Annual climate finance of $100B a must: BASIC meet

by | Aug 18, 2019 | Environment, Sustainability

BASIC ministers, meeting on climate change in São Paulo, Brazil, have urged developed countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments of mobilizing USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for developing countries.
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In the run-up to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of Parties (COP-25) meet to be held later in the year from 2 to 13 December, the BASIC countries held its 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change from 14 to 16 August in São Paulo, Brazil.

India which was represented by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar said that BASIC countries coming together and putting views together is an important aspect of UN negotiations. “Brazil, South Africa, India and China put together has one-third of world’s geographical area and nearly 40% of the world’s population and when we unitedly speak in one voice this shows our determination and the BASIC Group could play an important part in making Paris agreement accepted by all the countries in its true letter and spirit,” stressed Javadekar.

Javadekar further added that BASIC will be united and will speak in one voice and the joint statement issued today has highlighted all the issues which are relevant today and the world must take note of what BASIC is saying ,on the eve of United Nations Session on Climate Change and the next Conference of Parties (CoP25) in Chile.

The text of the joint statement follows (Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of the 28th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change, São Paulo, Brazil, 16 August 2019):

1. The 28th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held in Brasília and São Paulo, Brazil, on 14 and 16 August 2019. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Ricardo Salles, Minister of the Environment of Brazil and attended by H.E. Mr. XIE Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Ms. Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries of the Republic of South Africa, and H.E. Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Republic of India.

2. The BASIC Ministers expressed their concern for climate change and its adverse effects and reaffirmed their commitment to the successful implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement, based on the recognition of the needs and special circumstances of developing countries and in accordance with the principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances. Ministers stated the importance of responsible, comprehensive, urgent and ambitious actions against climate change, including in the urban environment.

3. The Ministers stressed their support for the UNFCCC and its instruments, which remain the preeminent international forum for negotiating and addressing matters related to climate change. The BASIC countries reiterated their support for multilateralism, having made constructive engagements and significant contributions towards a series of milestones under the UNFCCC. They highlighted their determination to continue to work together with other Parties to further the process under the UNFCCC, which is irreversible.

4. Ministers underlined that BASIC countries are implementing ambitious climate action both in the pre-2020 period and in their proposed NDCs, having achieved substantial progress, notwithstanding the multiple challenges they face in terms of social and economic development and poverty eradication. They are committed to sharing best practices and supporting each other through south-south cooperation as they further develop their domestic climate policies and actions. They underscored that global climate action must promote climate justice by recognition of the fundamental right of all people in accessing economic growth and sustainable development.

5. Ministers took note of the synthesis report on pre-2020 implementation and ambition published by the UNFCCC Secretariat in September 2018. The Ministers highlighted the significant gaps in pre-2020 climate efforts not only in mitigation, but also in adaptation and support to developing countries. They underlined that time is of the essence for any meaningful pre-2020 action and that the implementation gaps should not present a burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period. They also urged developed countries to undertake ambitious actions to reduce emissions and fulfill their finance commitments, including in the pre-2020 period, in light of their historical responsibilities.

6. The 185 ratifications, to date, of the Paris Agreement were welcomed by BASIC Ministers. They called on all remaining Parties to UNFCCC to join the Paris Agreement as soon as possible. Ministers also welcomed the 130 ratifications, to date, of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and recalled that only 14 acceptance instruments are outstanding for the amendment to enter into force. They urged Parties that have not yet done so to ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible, to ensure its prompt entry into force, given the valuable contribution it could make to global climate action leading up to 2020.

7. Ministers appreciated the role of the Polish Presidency, commending its contribution to the UNFCCC process, particularly the decisions adopted in Katowice, during COP 24, CMP 14 and CMA 1, including the bulk of the Paris Agreement Work Programme. They pledged the group’s full support to the incoming Chilean Presidency of COP 25 and emphasized the importance of moving forward and reaching concrete results in Santiago, which is a crucial opportunity for closing the action and ambition gaps before 2020.

8. Ministers reiterated their commitment to work together with all Parties in an open, transparent, inclusive and Party-driven manner to achieve a balanced and comprehensive outcome on all remaining items of the Paris Agreement Work Programme.

9. Ministers emphasized that the UNSG´s Climate Action Summit, to be held in September of this year, should be fully respectful of the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement, as well as existing aims, targets and mandates. They look forward for the Summit to send a strong political signal for global low-carbon, climate resilient and sustainable development and produce positive outcomes for pre-2020 ambition and implementation support for developing countries. The Ministers applauded the UN Secretary General’s efforts to build political momentum for enhancing climate action and support.

