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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India’s first underwater Metro: To begin in March 2022 in Kolkata

The first underwater Metro is being constructed in Hooghly river. The project is awaiting clearance of 2.8 million USD from the Indian Railways.

Highlights

The Hooghly Metro is one of the oldest Metro in the country. It was started in 1984. The new under water tunnel will carry 20% of city’s population and will cross the river in less than a minute. Currently it takes 20 minutes in the ferry to cross the river and an hour to cross the Howrah bridge.

Infrastructure and Environment

While the infrastructural developments are increasing exponentially, it is important to check their effects on environment. According to World Wide Funds, by 2050 the Earth will hold 75% more infrastructure than that it does today. Therefore, it is essential to study their Environmental impacts and take necessary alternate actions to protect the environment.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

According to United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), EIA is the evaluation of environmental impacts and also cultural, human-health and socio-economic impacts of a proposed project.

EIA in India

EIA in India began in 1976. However, it was an administrative decision till 1994. In 1994 Environmental (Protection) act, 1986 was amended to provide legislative support to EIA process

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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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