Unseasonal rains in India and excessive snowfall in the US all point to erratic weather patterns and climate change.

Govt seeks to move away from a command and control system to one based on self monitoring

After whittling the clearance backlog, Environment Minister Veerappa Moily is now focusing on another demand of industry—a predictable and structured forest clearance system.

The Uttarakhand government has sought a special dispensation for use of forest land to speed up construction of rural roads in the state, crucial to its reconstruction and development efforts.

The government has asked that the relaxation for forest clearance given to Naxal-affected areas for construction of rural roads be extended to Uttarakhand as well.

A day after the Supreme Court set a March 31 deadline for establishing an environment regulator, the government said it was examining the order to work out how to proceed.

The environment ministry was unwilling to disclose its plan of action. However, officials indicated that the government would be able to provide just the broad contours of the proposed regulator within the two-month timeframe given by the Supreme Court.

Panel asks RIL to submit additional material to ascertain project’s impact on environment as it fears serious threat to marine life in the vicinity

Veerappa Moily may have to deal with a Reliance problem again, this time in the environment ministry. Reliance Industries’ expansion plan for its facilities at the Sikka port in Gujarat’s Jamnagar is facing a green wall. A statutory environmental panel flagged some concerns over the project. The ministry, where Moily took charge in late December, considers this panel’s recommendations for giving environmental clearances.

A key environmental panel has recommended clearance for two hydel power projects in the Siang river valley in Arunachal Pradesh.

The two projects—Simang I and II totalling 133 MW—are located on the Simang, the right bank tributary of the Siang River. Projects in the Siang river basin are viewed as strategically important on account of the border with China. Adishankar Power Pvt Ltd is the project developer.

The environment ministry has said that captive coal blocks for ultra mega power projects located in forest areas demarcated as “inviolate” will not be considered for clearance, a move likely to upset industry, particularly power sector majors.

However, as a measure of relief for developers of the 4,000 mw projects, the ministry has said in its December 30 order that in the event the captive coal block is not located in an “inviolate” area, it will delink the clearance for the 4,000 mw projects from the coal blocks, according to people aware of the development.

New minister to allow field trials, reversing stand of predecessors Ramesh and Natarajan

Environment Minister Veerappa Moily is expected to cast his vote in favour of allowing genetically modified (GM) food crops in the country, overturning the position of his immediate predecessors — Jayanthi Natarajan and Jairam Ramesh. Moily’s support will pave the way for the government to submit an affidavit in the Supreme Court acquiescing to field trials of GM food crops on a conditional basis.

India can claim a measure of victory at Warsaw as it succeeded in keeping the discussion on reducing the use of refrigerant gases with high global warming potential, or hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), o

Warsaw talks on the need to have an international mechanism to address loss and damage arising out of climate change hit a dead end on Wednesday with the Australian delegation blocking any discussi