10. Ministers took note of the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on global warming of 1.5 °C and the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, which highlights the high vulnerability of developing countries to climate change effects, high resultant costs of adaptation and unprecedented transitions required in the development process.

11. Ministers urged developed countries to provide adequate and predictable means of implementation to developing countries to enable them to achieve their climate goals. In this respect, developed countries are called upon to enhance support to developing countries for actions related to project or programme development and implementation, including on adaptation, mitigation and transparency. This must be done through adequate provision of finance, technology transfer, and capacity building to facilitate the effective implementation of the Convention, its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement.

12. Ministers reaffirmed that adaptation is a key imperative for developing countries and requires an urgent global response. They emphasized the importance of the provision of enhanced as well as predictable support for adaptation from developed countries to developing countries, recognizing the adaptation efforts of developing country Parties.

13. Ministers stressed that the enhanced transparency framework established by the Paris Agreement should facilitate exchange of information, best practices, as well as address the needs faced by developing countries, ensuring the required flexibility. Ministers underlined the significant challenges of developing countries on transparency-related capacities and urged developed countries to provide new, additional, adequate and timely finance support in this regard.

14. Ministers noted with concern the trend of developing countries being denied their right to support in different fora, including the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). They stressed in this regard that climate finance should not be a vehicle for increasing the indebtedness of developing countries.

15. The BASIC Ministers urged developed countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments of mobilizing USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for developing countries in a transparent manner and on a grant basis. This support should be new and additional, and over and above their 0.7% of GNP commitment with respect to Official Development Assistance (ODA). They noted with concern the insufficiency and inadequacy of the support provided by developed countries to date.

16. They stressed that the 2020 deliberations on the new collective quantified goal on finance should be based on the lessons drawn from experience relating to meeting the USD 100 billion pledge, informed by the needs of developing countries and adequate to meet the ambition. In this regard, they stressed the importance of establishing a structured deliberation within the UNFCCC, in order to conclude this work.

17. Ministers restated that a new collective quantified goal on finance by developed countries, with a significant publicly funded component, is one of the crucial signals that the regime under the UNFCCC must give to investors, both public and private, in order to match the urgency of climate change. Securing scaled-up, adequate and proper means and resources for developing countries is indispensable to enable them to meet their commitments and implement the Paris Agreement.

18. Ministers expressed the expectation that the first replenishment of the Green Climate Fund by the end of 2019 will double the initial resource mobilization pledge, ensuring that financial contributions by developed countries match the ambition, needs and priorities of developing countries.

19. The BASIC group underscored the importance of concluding the discussions on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, one of the remaining issues from the Katowice package of decisions, which will assist those participating in implementing the Agreement in a cost effective manner. The Ministers recalled that decisions on other subjects should not pre-empt discussions under Article 6 and expressed their expectation of reaching a satisfactory outcome on this matter in December, at the Santiago COP. They underlined that Parties should address the Article 6 issues in a balanced and inclusive manner, including the issue of transition of projects under the Clean Development Mechanism. They highlighted that Parties have a strong foundation for future work on Article 6 and that it is important to conclude work in accordance with the mandates set out in the Paris Agreement and the accompanying decision.

20. Ministers noted the work of International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Civil Aviation (ICAO) on reduction of carbon emissions and underscored that work being undertaken by IMO and ICAO must complement the UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement and conform to their key principles, in particular Equity and CBDR-RC.

21. Ministers highlighted the importance of mechanisms on loss and damage under the UNFCCC and urged developed country Parties to provide funding for loss and damage arising from climate change in developing countries.

22. BASIC Ministers reiterated their unequivocal commitment to support the State of Palestine, as the Chair of the Group of 77 and China, with a view to strengthening the unity of the Group of 77 and China and advancing the common interests of developing countries.

23. Ministers welcomed the offer of China to host the 29th BASIC Ministerial Meeting.

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Here’s how 5G could be a catalyst for IIoT and Industry 4.0

Here’s how 5G could be a catalyst for IIoT and Industry 4.0

Over the last few years, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), as a key constituent of Industry 4.0, has gained much ground, transforming how businesses manage their manufacturing operations. IIoT includes several advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and blockchain to help enterprises move towards lean manufacturing and automated processes. Now, with the advent of 5G, the potential of IIoT could be harnessed even better.

