07, November 2017

1.India Pitches for Strong Pre-2020 Climate Action by Developed Countries

Source: PIB

The opening plenary of the 23rd Conference of Parities (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provided a flicker of hope to the poor and vulnerable people in the developing countries who are most at risk to the adverse impacts of climate change.

  • The thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol CMP 13

Convention on Kyoto Protocol:

  • The much forgotten, pre-2020 agenda, under which developed countries are to ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP II) to undertake greenhouse gas emission cuts and also provide finance and technology support to developing countries for enhancing their ambition, found a place in the COP 23 agenda.
  • Meeting the long-term temperature goal of limiting the temperature rise to 2°C by the end of century requires strong short-term action.
  • Enhanced pre-2020 action will reduce the overall costs and economic challenges for making a transition to low carbon growth pathway and also reduce climate risks and help realize immediate co-benefits such as improved public health as a result of lower air pollution, improved energy security, reduced crop yield losses among others.

Significance:

  • India along with the Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) group strongly voiced the need for urgent time bound action on climate change by developed countries in the pre-2020 period to build trust and confidence for ambitious climate action in post 2020 era.
  • In his intervention, Chief Negotiator of India on Climate Change, called for early time-bound ratification of KP II by developed countries to ensure the highest possible mitigation efforts under the Convention by all Parties. That this agenda is of utmost importance for developing countries and is not new but was agreed upon and under discussion since 2007. While action on Post-2020 period under the Paris Agreement has gained momentum, the discussions on Pre-2020 actions have lagged behind.
  • COP 23 is critical and maybe the last chance for the developing countries to fight for their right to development and the global carbon space by ensuring that the developed countries act on their pre-2020 commitments. It is the foundation upon which climate action should be built after the year 2020.

2.India Pavilion Launched at Cop 23 in Bonn “Conserving Now, Preserving Future” is India’s Theme

Source: PIB

UN Climate Change Conference 2017 Aims for Further, Faster Ambition Together

The India Pavilion at COP 23 was inaugurated by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, at Bonn in Germany.

  • The Minister is leading the Indian delegation, which is participating in the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP-23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) being held at the Bonn, Germany
  • COP-23 in Bonn to move forward and work towards developing guidelines for efficient implementation of the Paris Agreement under the Convention.

India’s Participation:

  • India’s theme for COP 23 “Conserving Now, Preserving Future” takes India’s message forward.
  • India has been ambitious in its climate change actions, and expects other countries also to be ambitious based on their historical responsibility on the basis of equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities.
  • hough India’s per capita emissions are only one-third of global average, and its contribution to global stock of carbon dioxide is less than 3%, it has still moved ahead with implementation of path breaking initiatives under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister.

Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister, we have launched many policies and institutional mechanisms to advance our climate actions:

These initiatives are a reflection of our commitment towards addressing climate change concerns including energy security, food and water security, capacity enhancement at national and state level etc. Some of the key initiatives include:

  • Achieving about 58.3 GW of Renewable Energy Capacity out of a targeted 175 GW for 2022.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana for providing free LPG connections and Ujala for embracing energy efficient LED bulbs dedicated towards supporting citizens move towards sustainable lifestyle.
  • The broad policy initiatives of the central government are supplemented by actions of the State Governments. 32 States and Union Territories have put in place the State Action Plan on Climate Change attempting to mainstream climate change concerns in their planning process.
  • As part of our mission on strategic knowledge on climate change, we have established 8 Global Technology Watch Groups in the areas of Renewable Energy Technology, Advance Coal Technology, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Green Forest, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustainable Agriculture and Manufacturing.
  • India is one of the few countries where, despite ongoing development, forest and tree cover has increased transforming country’s forests into a net sink owing to national policies aimed at conservation and sustainable management of forests.
  • A number of schemes for transformation and rejuvenation of urban areas have been launched including Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. These schemes have integrated appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures for environment protection.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission has been launched with aim to make India clean and litter free. Government has recently revised following waste management rules to make them more effective, efficient and stringent.
  • Government has revised six waste management rules which are more effective, efficient and stringent. These include rules for solid waste, Plastic waste, E-waste, bio-Medical and Hazardous and Construction and Demolition Waste.
  • Greening of India’s extensive Railway routes and Highways is being undertaken.
  • Air Quality Index launched in over 30 cities to provide real-time data of air pollution on daily basis.
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has been launched for farmers’ welfare. Another scheme has been launched to provide Soil Health Card to every farmer. Further Government of India has set up the goal is to double the income of the farmers by 2022.
  • Second Phase of Science Express Climate Action Special train with the aim to create awareness among various sections of society, especially students, on the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses as to how climate change can be combated.
  • Government has launched “Skill India” with the target to provide skill training in various sectors including sustainable development to about 400 million people by 2022.
  • Zero Effect, Zero Defect is a policy initiative to enhance energy efficiency and resources efficiency in Medium & Small Industries.
  • Another important initiative relating to rivers is the National Mission for Clean Ganga which seeks to rejuvenate the river along its length of more than 2,500 km.
  • Digital India has been launched to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy.
  • All these schemes contribute to mitigation and adaptation.

India has been ambitious in its climate change actions and expect other countries also to be ambitious based on their historical responsibility on the basis of equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. We also believe that contribution of citizens, sustainable lifestyles and climate justice provides an alternative means to address climate change which must be rigorously pursued.

The COP23 climate change summit in Bonn and why it matters: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/05/the-cop23-climate-change-summit-in-bonn-and-why-it-matters

COP 23

3.India test fires ‘Nirbhay’ missile

Source: Indian Express

‘Nirbhay’ missile can travel with a turbofan or turbojet engine and is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the DRDO

  • India conducted a flight test of its indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’, which can carry warheads of up to 300 kg, from a test range at Chandipur along the Odisha coast. This was the fifth experimental test of the homegrown missile system.

