2_9189971.html/print/
4. Residents protest against MSEZ - http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/article3364022.ece
5. More focus on airports in capital, Kozhikode - http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/article3363078.ece
6. Difficult times ahead for trade: Commerce Secretary - http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3364817.ece
7. Mamta Banerjee roots for non-SEZ sops - http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120428/jsp/calcutta/story_15426946.jsp
1. Why the euphoria over the Agni-V missile is misplaced – Nuclear-tipped missiles don’t give security, says Praful Bidwai. Link: http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-why-the-euphoria-over-the-agni-v-missile-is-misplaced/20120427.htm
2. Chernobyl: A grim reminder to all those nuclear protagonists – Link: http://moneylife.in/article/78/25263.html
3. Rocket science and witchcraft - http://expressbuzz.com/voices/Rocket-science-and-witchcraft/386028.html#
4. KNPP: Amnesty Intl Asks PM to Release Protestors - http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=761001
5. Karunanidhi flays Jayalalithaa on Kudankulam issue - http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_karunanidhi-flays-jayalalithaa-on-kudankulam-issue_1681993
7. Kudankulam: Efforts on to make 1st reactor operational quickly - http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kudankulam-efforts-on-to-make-1st-reactor-operational-quickly/942804/
8. Kudankulam plant fuelling may get nod by next week - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12908744.cms
9. Japan’s last operational nuclear reactor to go offline - http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428624.100-japans-last-operational-nuclear-reactor-to-go-offline.html
1. The final master plan for the Jamshedpur Urban Agglomeration (JUA), presented by US-based consultant Superior Global Infrastructure before a steering committee of East Singhbhum district administration, failed to impress. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120428/jsp/jharkhand/story_15426309.jsp#.T5ua_dlrWCw
2. Karnataka to review investments proposed during global meet 2010 - http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article3360626.ece
3. HCC emerges best bidder for Vadodara-Surat road project - http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3361295.ece
4. Centre backs villagers facing eviction in TN elephant corridor - http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-23/india/31386066_1_elephant-corridor-forest-rights-act-hc-order
5. HC upholds land acquisition for Chennai Metro Rail project (CMRL) - http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/article3361616.ece
6. We can’t change our anti-SEZ stand: Mamata Banerjee - http://www.asianage.com/india/we-cant-change-our-anti-sez-stand-mamata-banerjee-778
7. No more SEZs, hill stations: The Gadgil report - http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_no-more-sezs-hill-stations-the-gadgil-report_1681789
8. Public hearing sought on road-widening proposal - http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article3359208.ece
9. For the first time, ‘Right to Hearing’ - Rajasthan has pioneered another human rights legislation with the passage of the Rajasthan Right to Hearing Bill, 2012, in the State Assembly on Thursday. The legislation, first to be enacted by any State in India, provides citizens the right of hearing within a stipulated time on any grievance or complaint related to governance. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-otherstates/article3359156.ece
10. Voices free from rebel fear - Baliba sheds violent legacy to join district’s janata durbar - http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120428/jsp/jharkhand/story_15428205.jsp#.T5ubT9lrWCw
1. Prohibitory order extended till May 31 - The prohibitory order clamped in the areas falling within 2 km radius from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) site following the anti-nuke protests has been extended till May 31. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article3358988.ece
2. “No assurance to protesters on documents” - District Collector R. Selvaraj has refuted the claim by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) that it was forced to resume indefinite fast from May 1 as the official machinery had failed to fulfil promises made during talks held at Radhapuram recently. Link: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article3359212.ece
3. US-Russia nuke communication system may be used for ensuring cybersecurity - http://www.newkerala.com/news/newsplus/worldnews-12330.html
4. Regan Admin ignored Zia’s lies on N- programme - The Regan administration repeatedly ignored the warning of the US intelligence community that the then Pakistani military ruler General Zia ul-Haq was consistently lying to them on the country’s nuclear programme, latest declassified information have revealed. http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/regan-admin-ignored-zia-s-lies-on-n-programme_772120.html
