Environment Current Affairs - 2019

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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EU parliament approves ban on Single-use plastics

The European Parliament has voted for an EU-wide ban on single-use plastic products such as the straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are clogging the world’s oceans. The law on single-use plastic ban sets a target to gather 90 per cent of plastic for recycling by 2029 and mandates the production of plastic bottles with 25 per cent recycled material by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.

The law also insists on polluters pay principle by insisting polluters to pay the costs of a clean-up. The measures are strengthened, particularly for cigarette manufacturers, who will have to support the recycling of discarded filters.

The “polluter pays” principle will be extended to manufacturers of fishing nets so that companies, not fishing crews pay the cost of nets lost at sea.

The products prohibited under the law represent 70 per cent of the waste that pours into the world’s oceans, posing a threat to wildlife and fisheries.

Single-use plastics

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. They are not usually biodegradable and goes into a landfill where it is buried or it gets into the water and finds its way into the ocean. They degrade into tiny particles after many years. In this process of degradation, they release toxic chemicals (additives that were used to shape and harden the plastic) which make their way into our food and water supply.

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IEA Report on Co2 Emissions

The International Energy Agency (IEA) report on Carbon dioxide emissions makes the following observations:

  • India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018. India’s emissions carbon dioxide witnessed an increase of 4.8% rise from last year.
  • The rate of growth of carbon dioxide emission in India was higher than that of the United States and China which are the two biggest emitters in the world. This increase in the emission of carbon dioxide was attributed to coal consumption.
  • China, the United States, and India accounted for nearly 70% of the rise in energy demand.
  • India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden whereas the largest emitter the United States was responsible for 14%.
  • Under the INDC India has pledged to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 2030. But India’s energy intensity improvement declined 3% from last year even as its renewable energy installations increased 10.6% from last year.

As per estimates, India requires at least $2.5 trillion (Rs 150 trillion approx.) to implement its climate pledge which is around 71% of the combined required spending for all developing countries pledges.

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