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Enabling transfer of green technology is the key to stemming climate change

By Vineet John Samuel

As 195 countries meet at CoP21 in Paris to hammer out a treaty on climate change, the only viable solution appears to be to enable and create new bodies to fund the development and transfer of green technology between countries


TPP: Is big money set to trump democracy?

Unhappy with the increasingly democratic nature of the WTO, the US is striking back with the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will enable powerful corporations to override the legal frameworks of nation-states, writes Suman Sahai

increasingly democratic nature of the WTO


The committee cop-out

The Indian government seems to resolve all contentious issues related to environment and economic growth by setting up more committees, writes Milind Wani

Environmental protection


Bumper-to-bumper dams

By Parineeta Dandekar

In a small stretch of the Chenab river basin, Himachal Pradesh is planning 49 major hydroelectric projects which will convert a living river into a series of puddles. It is time India took the cumulative impact of cascading mega hydro projects seriously

Hydroelectric power, Dams, Chenab river, Environment impact assessment study


World Bank’s new financing model downplays risks

With the World Bank adopting PforR (Programme for Results) as a new lending instrument, it is virtually abandoning many of its rights protection policies, says Joe Athialy

World Bank’s lending policies


No lessons being learnt from underperforming hydropower projects

By Himanshu Thakkar and Bipin Chaturvedi

Only four of the 12 hydropower projects in the Northeast generate at their projected 90% dependability or higher. The rest are underperforming miserably. Regardless, several big projects are under construction in the Northeast. Why don’t the stakeholders analyse the performance and impact of large hydro projects before promoting more of them?

Large hydropower projects in Northeast Inbdia


Superweeds, superpests and superprofits

New research from Navdanya and from the US Union of Concerned Scientists proves that Bt cotton yields are actually a third of what Monsanto claims. Genetic engineering is not going to help feed the world, writes Vandana Shiva, but it is going to harm public health and ecosystems


Laws of the sea

By Aakash Mehrotra and Bhomik Shah

Three recent oil spills off the Mumbai coast have drawn attention to the fact that India, which has 11 major and 20 minor ports, still does not have the response systems to handle oil spills that were mandated by a 1993 law


Saving the firewall of the Kyoto Protocol

India must respond to the SOS for a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol or it may be forced into emission cuts based on global emissions rankings while completely neglecting its poor human development index, says Siddharth Pathak


Is there really no alternative?

By Milind Wani

If we want economic growth, ‘there is no alternative’ to nuclear power and to the displacement of 1,000 farmers and 6,000 fishermen in Jaitapur. When Lavasa builds over hundreds of hectares, overlooking environmental norms, then too there is no alternative but to appraise the project post-facto! Milind Wani on the mysterious compulsions of the MoEF


Nuclear tipping points

By Ajit Thamburaj

Nuclear fission has attracted dissent from the time of its inception. But the Fukushima disaster has pushed the nuclear industry into stormy waters worldwide. Local resistance and anti-nuke pressure will result in cost escalations for new nuclear power plants, possibly halting the current nuclear renaissance


The myth of safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy

The Japanese have been very conscious of the dangers of nuclear weapons, but there has been little support for campaigns against nuclear power. Just as Japan’s unique Peace Constitution evolved from the ruins of World War II, the Fukushima disaster could initiate a new, peaceful and environmentally harmonious society, says Yuki Tanaka  


Time to rethink nuclear energy?

The crisis in four nuclear power plants in Japan following the recent earthquake and tsunami is cause to rethink India’s strategy of boosting nuclear energy capacity and setting up the world’s largest nuclear power plant at Jaitapur, says Ranjan K Panda


Who didn't help Carbide?

‘Who let Warren Anderson go?’ is the wrong question; the right question is ‘Who didn’t let Warren Anderson go?’ writes Jyoti Punwani as she chronicles the betrayals and sellouts after the Bhopal gas tragedy


Buckling under pressure from MNCs

By Rakesh Shukla

The sorry 26-year saga of the Bhopal gas leak case -- in which the Supreme Court reduced charges from culpable homicide not amounting to murder to death by negligence while the administration bent over backwards to accommodate Warren Anderson -- spotlights the inadequacy of the Indian system to fix liability in industrial disasters and bring the guilty to book


Testing times...

By Sakuntala Narasimhan

A report in an American journal that Indian spices and ‘cultural powders’ caused lead poisoning in children, seemed to lack the scientific rigour expected of such studies, but the issue of standards of safety to be followed in the manufacture of food stuffs is a very relevant one


Climate change and the politics of perception

The marketplace for ideas and information is never completely free, open and fair, says Rajni Bakshi. So how do we the people make sense of the conflicting views of the alarmists on climate change and those who deny its seriousness?


Carbon dating the World Bank

By Richard Mahapatra

The World Bank Group is poised to play a major role in managing climate change funds after Copenhagen. And yet, its lending for fossil fuels has more than doubled in the last decade. Since 1997, the Bank has financed over 26 giga tonnes of carbon emissions. The Bank’s lending to developing countries has ensured that no country will escape the carbon trap for at least 30-40 years


India's new mineral policy will usher in gloom for adivasis

By Shelley Saha-Sinha

India’s new mineral policy is long on ways to maximise the benefits of mining for “the economy” but short on measures to alleviate the social and environmental destruction that mining activity inevitably brings in its wake


When people are encumbrances and projects are a national necessity

By Kanchi Kohli and Manju Menon

Though the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to the POSCO project in Orissa in August, community resistance continues, fuelled by the arrest of anti-POSCO activist Abhay Sahu



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