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India ranks 87th on Energy Architecture Performance Index: WEF

India ranked 87th among the surveyed 127 countries on a Global Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI) released as part of report of Geneva- based World Economic Forum (WEF).

EAPI is a composite index developed by WEF in collaboration with Accenture Strategy. It focuses on tracking specific indicators to measure the energy system performance of the countries.

It has 18 indicators defined across the three sides of the ‘energy triangle’- economic growth and development, energy access and security and environmental sustainability.

Key Highlights of 2017 EAPI
  • Top 5 Countries: Switzerland (1), Norway (2), Sweden (3), Denmark (4) and France (5).
  • India has marginally improved its ranking in this edition from 90th rank in 2016. But it ranks among the worst for pollution.
  • Global Facts: World’s biggest energy consumers struggle to take leading positions on index as they grapple with inherent challenges of their large, complex energy systems and are outperformed by nimble economies.
  • Overall, some of the largest consumers of energy such as China (95th), India, Japan (45th), Russia (48th) and United States (52nd) have either slipped in the rankings or experienced only marginal gains.
  • India related Facts: India is gradually improving its performance on the index, but faces an uphill battle to increase energy access and security (95th) indicators.
  • A large percentage of the population of India still lacks access to electricity (101st) and uses solid fuels for cooking (108th) indicators.
  • India’s commitment to increase solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, will make it a leader in renewable capacity.
  • India, just like China, boasts strong score on indicator for diversification of import counterparts (5th), but its energy system continues to face some significant challenges, particularly on environmental sustainability (109th) indicator.
  • India has some of the lowest scores in CO2 emissions from electricity (117th) production and PM2.5 levels (123rd) indicators.
  • Energy & Pollution: Sources of pollution are diverse and intermittent (such as refuse combustion, agricultural crop burning, fireworks), but the energy sector is a large, consistent contributor to this issue.
  • Many solutions have been attempted with varying degrees of impact, but the countries sorely need a comprehensive plan of action to implement an effective and sustainable answer.

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Polluted environment kills 1.7 million children a year: WHO report

According to recently released World Health Organisation (WHO) report titled “Inheriting a sustainable world: Atlas on children’s health and the environment”, polluted environment kills around 1.7 million children a year.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the environment’s impact especially air pollution on children’s health, illustrating the scale of the challenge.

Key Highlights from Report 
  • Every year, environmental risks such as outdoor and indoor air pollution, unsafe water, second-hand smoke, lack of sanitation and inadequate hygiene results in quarter of all global deaths of children under five.
  • Large portion of the most common causes of death among children are diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia due to pollution.
  • Harmful exposures also increase the risk of premature birth. When infants and pre-schoolers are exposed to air pollution they have an increased lifelong risk of chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma.
  • Exposure to air pollution may also increase their lifelong risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer. Children’s developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them vulnerable pollution.

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Scientists discover 1970s banned chemicals in deep ocean fauna

Scientists for the first time have found high levels of human-made pollutants, including chemicals that were banned in the 1970s, in the tissues of marine creatures dwelling in the deepest oceans of the Earth.

These chemicals were discovered after sampling amphipods from the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana and Kermadec trenches, which are over 10 km deep and 7,000 km apart.

Key Facts
  • Researchers found presence of extremely high levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the organism’s fatty tissue.
  • These POPs include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which are commonly used as electrical insulators and flame retardants.
  • These banned pollutants are invulnerable to natural degradation and persist in the environment for decades. They may have been released into the environment through industrial accidents.
  • Researchers claim that these pollutants may have found their way to deep trenches through contaminated plastic debris and dead animals sinking to bottom of ocean, where they were consumed by amphipods and other fauna.
  • These sampled amphipods contained levels of contamination similar to that found in Suruga Bay, one of the most polluted industrial zones of the north-west Pacific.
  • Thus, this research shows that the remote and pristine oceanic realm which was earlier considered safe from human impact is actually not.

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