Sustainability Outlook Headlines

Unseasonal rain will not harm crops: agricultural department

 Farmers in drought-affected Marathwada who were driven to despair due to deficit rainfall during the 2014 monsoons can now heave a sigh of relief, after the region witnessed unseasonal showers over the last couple of days. Agricultural department officials have informed the Maharashtra government that the unseasonal rain has not ruined crops in the district. On the contrary, the rainfall could help the plantations survive, said authorities in the district agriculture office. The change in weather, however, could result in a marginal rise in vegetable prices. 

Source: Times of India

Cabinet approves changes to Electricity Act, 2003

The union cabinet on Wednesday approved the various amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003 as per the power ministry's proposed amendment bill. "The amendments will usher in much-needed further reforms in the power sector, promote competition, efficiency in operations and improvement in quality of supply of electricity in the country resulting in capacity addition and ultimate benefit to the consumers," an official release said.

Source: India TV News

India: Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

India’s rail network is one of the most densely-used in the world. In 2012-2013, it carried over 8.7 billion passengers and about 1 billion tons of freight. Although rail transportation is more cost-effective and environment-friendly than road, especially for long distances, India’s railway network has seen little new investment.

Source: World Bank

India uses coal tax to help fund 21GW of new solar development

The Indian government has today announced the approval of 21GW in new solar development with over US$800 million in government funding made available. The new solar projects will predominantly use Viability Gap Funding (VGF). VGF is available due to India’s ‘polluter pays’ system. Coal companies pay INR50 (US$0.80) per tonne of domestically produced, and imported coal.

Source: PV Tech

Trans-Ganga plan will comprise clean, green industries

Launching the trans-Ganga scheme in Kanpur on Thursday, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said the state's first-of-its-kind initiative will house green, non-polluting industries on 350 acres of the total project. Akhilesh, who launched the project on Thursday, also directed authorities for four-laning of the Unnao-Shuklaganj-Kanpur stretch of the highway, with special provisions for cycle tracks along the roads.

Source: Times of India

Boeing aircraft makes first 'green diesel' powered flight

A Boeing aircraft has completed the world's first flight using 'green diesel', a sustainable biofuel made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and animal fats. The company powered its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight test airplane on December 2 with a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum jet fuel in the left engine. 

Source: Times of India

Govt plans to amend national biofuel policy

The government is considering a proposal to facilitate manufacturers of biodiesel to directly sell the fuel to bulk consumers such as railways. New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal today also informed the Lok Sabha that a bulk of biodiesel produced in the country is exported. 

Source: Business Standard

Cutting carbon a good business opportunity, private sector told

Whatever the global climate agreement reached next year in Paris looks like, the private sector will need to dramatically step up efforts to cut global carbon emissions, negotiators and analysts said at U.N. climate talks in Lima Thursday.
Political leaders including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and Peru’s President Ollanta Humala urged the private sector to play a bigger role in cutting carbon emissions because it makes good business sense.

Source: Reuters

A Coal Plant That Buries Its Greenhouse Gases

Boundary dam, a power plant in Estevan, Saskatchewan, is the first commercial coal-fired plant to capture carbon dioxide from its emissions, compress the gas, and bury it underground. The plant demonstrates that so-called carbon capture and storage (CCS) can work at a large scale—a crucial achievement given that CCS could play a significant role worldwide in reducing the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Source: Technology Review

Corporation ropes in citizens to tackle litter

Encouraged by citizen's initiatives to clean up neighbourhoods, the civic body is gearing for a campaign to prevent littering. The programme is expected to kick off with the active participation of NGOs and residents associations in a couple of weeks. "Citizens volunteering to clean streets is a fantastic trend," said a senior corporation official, referring to the December 8 TOI report on Triplicane residents trying to keep their surroundings free of litter and cattle.

Source: Times of India