Environment Current Affairs - 2020

Latest Environment Current Affairs 2019 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Environment and Climate Change 2019 all important national updates in Environment events for the year 2019.

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Phase Out of Ozone Depleting Chemicals achieved by India

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (EFoCC) recently announced that India has achieved the complete phase out of ozone depleting Hydro Chloro Fluoro Carbons (HCFC). The achievement has its route to the Montreal Protocol

Highlights

In order to move towards environment friendly technologies, the Ministry of EFoCC prohibited import of HCFC-141b. The order was issued according to Ozone Depleting substances (Regulation and Control) amendment rules, 2019. The rules were issued under Environment (Protection) act, 1986.

The use of HCFC-141b by foam manufacturing industries have been come to an end with the stoppage of import of HCFC-141b. This is because, HCFC-141b is not produced in India. The domestic requirements of HCFC-141b so far had been met through imports.

Benefits

The phase out of HCFC-141b will help in healing the ozone layer in the stratospheric zone. Also, it will help in climate change mitigation as the industries dependent on HCFC for foam production will be forced to work on alternative technologies that contribute to lesser global warming.

Impacts

The step will have great impact on ozone layer. This is because around 50% of ozone depleting chemicals being used in the country attribute to HCFC-141b.

On the other hand, polyurethane dependent sectors will face dents. HCFC is used as blowing agent in the production of polyurethane foams. Polyurethane is used in applications such as water geysers, refrigerators, thermo wares, furniture appliance, commercial refrigeration.

Govt measures to reduce impacts

The after effect of the phase out will greatly affect the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). In order to prevent this, the Ozone Cell of Ministry of EFoCC had signed agreements with Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technologies to find alternate technologies. Assistance is being provide to field trails, training and product validation.

Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol was signed by 190 countries in 1987 to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances. In order to achieve this, India in 2017 launched a phase out plan. Though the target of the plan was 2023, India achieved the goal far ahead of the deadline.

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Carbon Disclosure Project: India ranks 5th

On January 21, 2020, the Carbon Disclosure Project, an annual report on carbon reduction activities of different countries and their firms was released by a non-profit organization Global Reporting Initiative. According to the report, the countries were ranked based on their corporate responsibilities of carbon reduction. In order to assess the role played by them, their science-based targets were weighed.

Highlights

According to the report, 58 Indian companies disclosed their environment related activities to the organization. Based on their disclosure, the report concludes that 98% of the top Indian companies have now formed committees to address climate related issues. The change has been witnessed between 2018 and 2019.

United States topped the list with 135 companies being transparent in their disclosure. Followed by US, Japan ranked second with 83 companies. On the third, fourth and fifth ranks were UK (78), France (51) and India (38) respectively.

The report said that, over 6,900 companies have so far disclosed their data through Carbon Disclosure Project. This contributes to 55% of world capitalization.

Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting initiative helps businesses, organizations and governments to understand the impacts of climate change, corruption and human rights.

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