I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read these two major items in today’s Times of India
1: India’s 2020 target: Reduce emission by 20-25%
Explaining how this would be done, Ramesh (Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh) outlined a five-step plan of action:
Mandatory fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles by December 2011
A building code that encouraged energy conservation, with a recommendation to local governments to make them mandatory
Amendments to various laws to reduce energy intensity of industrial activities
Regular monitoring of the state of the forests, which now absorbed about 10 percent of India’s greenhouse gas emissions and
Half of the coal based power plants coming up to use coal technologies- super critical,ultra super critical and coal gasification
“This is our baseline”, Ramesh said, “If we have a successful agreement at Copenhagen, if it’s equitable, if our worries are taken care of, we are prepared to do even more.. “.
2: Govt wants to make India slum free in next 5 years:
…a housing scheme for the urban poor has been envisaged to help people living in slums get their own houses.
….. the absolute number of urban poor has increased between 1993-94 and 2004-05 from 76.34 million to 80.80 million due to migration from rural areas.
My two cents: While I am happy to see some kind of committment from India in terms of pollution, I have this nagging feeling about ‘If our worries are taken care’…. What worries? and taken care by whom?.. Is India holding out for an assurance from USA regarding its ongoing border issues with China before making a more concrete committment..??? Just asking..??
As regards to being slum-free, I’m afraid this is only a rhetoric. The rate of development of new buildings may not be sufficient to house the rapidly growing population and there will always be newer slums developing, maybe not in the heart of the cities like in Mumbai, but certainly in the outskirts!!
But in all fairness, these are certainly welcome signs!!