5G has so far largely garnered attention in the consumer market. However, the capabilities of 5G are increasingly recognized in various business markets. There has been a greater push from organizations as well to democratize the availability of digital, especially in the wake of COVID-19 related disruptions.

With reduced latency and blazing speed, the fifth generation of wireless technology has an enormous potential to bring agility, speed, and mobility to many conventional strategies in areas such as predictive maintenance, demand forecasting, and anomaly detection. (See: Telcos eying the edge opportunity for 5G growth)

Need for reliable power

The majority of IIoT use cases are currently based on wired connections, which are insufficient to address manufacturers’ various sensitivities. The quality and dependability of connectivity determine the success of any implementation. Modern production units primarily use Wi-Fi technology to support IoT connectivity, which consumes a lot of power and relies heavily on stable wired connections for backhaul and data offloading. There are limitations to the legacy networks that affect the scaling-up of the manufacturer’s digital transformation goals.

For instance, large-scale IoT transformations cannot be entirely dependent on Wi-Fi. Even cellular technologies such as 2G/3G and LTE are either slow, have latency issues, or use large amounts of energy to support IIoT. This is where a technology such as 5G could be a gamechanger!

When propelled with 5G speed and AI-based analytics, manufacturers can predict problems, analyze them in real-time, and minimize production downtime.

5G enables manufacturers to build high-precision assembly lines where all IoT devices and robotic processes could be perfectly in sync with each other, on a real-time basis. According to Wipro, one of India’s top IT Services firms, due to the high capacity, wireless flexibility and low-latency performance of 5G, IIoT deployments in the manufacturing segment stand to gain considerably. 5G has the potential to enable high-speed connectivity without the cost and complexity of fiber optic cables. And this makes 5G a natural choice for high precision manufacturing environments.

In addition to providing a robust network, 5G’s built-in security features can also help manufacturers integrate covered layers into the basic network architecture and ward off security issues if any.

Not without challenges

Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, while agreeing with the superior capabilities of 5G to support different manufacturing use case, raises a pertinent challenge of a disconnect between three perspectives among manufacturers: the understanding of cellular capabilities, how they enable different digital solutions, and finally how these solutions address manufacturers’ actual pain points.

Besides bandwidth, the other major challenges that any IIoT deployment faces is interoperability, lack of compliance on the part of IoT manufacturers, and limited user awareness. In 2021, as we see 5G rollouts expanding in major countries, telcos worldwide would explore various collaboration routes to address the above-listed issues as well.

Globally, mobile network operators such as AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Sierra Wireless, China Mobile, Verizon have been collaborating with manufacturers to test and showcase 5G capabilities for IIoT manufacturing and improve the overall factory environment. 

Tech M joins UNGC club on climate action

Tech M joins UNGC club on climate action

Digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services provider Tech Mahindra has signed a joint declaration with UN Global Compact (UNGC), urging governments to align their Covid-19 recovery efforts with latest climate science. Incidentally, Tech M joins UNGC club on climate action on World Environment Day.

The UN Global Compact provides a universal language for corporate responsibility and provides a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity or location.

Tech Mahindra has joined 155 global companies in calling for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050. The statement comes as governments around the world are preparing trillions of dollars’ worth of stimulus packages to help economies recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and as they prepare to submit enhanced national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.

Tech Mahindra said that this declaration was an effort to reinforce its commitment toward reducing carbon footprints, emission and will conserve energy using new-age technologies such as internet of things, artificial intelligence and blockchain. The company has also claimed to implement an internal Carbon Price of $10/ton CO2 to boost green investments and have also adopted a low emission technology path to increase the use of renewable energy from 1.7% in 2016 to 18% in 2020. Moreover, it has also taken targets to increase the renewable source of energy to 50% by 2025.

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, said, “Covid-19 has allowed all of us to reconfigure our priorities and understand the importance of building a sustainable world – by focusing on healthcare and leveraging technology to enable new ways of working. At Tech Mahindra, we are committed towards building a sustainable business with responsibility and by creating value for our stakeholders, while also keeping in mind the long-term impacts on the environment. It’s time to focus on and implement technology-led solutions that will help us reboot.”

The United Nations Global Compact has stated that the 155 signatories span across 34 sectors and have a combined market capitalization of more than $2.4 trillion, representing 5 million employees. The business voices are convened by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and its Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign partners, the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition.

Sandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra, said, “Covid-19 has made businesses realize the importance of adopting strategies which will deliver innovative solutions without adversely affecting the environment. Our commitment towards going carbon neutral, conserving, and deploying resources efficiently will enable helps us to accelerate our transition to a low carbon economy while creating sustainable value for our stakeholders. As part of our TechMNxt charter, we have incorporated reduction of emissions as a key aspect to every function’s mandate and our overall business strategy.”

Tech Mahindra also works closely with partners and customers to help them increase energy savings, digitize and automate operations and create collaborative work environments addressing the need for sustainable practices. This includes solutions like micro grid as a service, smart city solutions, smart grid, smart data hubs, smart street light, smart bin, smart energy management, smart metering and analytics, intelligent electric vehicle charging system (IEVCS), and community action platform for energy (CAPE).

Can renewables survive cheap-oil onslaught post Covid-19?

Can renewables survive cheap-oil onslaught post Covid-19?

The Covid-19 pandemic has abruptly disrupted the growth projections for almost all sectors and industries, and the energy sector is no exception. Pandemic-induced lockdowns have triggered a precipitous decline in energy demand, with a boon also coming in the form of significantly reduced carbon emissions. Renewables are under threat of cheap oil.

CO2 emissions have dropped the most ever due to the Covid-19 crisis, says a latest report from International Energy Agency (IEA). “Global energy-related CO2 emissions are set to fall nearly 8% in 2020 to their lowest level in a decade,” it says.

The report, however, warns, “Experience suggests that a large rebound is likely post crisis.”

In the recently published Global Energy Review, IEA, also says that due to the ongoing crisis, the energy demand is expected to fall by 6% in 2020, which is seven times the decline since the global financial crisis of 2008. This fall is equivalent of the energy demand from all of India, a nation of 1.3 billion people and the world’s third largest consumer of energy.

The partial to complete lockdown of global economies has triggered a massive slump in demand for fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. Due to the suspension of the international as well as inter-state and even intra-state travels, oil demand is expected to see the biggest drop in demand, threating to erase gains accrued in nearly a decade.

Green-technology market observers see this decline as a staggering blow to the clean energy momentum gained in the recent years. However, it is also true that if we decide to take a proactive approach, this could be a monumental opportunity to elevate our focus on renewable energy endeavors.

Let us analyze how the current situation could impact our sustainable future.

IEA stays bullish on renewables

“Renewables are set to be the only energy source that will grow in 2020, with their share of global electricity generation projected to jump thanks to their priority access to grids and low operating costs. Despite supply chain disruptions that have paused or delayed deployment in several key regions this year, solar PV and wind are on track to help lift renewable electricity generation by 5% in 2020, aided by higher output from hydropower,” notes IEA in its report.

A report titled Mapping India’s Energy Subsidy 2020, conducted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), try to examine how the Government of India (GoI) has used subsidies to support different types of energy. It states that the Indian government is still providing over seven times larger subsidies for fossil fuels as compared to subsidies for alternative energy. The recent world oil prices crash provides an opportunity to India, which can look at freeing up revenue by temporarily eliminating petroleum product subsidies while announcing stimulus for those companies who brace clean energy transition. For instance, due to the low oil prices, industry may witness a short-term dip in the electric vehicle uptake or deter the economic consumption of biofuels. To neutralize this, government should introduce electric vehicle incentives as part of the economic stimulus packages.

Industry observers see this as an ideal time to be investing in renewable energy. Not only it enables countries to create new jobs and make economies stronger, but it will also help us create a more resilient and better world. “It is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts, but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before,” notes Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director in the Global Energy Review.

Dilemma for governments

It is apprehended that many countries could shift focus away from renewable energy efforts as their singular focus would be to restart up their economic engines as quickly as possible. They are quite likely to go for the traditional energy sources, owing to the sharp decline in their costs. In particular, oil prices are at a historical low, with the Brent crude having traded even at sub-dollar levels for a while in April 2020.

The triad of oil, gas, and coal form the core of the mainstream energy sector and any further disruption or closure of it could be crippling for the global economy itself. In India, for instance, almost 5% of the government’s total revenues from customs and excise, come from Reliance Industries Ltd., which in turn has most of its revenues coming from its oil refinery business.

Structural changes are needed

Considering the ongoing crisis, timely adoption of clean energy resources would be more significant than ever. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in a recently published blog,  notes that any suspension of clean energy efforts could pose grave threat to vulnerable communities of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. It states that on the clean cooking front, slow progress in mainstreaming clean cooking solutions could see a dangerous combination of indoor air pollution and Covid-19. In this context, it notes, “Scientists are investigating links between air pollution and higher levels of coronavirus mortality, with preliminary results showing probable correlation between the two.”