5. Koodankulam‘s 2nd Nuc plant may run by year-end - The second unit of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Project (KKNPP) may become operational by year-end, hinted Atomic Energy Commission chairman and Department of Atomic Energy secretary Srikumar Banerjee. Banerjee, who addressed presspersons along with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) managing director S K Jain at the KKNPP site on Thursday, said that with the cooperation of the Tamil Nadu government, work at Unit-1 and Unit-2 was progressing steadily towards criticality. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/koodankulam-plant-unit-may-run-by-yearend/252524-62-128.html
6. ‘Fair deal’ for N-power plant oustees - The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and State government are all set to finalise the resettlement and rehabilitation package for the project-affected persons of Kovvada and surrounding areas of Ranasthalam to overcome the opposition to the nuclear power project. Link: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article3358684.ece
Alang beach remains a security concern, 5924 end-of-life ships beached so far
Ex- US toxic ship entry in Indian waters challenged in Supreme Court
New Delhi 27/4/2012: An application has been filed in Supreme Court in the matter of a hazardous end-of-life vessel named ‘Oriental Nicety’ (formerly Exxon Valdez, Exxon Mediterranean, Sea River Mediterranean, S/R Mediterranean, Mediterranean, and Dong Fang Ocean) which has been purchased by Best Oasis Company, (a subsidiary of Priya Blue Industries Pvt Ltd) in the Indian waters in the name of dismantling and recycling. The minutes of the court constituted Inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on shipbreaking and a sensitive document that has been filed in the court reveal the repeated security concerns which remain unaddressed.
The hazardous wastes/shipbreaking case Writ Petition (Civil) 657/1995 is coming up for hearing on May 3, 2012.
The following are the prayers in the application.
A relevant sensitive document (that is corroborated by recent minutes of IMC’s 14th meeting dated February 2012) is
(i) Direct the Union of India to ensure that no end-of-life ship should be allowed without prior decontamination in the country of export as per this Hon’ble Court’s order dated October 14, 2003,
(ii) Direct the Union of India to send back all hazardous wastes laden end-of-life ships entering/ or have entered the Indian territorial waters without prior informed consent and without prior decontamination keeping in view the environmental principles,
(iii) Direct inquiry by an independent trans-disciplinary investigating agency to ascertain the circumstances of the dead US ship’s arrival in Indian territorial waters, to make concerned officials accountable for their acts of omission and commission and seek a detailed report on more than 1200 ships broken in last 5 years and more than 5924 ships broken since 1982;
(iv) Direct Union of India to ensure compliance with the recommendations of the Hon’ble Court constituted Inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on ship-breaking
The illegal traffic of this dead ship must be stopped besides investigating the possibility of fake documents which came to light in the earlier case of Platinum II, a US ship. The Ministry of Environment & Forests has invoked the Precautionary Principle and directed that granting permission for beaching and breaking, purposes of the ship will not be advisable in the case of Platinum II. It may be mentioned that precautionary principle is the basis of UN conventions, such as Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). India is a signatory to these conventions and has ratified them as well. The ex-Exxon Valdez is violating these international laws besides the court’s order.
For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), New Delhi, New Delhi, Phone: +91-11-2651781, Fax: +91-11-26517814, Mb: 9818089660, E-mail: email@example.com, Web: toxicswatch.blogspot.com
1. World Bank to open office in Myanmar - Washington, April 27 : The World Bank will open an office in Myanmar in June, a bank official said Thursday. http://www.newkerala.com/news/newsplus/worldnews-12018.html
2. IFC may offer $130 mn for wind farms in Guarat and Rajasthan - http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ifc-may-offer-130-mn-for-wind-farms-in-guj-raj/472687/
3. A History Of The World, BRIC By BRIC - The multitrillion-dollar global question remains: Is the emergence of BRICS a signal that we have truly entered a new multipolar world? Of neoliberal dragons, Eurasian wet dreams, and Robocop fantasies…http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?280703
4. India, Japan to talk on defence, investment and nuclear energy - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12886555.cms