Ministry of Environment Current Affairs - 2019
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Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released a publication titled “India – Spearheading Climate Solutions” on 12 February, 2019. This document mentions India’s key actions taken towards combating and adapting to climate change.
India’s Key Actions Towards Combating and Adapting Climate Change
- India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) that has eight major missions on Solar, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture and Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change.
- International Solar Alliance (ISA) – It is an alliance of 121 countries, most of them sunshine countries (i.e. lying either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn). It was founded in 2015 at Paris and was initiated by India. Membership now has been extended to all the members of the United Nations
- State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC)
- FAME Scheme – It stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME-India) Scheme, which was launched in 2015 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP). It aims to create the infrastructure for and promote e-mobility.
- Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) –The scheme was launched in the year 2015 and is solely aimed for Smart Cities
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana – The scheme was launched in 2016. It aims for providing access to clean cooking fuel
- UJALA scheme – It stands for Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All and was started in 2015. Its aim is to embrace energy efficient LED bulbs
- Swachh Bharat Mission – It is a nationwide campaign from 2014 to 2019 aiming to clean up India.
- National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) – It was launched in 2015-16 and aims to support robust adaptation techniques to reduce adverse effects of climate change.
Other Initiatives Taken by Government
Apart from the above, Government of India has taken an ambitious goal of generating 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. India will leapfrog from Bharat Stage -IV to Bharat Stage-VI emission norms by April 2020. India’s renewable energy capacity stands at more than 74 GW today including about 25 GW from solar. Further, India submitted its Second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in December 2018 as per the reporting obligations under the convention, which stated that India’s GDP came down by 21% between 2005 & 2014. It also stated that India’s climate-goal for pre-2020 is well on track.
Tags: AMRUT • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation • Bharat Stage • FAME Scheme • International Solar Alliance • Ministry of Environment • National Action Plan on Climate Change • National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change • National Electric Mobility Mission Plan • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana • State Action Plan on Climate Change • Swachh Bharat Mission • UJALA Scheme
Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign aimed to reduce adverse environmental conditions especially pollution in the country after post Diwali celebrations due to excessive bursting of crackers which contributes significantly to air and noise pollution.
Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign
This campaign was initiated in 2017-18 to enlighten children about harmful fire crackers and motivate them to celebrate Diwali in environment-friendly manner and not to buy fire crackers, instead buy gift, food items, or sweets for poor and underprivileged children living in their locality.
Under this campaign, the MoEFCC will undertake various activities for creating awareness among various stakeholders and encourage people to participate in combating air pollution. This campaign was extremely successful and the air quality had not deteriorated post Diwali in 2017 unlike what was experienced in 2016.
2018 Campaign: Following its earlier precedence, MOEFCC has initiated similar campaign, but has extended pan-India. It also merged this year’s campaign with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment. All schools and colleges have been encouraged to be part of this campaign.
Air pollution is serious health issue in the country especially in northern parts during winter seasons. The air pollution in northern region is mainly due to dust, burning of kharif crop residue on large scale in certain states, burning of garbage, construction activities and prevailing climatic conditions. This air pollution has serious impacts on health of children aged people and people suffering from respiratory ailments. Diwali festival also falls during same period and as matter of traditional practice people have been celebrating this festival by bursting crackers. Crackers contains combustible chemicals that include potassium chlorate powdered magnesium, aluminum, salts of barium, copper, sodium, lithium, strontium etc. and emits hazardous smoke of these chemicals along with sound. This smoke and sound has health impacts on children, aged people and also animal and birds. Apart from hazardous smoke, large amount of waste is also generated after bursting of crackers. Thus, keeping in view the above detrimental effects and and importance of the festival, MoEFCC had initiated a Harit–Diwali campaign.