Environment Current Affairs

Union Government plans to produce power, compost from solid waste under Swachh Bharat Mission

Union Urban Development Ministry has announced crucial policy changes to allow generation of electricity and compost from municipal solid waste.

It was announced by the Ministry on the occasion of first anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission which was launched on 2 October 2014.

The Ministry is also finalising the pricing model for the compost produced out of city trash which would be sold to farmers on subsidised rates.

Other Ministries involved in this project

Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers will forward proposal before Cabinet to provide Market Development Assistance on sale of city compost to farmers.

Union Ministry of Power is also in the process of amending the Electricity Act 2003 to enable mandatory purchase of power generated from municipal solid waste. It will also finalise a tariff rate that would help waste to energy projects to sustain in the market.


India pledges 33-35 per cent GHGs emission cut by 2030

India has pledged to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent compared to 2005 levels by 2030.

The figures of mitigation action were announced by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar in New Delhi ahead of the Paris Climate Change Conference.

In this regard, Union Government has submitted Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

To achieve these targets Union Government wil

  • Boost the renewable energy capacity to 40 per cent by 2030. About 40 per cent of country’s electricity requirement will be met through non-fossil fuel sources.
  • Increase tree cover across the country to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent.
  • Require about 2.5 trillion dollars in addition to a number of clean technologies to meet these targets and measures for adaptation to climate change.


Marine population declined since 1970: Study

As per recently released study, populations of marine mammals, fish, birds and reptiles have declined by 49% since 1970.

The study report was prepared by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). In this study more than 1,200 species of marine creatures were analysed in the past 45 years.

Key facts

  • Biggest drivers of these declining trends are various human activities such as overfishing, marine habitat destruction and climate change.
  • The impact of climate change has mainly attributed to excess absorption of carbon dioxide into the oceans which is making them more acidic and damaging a number of species.
  • There is steep decline marine habitat in the form of mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses which support marine food webs and provide valuable services to people.
  • The report highlights the need to protect critical marine habitats, sustainably manage fish stocks more and improve fishing practices and redirect financial flows to support these needed initiatives.