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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Republic of Ireland declares Climate Emergency

Republic of Ireland has become only the second country in world to declare a climate emergency. Earlier on 1 May 2019, Britain’s parliament became the first in world to declare a climate emergency.

Key Highlights

  • The climate emergency declaration was passed by both the government and opposition parties of Ireland unanimously. Both agreed to an amendment to ‘Oireachtas report on Climate Action’ (a parliamentary report on climate action). The ammendement was accepted without a vote.
  • Targets: to be undertaken includes- becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, introduce electric car hubs or build sustainable homes to try to achieve that goal.
  • The Oireachtas Climate Action report that started the Irish declaration came from a Citizens’ Assembly report. The Citizens’ Assembly will next be considering the issue of a biodiversity emergency.
  • The Citizens’ Assembly: It is the Ireland’s citizens’ assembly which was established in 2016 for considering several political questions like referendums, abortion, population ageing, fixed term parliaments, and climate change etc. The report produced by it to be considered by the Oireachtas (Ireland’s Legislature).
  • Next Move: The Ireland will next vote on a Climate Emergency Measures Bill, which seeks to limit oil and gas exploration.
  • Criticism: declaring a climate emergency will mean absolutely nothing unless there is action taken to back it up. Also, there is no single definition of what a climate emergency actually means.

Ireland Legislature

  • The national parliament of Ireland is known as Oireachtas. It consists of, The President of Ireland and a bicameral chamber. It is the only body that has power to make laws.
  • The two houses of Oireachtas are
  1. Dáil Éireann (lower house)
  2. Seanad Éireann (Upper House)

About Britain’s Protest

  • Britain declared the climate emergency following the 11 days of street protests led by ‘Extinction Rebellion’ environmental campaign group in London, UK.
  • The ultimate goal of Extinction Rebellion’s is to cut down global greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions to zero by 2025 and to end biodiversity loss.
  • They have won the support of left-leaning politicians across the world.
  • The British government targets include reducing its carbon emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050. It seeks to achieve the target at a relatively low cost and without causing substantial economic damage.

Others

  • The targets are being set in Scotland to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2045.
  • Many local areas around the United Kingdom (UK) have also acknowledge that there is a climate emergency.

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 New Viper species Discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

A team of herpetologists (specialized in study of reptiles and amphibians) have discovered a more advanced new species of reddish-brown pit viper from Arunachal Pradesh. Their discovery was published in Russian Journal of Herpetology.

About the Viper

  • Scientific Name (of discovered Arunachal pit viper): Trimeresurus arunachalensis. This discovery of new species makes Arunachal Pradesh only Indian state to have a pit viper named after it.
  • Discovery: The research team from Pune-based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, found the snake species while conducting biodiversity surveys in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, in in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Significance: The viper discovered is never described before therefore this single known specimen of this species makes it currently the rarest pit viper in the world.
  • Type: It is a species of reddish-brown pit viper, a venomous snake.
  • It has a unique heat-sensing system.

Earlier Discoveries

  • With this, India is now home to fifth brown pit viper. The other four brown pit vipers are Hump-Nosed, Horseshoe, Malabar, and Himalayan who were discovered about 70 years ago.
  • This new discovery makes Arunachal pit viper the second serpent to have been discovered in state after Crying Keelback, a non-venomous snake was found in Arunacal’s Lepa-Rada district in 2018.

NOTE

The Vipers (or Viperidae) are a family of venomous snakes found in most parts of world. All such species have relatively long, hinged fangs that permit deep penetration and injection of snake venom.

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