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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National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development inaugurated

With the aim of addressing opportunities and challenges in development of clean coal technologies, Union Minister of Science & Technology Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development (NCCCR&D) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. The NCCCR&D has been launched at IISc. by Department of Science & Technology (DST).

National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development (NCCCR&D)

It is a national consortium on clean coal research and development led by IISc. The partner of IISc includes IIT- Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati, Bombay, and Hyderabad.

The consortium will work on identifying existing gaps in clean coal technology as major problem being faced by Indian power plants is high level of pollutants and low thermal efficiency.

The new centre would address several critical Research & Development (R&D) challenges towards development of clean coal technologies in tandem with developing supercritical power plant technologies, both at materials and system level.

The centre will also address challenges such as development of low emission combustion and gasification, and achieve high cycle efficiencies with reduced pollutants. IISc. has already set-up an advanced indigenous supercritical CO2 test loop at a laboratory scale.

Significance:

Scientific and collective endeavours like NCCCR&D would enable achievement of an affordable, efficient, and compact reliable clean energy system.

It would help India in achieving international targets and ‘nationally determined contributions’ on climate change which inlcudes-

  • To have at-least 40% of our total requirement of energy to be from clean energy sources by 2030 (of this India have already achieved around 34-35%)
  • Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 33% to 35% by 2030

Target beneficiaries of NCCCR&D: It includes national organisations such as the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd. (BHEL), Triveni Turbines Ltd and Tata Power.

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Railways Ministry signs MoU with CII for facilitation of green initiatives

Union Ministry of Railways signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for facilitation of green initiatives in Indian Railways. The MoU would carry forward some major Green initiatives undertaken by Indian Railways as part of India’s contribution towards mitigation of global warming and combating climate change.

Key Highlights

Railways have been making concerted efforts to ensure cleanliness and hygiene in trains and on station premises.

Objectives of MoU-

  • Greening of Railway properties
  • Energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities and railway workshops
  • Demonstrative pilots of ‘net-zero energy buildings/railway stations’
  • Development of Green procurement policy, waste management policy, solid waste disposal, carbon neutrality, phytoremediation
  • Capacity and skill development by continuous sharing of best practices on energy and environment through training programmes

3 Coffee Table Publications: One each on Energy Efficiency, GreenCo Rating and Green Buildings (including railway stations) were also released for wide circulation as part of efforts taken by Indian Railways team as envisaged in MoU.

Background

In 2016 Indian Railways & CII signed a MoU on Green Rating & Energy Efficiency Studies of IR’s Production Units & major workshops. After assessment in last 3 years 50 Railway units including workshops and production units, 12 Railway stations and 16 more buildings and other facilities have achieved GreenCo certification.

GreenCo rating system: It is developed by CII. It evaluates the green initiative and rate of performance of industrial units who are pursuing environmentally sustainable practice and also certifies green building, green campus and green schools etc.

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