Nirbhay Missile:

  • Nirbhay is an all-weather, low-cost, long-range cruise missile capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.
  • The cruise missile is powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory and is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by Research Centre Imarat.
  • Upon reaching the required velocity and height, Turbofan engine in the missile takes over for further propulsion.
  • Nirbhay is able to pick out a target among multiple targets and attack it, and also can go around a target and re-engage it. It can fly at different altitudes ranging from 500 meters to 4 kilometres above ground and can fly at tree level to avoid detection by radar.
  • The two-stage missile has a length of six metres, a diameter of 0.52 m, a wingspan of 2.7 m and a launch weight of about 1,500 kg.

4.India under serious burden of undernutrition: Global Nutrition Report 2017

Source: Indian Express

Global Nutrition Report 2017: India Carries a Serious Burden of Anemia, Obesity and Malnutrition

India is facing a serious burden of undernutrition, according to a global report released today which shows that more than half the women of reproductive age in the country suffer from anaemia.

Report:

  • The Global Nutrition Report 2017, which looked at 140 countries including India, found ‘significant burdens’ of three important forms of malnutrition used as an indicator of broader trends.
  • These include childhood stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age, and overweight adult women.
  • Latest figures show that 38 per cent of children under five are affected by stunting – children too short for their age due to lack of nutrients, suffering irreversible damage to brain capacity.
  • About 21 per cent of children under 5 are defined as ‘wasted’ or ‘severely wasted’ – meaning they do not weigh enough for their height.
  • Over half of women of reproductive age – 51 per cent -suffer from anaemia – a serious condition that can have long term health impacts for mother and child.
  • More than 22 per cent of adult women are overweight, a rising concern as women are disproportionately affected by the global obesity epidemic, according to the report.

Highlights:

  • The report also found that 88 per cent of countries studied face a serious burden of two or three forms of malnutrition.
  • It highlights the damaging impact this burden is having on broader global development efforts.
  • The report found that overweight and obesity are on the rise in almost every country, with two billion of the world’s seven billion people now overweight or obese and a less than one per cent chance of meeting the global target of halting the rise in obesity and diabetes by 2025.
  • In India, 16 per cent of adult men and 22 per cent of adult women are overweight

Way ahead:

  • The Global Nutrition Report 2017 was presented at Milan in Italy recently and it emphasizes on the urgent need to integrate our actions on global nutrition if India hopes to meet its Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.
  • The Global Nutrition Report highlights that the double burden of undernutrition and obesity needs to be tackled as part of India’s national nutrition strategy.
  • The Global Nutrition Report 2017 calls for nutrition to be placed at the heart of efforts to end poverty, fight disease, raise educational standards and tackle climate change.
  • The Global Nutrition Report 2017 concludes that the five core areas for development which nutrition can contribute to and also benefit from are sustainable food production, infrastructure, health systems, equity and inclusion and peace and stability.

Iron-rich foods:

It is important to include iron-rich foods in your daily diet to meet your body’s requirements and prevent the risk of deficiency. Here are the top three sources of iron

  1. Beetroot and Amla: Beetroot contains lots of iron and the Vitamin C from amla helps in its absorption by the body. The juice of red beets and amla strengthens the body’s power to regenerate and re-activate the red blood cells and supplies the body with fresh oxygen
  2. Fenugreek: The leaves of fenugreek help in blood formation, cooked leaves can be taken to prevent anemia. The seeds of fenugreek are also a valuable cure for anemia being rich in iron.
  3. Jaggery: A person can obtain 3% of iron of daily value from 10 grams of jaggery. Combining it with ginger juice facilitates iron absorption.

5.2017 is set to be in top three hottest years: WMO

Source: The Hindu

Year 2017 will be one of the three hottest years on record, with many high-impact events, including catastrophic hurricanes and floods, debilitating heat waves and drought, says a provisional statement on the State of the Climate released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Key facts:

  • The average global temperature from January to September 2017 was approximately 1.1°C above the pre-industrial era.
  • As a result of a powerful El Niño, 2016 is likely to remain the warmest year on record, with 2017 and 2015 being second or third.
  • Extreme events due to climate change have affected the food security of millions of people, with agriculture accounting for 26% of all the damage and loss associated with medium to large scale storms, floods and drought, says the statement, citing an FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) assessment. Further, between 2000 and 2016, the number of vulnerable people exposed to heatwave events increased by approximately 125 million.
  • In 2016, 23.5 million people were displaced during weather-related disasters. In Somalia, more than 7, 60, 000 internal displacements have been reported by UN agencies.
  • All-India rainfall for the 2017 monsoon season (June to September) was 5% below average. However, above average rainfall in the Northeast and adjacent countries led to significant flooding. Many parts of the Indian subcontinent were affected by monsoonal flooding. The most serious flooding occurred in mid-August in eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh and nearby northern India. Mawsynram (India) received more than 1400 mm from August 9 to 12.
  • Three major and high-impact hurricanes occurred in the North Atlantic in rapid succession, with Harvey in August, followed by Irma and Maria in September.

Sea level stable

  • The global mean sea level (GMSL) has been relatively stable in 2017 to date, similar to levels first reached in late 2015.
  • This is because the temporary influence of the 2015-16 El Niño continues to unwind and GMSL is reverting to values closer to the long-term trend. However, preliminary data shows that a rise in GMSL may have started to resume from July-August 2017 onwards.



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