Greenpeace India Current Affairs - 2020

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India biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide: Report

According to recently released report by Greenpeace India, India is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the world. The findings of report were based on data obtained from NASA’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite.

Findings of Report

Indian Scenario: It is largest emitter of SO2 in the world, with more than 15% of all anthropogenic SO2 hotspots detected by NASA OMI satellite. Most all of these anthropogenic emissions in India are because of coal-burning. This is because majority of coal-based power plants in India lack flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) technology to reduce air pollution. Singrauli, Neyveli, Jharsuguda, Talcher, Korba, Chennai, Kutch, Ramagundam, Chandrapur and Koradi thermal power plants/clusters are major emission hotspots in India

Government Measures: Union Environment Ministry for the first time had SO2 emission limits for coal-fired power plants in December 2015 to combat pollution levels. But the deadline for installation of flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) in power plants was extended from 2017 to 2022.

Global scenario: Largest SO2 emission hotspots have been found in Russia, South Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Serbia. Of world’s major emitters, China and United States (US) have been able to reduce emissions rapidly by switching to clean energy sources and enforcement for SO2 control. Emissions of air pollutants from power plants and other industries continue to increase in India, Iran and Saudi Arabia. In Russia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey, emissions are currently not increasing — however, there is not lot of progress in tackling them either.

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Karnataka High Court quashes ED freeze on Greenpeace Bank Accounts

The Karnataka High Court has quashed the order of Enforcement Directorate (ED) which froze the bank accounts of Greenpeace India. The court noted that the validity of the ED order has lost its efficacy on account of efflux of time as the period of 60 days has expired.

The accounts of the Greenpeace India were frozen on the account of the alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The freezing of accounts had led to a financial crisis for the organisation and forced it to reduce its workforce substantially.

Why the accounts were frozen?

The Enforcement Directorate had alleged that Greenpeace India had incorporated Direct Dialogue Initiatives India Pvt Ltd (DDIIPL) in 2016 after the Central government had cancelled Greenpeace India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act licence in September 2015 for allegedly violating norms.

The ED argues that DDIIPL was created to facilitate the operational activities of Greenpeace. ED also alleged that DDIIPL spent around Rs 21 crore for its expenses since it was set up, “with no substantial revenue generation so far”.

Greenpeace India had strongly objected to the ED claims and had stated they would provide the government authorities with required financial details as they do not have anything to hide. Alleging the claims of ED as false and frivolous, Greenpeace India had said that false claims and accusations were part of a larger design to muzzle democratic dissent in the country and had challenged the order of ED in the Karnataka High Court.

Greenpeace India

Greenpeace India is the Indian arm of the international NGO Greenpeace. The NGO mainly works in the area of environmental conservation. Greenpeace through non-violent, creative confrontation aims to expose environmental problems and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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