Environmental Sustainability Current Affairs - 2020

Global Energy Transition Index: India ranks 74th

On May 13, 2020, the World Economic Forum released Global Energy Transition Index (GET Index). India has moved up to 74th rank showing improvements in key parameters such as energy security, growth and environmental sustainability.

About the index

The World Economic Forum has ranked 115 countries based on GET Index in its report “WEF Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2020 report”. The index has been framed based on the current performance of the energy systems of the countries, environmental sustainability, energy security and also based on indicators such as readiness for transition to sustainable, secure, affordable and inclusive energy systems.

According to the report, 75% of the countries have improved their environmental sustainability.

Highlights: World

Sweden has topped the ranking for the third consecutive year. It was followed by Switzerland and Finland. Only France (on the 8th position) and UK (on the 7th position) were the only G20 countries under top 10.

According to the ranking, India and China were the emerging centres of demand in the world.

The United States stood at 32nd rank, Canada at 28th, Brazil at 47th and Australia at 36th rank. For the first time, the US ranked outside top 25%.

Highlights: India

The report says that India has made significant improvements by expanding its energy programme. This has been achieved by making bulk procurement of LED bulbs and smart meters and also by launching programmes for labelling of appliances.

Also, India is one of the few counties that has made consistent progress since 2015 according to the report. The report also says that only 11 countries have made significant progress since 2015.

Environmental Impact Assessment amended by Environment Ministry

The Ministry of Environment has recategorized all the bulk drugs manufacturers under category ‘A’ to category ‘B2’. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006 was amended in order to achieve this.

Highlights

The projects that are falling under Category A require mandatory EIA. On the other hand, the projects under Category B2 are exempted from EIA. The recategorization will fasten the process. The recategorization has been done to decentralize the proposals to state level.

The states have been provided with guidelines to process the proposals before authorising them.

Environment Impact Assessment

The EIA is a process to evaluate environmental impacts caused due a proposed project. The EIA is backed by the Environment Protection Act, 1986. There are four stages in EIA cycle. They are screening, scoping, public hearing and appraisal.

Categories-Differences

The Categories A and B have only one difference. The Category A projects require mandatory environmental clearance and does not undergo screening. On the other hand, category B projects undergoes screening process.

Under Category B, there are two types. They are Category B1 and Category B2. Category B1 are those projects that require EIA for appraisal and also has to undergo public consultation and category B2 are those that do not require EIA.

Screening

The Screening process is done to decide whether EIA is required or not. The screening process submits a report called Initial Environment Examination.