Weekly environmental news roundup from across different media networks for week 49 (starting December 5), 2011.
The Durban climate talks finally ended more than 36 hours after the scheduled closure on Sunday early morning. The world agreed to a new global climate change regime that will come in to force starting 2020.
Till a decade ago, all New Delhi received were backhanded compliments – a stately but staid city; a city of grand boulevards and wide open spaces, but bereft of any chemistry. Most people believed the Capital was not quite a melting pot of cultures the way several celebrated cities of the world -such as New York, London, and, to some extent, Mumbai – were. But that was a few years ago. Of late, celebrating New Delhi has become the norm.
Union environment minister quelled all doubts about her stand on the critical issue of a new legally binding treaty and said that she had come to Durban with an open mind but the developed world has to meet India’s conditions before such a deal could be contemplated.
The slugfest on legally binding nature of any future climate treaty got intense on Monday with the European Union proposing a declaration of “reassurance” from individual nations on wrapping up negotiations on such a treaty by 2015.
Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan stepped into the high pressure Durban talks with a series of closed door bilateral meetings with US, China and Europe even as she took stock of state of UN climate negotiations after one week.
The BASIC quartet-Brazil, South Africa, India and China-came together scorching all rumours that China had decided to break ranks when it made its “offer” of accepting a legally binding agreement.
India has entered the debate on legally binding climate treaty that has hogged the Durban climate conference with a set of questions and a firm no to accepting any emission cuts.
Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan took on Canada and small island nations on Friday night for terming India as a ‘deal breaker’ at climate summit and said “legally binding” cannot be confused with “ambition”. “It would be helpful if we do not talk at each other and do not prejudge each other,” she said at a late night meeting with ministers at Durban Summit.
Environmental clearance delays are rising again, pushing up the number of pending infrastructure projects. There are now 400 projects in mining, hydro and thermal power, and building and construction pending signatures at different levels in the MoEF. The figure had eased to 245 in August this year.
The Centre for Science and Environment has welcomed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s proposal to hike parking charges as a step towards further reform.
In what is perceived as a moral victory, a new negotiating draft for conference of 195 countries at the port city on Wednesday had India’s concerns on equity and unilateral carbon tax. But, it fails to find mention of intellectual property right issues related to transfer of clean technologies.
The European Union (EU) on Friday blamed India for blocking a new legally binding agreement, saying New Delhi is maintaining a “relatively tough stand” and thus stopping the countries from arriving at a conclusion in Durban.
In an effort to bring Delhi on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Cities, Indian National Trust for Art And Cultural Heritage (INTACH), a heritage body roped in by Delhi Tourism to develop the nomination dossier, is reaching out to the youth of the Capital in a massive awareness campaign.
Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has issued a show-cause notice to the Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, Delhi University , for violating biomedical waste disposal norms.
The Delhi high court has asked the Centre and city government to devise a way in two months to ensure that vegetables and fruits are not treated with pesticides beyond permissible limit during farming.
Delhi is an unsafe city, not only for its citizens but also for animals belonging to endangered species. From mongoose brushes to wild geese and from ivory products to cobra venom being used for recreational drug abuse, the Capital has seen around 150 to 200 criminal cases related to illegal trafficking of animals being registered in 2011.