Environmental Impact Assessment Current Affairs - 2020

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Cauvery Delta of Tamil Nadu declared Protected Agricultural Zone

On February 10, 2020, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu announced that Cauvery Delta is to be declared as Protected Special Agricultural Zone. In 2019, the Central Government had awarded the oil and gas exploration projects in the Cauvery basin. This invoked large protests amid water crisis in the state. Extraction of hydro carbon requires excess amount of fresh water.

Highlights

With the zone being Agricultural protected Zone, the permission of State government is required to undertake projects. This infers that oil exploration projects cannot be undertaken by the private firms without the permission of state government.

Agricultural Protection Zone

When a land is announced as Protected Agricultural Zone, it cannot be used for any other non-agricultural activities.

Significance

The Environmental Impact Assessment of 2006 that was recently amended by the central government gives permission for ONGC and other private firms. And since Cauvery Delta is rich in Hydrocarbons, it is essential to protect the agricultural land in the region.

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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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