Indeed, it is important for governments to plan and implement structural changes by earmarking requisite investments in transitioning to clean energies. Once the pandemic wanes, everyone would be busy taking decisions that could help kick-start economies. So to ensure that clean energy technologies feature substantially in the forthcoming recovery plans, there is a need to take some strategic decisions now. For a growing economy like India, which has been witnessing one of the highest growth rates in carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), it is extremely vital to prioritize clean energy transition.

What’s in it for India?

For India, while crude oil would continue to play a critical role at this stage of development in meeting country’s energy requirements, the Government had earlier set out a road map for reducing India’s crude oil imports by 10% by 2022. India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dhamendra Pradhan, had said in a keynote in January 2020, “We are in the process of developing new strategies and initiatives to achieve this target. We are working towards transformation to a gas-based economy, tapping into indigenously produced biofuels, apart from adopting renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, to achieve the much-needed carbon reductions. As part of the energy transition, decarbonization of the energy sector is picking up momentum in India.”

One also needs to be cognizant of the long-term repercussions, if we do not step up and accelerate the development of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar PV, and hydropower.

India has the opportunity to leverage low costs of crude oil to shift subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy brackets. This could, in fact, help accelerate the transition to clean energy rather than deaccelerating it.

If India could succeed in mainstreaming the renewable energy sector, it would also be able to insulate it from oil price fluctuations in future. This would increase the country’s attractiveness from an investment perspective too, and consequently make its economy more sustainable in the long run.

Policymakers need not put economic recovery and sustainable energy goals in two different baskets. In the post-Covid-19 environment, polices around clean energy subsidies could very much be accelerated. This would help us build a better, cleaner world, where economic growth and sustainability coexist.

Rural Women from Assam make masks, sanitizers

Rural Women from Assam make masks, sanitizers

Rural Women Technology Park (RWTP) under CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, Supported by SEED Division, Department of Science and Technology (DST), has engaged rural women to prepare various products such as hand sanitizer, homemade mask, and liquid disinfectant to be distributed freely among family members and poor people in the nearby villages to help combat COVID 19 in the area.

“Meeting a challenge such as COVID-19 needs strong community participation and support. Self-help groups and dedicated NGOs are perfect vehicles in the current scenario for awareness creation, introducing relevant solutions, making and distributing the low-tech items such as masks and disinfectants,” said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

Rural women from the region were trained to produce homemade mask from traditional ‘gamocha’ (a traditional Assamese cotton towel) by RWTP, Jorhat. Design of the home made mask has been finalized, around 150 gamochas purchased and two sewing machines arranged (6 homemade masks can be prepared from one gamocha).

It has been proposed that the women be paid at the rate of Rs 15 per mask. Apart from this, 200 liters of liquid disinfectant is being produced. The raw materials required for liquid disinfectant like dettol, ethanol, glycerine, essential oil have been acquired. The disinfectant will also be distributed freely among the family members and poor people in the nearby village.

The women of RWTP were trained before closing down on March 24. The participant women prepared about 50 litres of hand sanitizer, 160 litres of liquid disinfectant which have been distributed among the 60 women participants and their family members. The RWTP also prepared posters and leaflets on ‘COVID19 : Do’s and Don’ts’ in Assamese language for making people aware about the Corona Virus and precautionary measures to be taken during the present situation.

EU’s new circular economy action plan

EU’s new circular economy action plan

Aiming to create a greener economy, the European Union has decided to reduce the consumption footprint in the region and double its circular material use rate in the coming decade. The initiative is part of the Circular Economy Action Plan adopted by the European Commission (EC) early last week.

Calling it Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth, the action plan envisages steps for increasing the average life cycle of products, strengthening competitiveness while protecting the environment, and enacting new consumer rights.

Under the new initiative, the Commission aims to propose a legislation on Sustainable Product Policy to ensure that products sold in the EU market are designed to last longer, are easier to reuse, repair and recycle, and incorporate as much as possible recycled material instead of primary raw material.

The new legislation will also impose restrictions on single-use products and help tackle premature obsolescence by banning destruction of unsold durable goods.

Commenting on the initiative European Green Deal Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans pointed out that the European economy at present was mostly linear, with only 12% of secondary materials and resources being brought back into the economy.

