Stay up-to-date on news related to the environment.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has established a panel of secretaries from several different ministries along with the cabinet secretary to support the PM’s Council on Climate Change. The panel will help the Council implement the eight missions to fight climate change. The panel was constituted to better facilitate communication between ministries. Both the council and panel together hope to create an effective response system to issues related to climate change.Climate change panel

The panel will consistently keep up with implementation of the eight national missions along with any other climate change issues and advise the PM's council on strategies and the way forward. The Environment secretary will be the member-secretary of the committee. Other officers or experts in the field of climate change will also be invited to the meetings as and when required.

The PM’s Council on Climate Change was established in 2007 in a bid to evaluate and alleviate the effects of climate change. The PM released the National Action Plan of Climate Change (NAPCC) in June 2008 which outlined the eight national missions which formed the core of the National Action Plan representing a long term and integrated strategy to combat climate change.  

Environment Department draws plans for cleaner air

The Department of Environment has been working on a plan to curb pollution in Delhi for a year now. The Second Generation Action Plan, as it’s known, is in its final stages and will be presented to the Cabinet soon.

A recent study by the World Health Organization said that air pollution is one of the leading causes of death especially in Asian cities. The report revealed that in 2010 upto 7.12 lakh people have died in South Asia, including India, due to air pollution related diseases.

The government's action plan outlines various methods to decrease pollution like shuttering coal plants, pushing for alternative non-polluting modes of transport and checking private vehicles for pollution levels more vigorously. Defaulters will be fined heavily while the Environment Department is also mooting heavy parking fees, upto ten times the current rate, to encourage people to use public transport.

Carbon emissions in the US fall dramatically

Here is some good news from America. According to a report issued from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) carbon dioxide emissions in the US fell to their lowest level since 1994. The emissions have fallen by 13 percent in the last five years mainly due to new energy saving technologies and radical increases in renewable energy use.  In fact, renewable energy installations in the US hit a record high with 17 GW of new nameplate capacity added in 2012.

The US has achieved half of Barack Obama's target of reducing emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels. At the end of last year carbon dioxide levels and other greenhouse gas emissions had fallen to 10.7 percent from 2005 levels.