“To achieve climate-neutrality by 2050, to preserve our natural environment, and to strengthen our economic competitiveness, requires a fully circular economy. Today, many products break down too easily, cannot be reused, repaired or recycled, or are made for single use only. There is a huge potential to be exploited both for businesses and consumers. With the new plan we launch action to transform the way products are made and empower consumers to make sustainable choices for their own benefit and that of the environment,” he stated.

The Action Plan, which is part of EU’s Industrial Strategy, also aims to ensure that consumers have access to reliable information on issues such as the reparability and durability of products to help them make environmentally sustainable choices and provide them benefit of a true “Right to Repair.”

According to the FAQ shared on the EC website, the new Action Plan announces initiatives from design and manufacturing to consumption, repair, reuse, recycling, and bringing resources back into the economy, and is at the core of the European Green Deal, the EU roadmap towards climate-neutrality.

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “We only have one Planet Earth, and yet by 2050 we will be consuming as if we had three. The new Plan will make circularity the mainstream in our lives and speed up the green transition of our economy. We offer decisive action to change the top of the sustainability chain – product design. Future-oriented actions will create business and job opportunities, give new rights to European consumers, harness innovation and digitalization and, just like nature, make sure that nothing is wasted.”

“Half of total greenhouse gas emissions come from resource extraction and processing. It is not possible to achieve the climate-neutrality target by 2050 without transitioning to a fully circular economy,” the Commission stated, adding that by applying ambitious circular economy measures, Europe can increase EU’s GDP by an additional 0.5% by 2030 and create over 700,000 new jobs.

Krishi Vigyan Mela 2020 starts in Pusa

Krishi Vigyan Mela 2020 starts in Pusa

Inaugurating the Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela-2020, the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar has called for retention of talent in Agriculture. He said India has a vast pool of agricultural scientists and specialists graduating from universities every year. “Government can provide funds, subsidies and incentives, but there has to be an interest in farming. For this agriculture has to be made a profitable venture; it should fulfil the nation’s needs, its share in GDP and exports should rise,” he added.

“Your purpose in career does not end with securing a cushy job or just remain engaged in education and research, but you should be a successful farmer in your area. Even those agriculturists retiring every year should remain involved in farming and inspire others. The farmer should remain alive in you. You may engage in farming in your kitchen garden in your spare time. It will keep you connected with agriculture as a profession,” said Tomar.

Tomar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given priority to agriculture and set a target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. In this direction, the Government has ensured one-and-a-half times MSP of input costs to farmers, assured Rs 6,000 annually to farmers covered under the PM-KISAN scheme and a loan of Rs 1,60,000 under Kisan Credit Card. The Prime Minister has ensured transparency in disbursal of benefits to farmers and now there is no role for middlemen and brokers. Besides, there will be no shortage of funds and budgetary support for agriculture, he said.

Tomar said the Prime Minister yesterday launched the registration of 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in order to promote cooperative farming. Budgetary provision of Rs. 6,600 crore has been made to provide each FPO a sum of Rs. 15 lakh for all farming related activities ranging from sowing, harvesting to distribution and marketing. For this purpose a Credit Guarantee Fund of Rs.1,500 crore has been created jointly by NABARD and NCDC.

Tomar said geographic divisions and climate change pose a challenge to our agriculture community. He said the Ministry is in the process of organizing a big conference in each of the eight zones. The Minister said field exhibitions on the patterns of Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela should also be organized simultaneously. The Prime Minister has directed that a study on Pesticides be included as part of Agriculture curriculum.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Parshottam Rupala called for organizing such Farmers’ Fairs in every state. He urged the Agriculture Institutes and scientists to ensure that superior seeds are provided to farmers at reasonable rates.

Pointing out that the Government and the Agriculture Institutes are committed to promoting Agriculture, MoS (Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare) Kailash Choudhary hoped a day will come when the farmer is no longer a borrower but becomes creditor.

In his address, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) & Director General, ICAR, said a large number of farmers participate in the Kisan Vigyan Mela and buy the superior quality seeds developed by the ICAR institutes.

On the occasion, Tomar and other dignitaries released ICAR publications.

At a separate function, an MoU was signed between the ICAR and Patanjali Bio Research Institute (PBRI), Haridwar in the presence of the three Ministers. The MoU was signed by Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra on behalf of ICAR and Acharya Balkrishna, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Patanjali & Managing Director, PBRI. Speaking on the occasion, Tomar said the MoU will promote Organic Farming with the R&D expertise of ICAR and the indigenization efforts of Patanjali in a wide range of products.

Source: PIB, APS/PK

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