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Full text of 45th US President Donald Trump's inauguration speech

Written By Gopal Krishna on Sunday, January 22, 2017 | 10:17 PM

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.

These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

We are one nation – and their pain is our pain.  Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success.  We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry;

Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;

We've defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own;

And spent trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.

But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.  Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders.  We will bring back our wealth.  And we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.

When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected.

We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.

In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.

We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over.

Now arrives the hour of action.

Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done.  No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.

We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.

A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.

It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:

You will never be ignored again.

Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together, We Will Make America Strong Again.

We Will Make America Wealthy Again.

We Will Make America Proud Again.

We Will Make America Safe Again.

And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, God Bless You, And God Bless America.

USA should ratify Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol for pre-2020, $500 million to Green Climate Fund (GCF) for post-2020 not enough

Written By Gopal Krishna on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | 2:04 AM


USA should ratify Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol for pre-2020, $500 million to Green Climate Fund (GCF) for post-2020 not enough

Ratification of mandatory Doha Amendment for pre 2020 period is a logical necessity, voluntary Paris Agreement is just a post dated cheque   

New Delhi: Towards the fag end of his tenure and ahead of the next Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November, 2017 in Germany, US President Barack Obama has transferred $500 million to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a small mechanism for climate change adaptation and renewable energy projects in the Global South. This step is significant given the fact that incoming President Donald Trump has promised to defund international climate action.
Countries which are genuinely committed to preventing climate crisis should join efforts to ensure that nuclear power is kept out of the $ 100 billion/year Green Climate Fund (GCF), a very small player in climate finance established five years ago in Cancun, Mexico. After getting funds from the US President, GCF should be made to create an accountability mechanism and persuaded to adopt an information disclosure policy.
The fact remains that Kyoto Protocol is the only international treaty on climate till 2020 attempts to implement the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to "a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" (Art. 2). The Protocol is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities: it puts the obligation to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.  A second commitment period was agreed on in 2012, known as the Doha Amendment to the protocol for post 2012 period. It is noteworthy that submit that USA has neither ratified the first commitment period nor the second commitment period of the Protocol.
But the pre-2020 climate treaty has not come into force as yet. For pre-2020 period, out of 144 states whose ratification needed for its entry into force, so far only 75 countries have ratified Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol. Out of 37 the countries with binding commitments, only 7 have ratified. This demonstrates the sincerity towards climate action. USA remains a non-party to Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was adopted in May, 1992. Neither Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol or Paris Agreement guarantee the safety of the world's most vulnerable but former is better than the latter for it makes provision for binding commitments and unlike the latter.
Kyoto Protocol succeeded in adopting precautionary approach but the Paris Agreement fails because it does not satisfy the provisions of Article 3.3 of UNFCCC. It reads: “The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures, taking into account that policies and measures to deal with climate change should be cost-effective so as to ensure global benefits at the lowest possible cost. To achieve this, such policies and measures should take into account different socio-economic contexts, be comprehensive, cover all relevant sources, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases and adaptation, and comprise all economic sectors. Efforts to address climate change may be carried out cooperatively by interested Parties.”
Civil society groups failed to support a small country like Nicaragua in the Paris Climate Conference which raised its flag questioning the autocratic change introduced in the final draft at the last moment (from ‘shall’ to ‘should’) while adopting the 12 page long Paris Agreement dated 12th December, 2015. The Agreement being a legal text required application of basic legal knowledge by negotiators from India. In law schools across the globe students are taught that “shall” is “mandatory”. The drafters of legal documents are trained into the use of “shall” as it conveys “a duty to” be performed. It conveys obligation.

Had “shall” been not important 76 pages of Words and Phrases, a multi volume work of legal definitions would not have been devoted to case laws around it. The word “should” does not express a legal obligation; the word “shall” expresses a legal requirement.

Initially, Article 4.4 of the Draft Agreement read: “Developed country Parties shall continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets. Developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts…” This formulation aptly captured the historic responsibilities of rich countries and differentiated responsibilities of poorer countries. But disregarding the voice of a Central American country like Nicaragua which is a member of Group of 77, succumbing to the USA’s demand shall was substituted with should. India’s decision to maintain a deafening silence when the voice of a fellow member from G77 was disregarded is contrary to its stature. India should revise its position at CoP-23.

There was a total failure in comprehending that States have a fundamental responsibility to preserve resources like the land, water, and air, which belongs to the future generations. Its responsibility “predates statutory law”. So far most civil society groups have failed to highlight it.

As chairperson of the Group of 134 developing countries (G77 and China Group), Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko revealed that Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for mitigating climate change is “a perversion of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities” because it undermines the “legal obligation in accordance with historical responsibilities for finance” accepted under the bullying influence of USA and its allies.
It is quite outrageous that INDCs are not legally enforceable. The paragraph 52 of the Decision of CoP 21 makes a categorical declaration that Article 8 of the Paris Agreement which deals with the issue of addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change “does not involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation.”
Although such announcement sets a regressive precedent in international negotiations, given the fact Paris Agreement is not legally binding by implication, this attempt to escape liability for loss and damage appears unsuccessful. The 12 page long Paris Agreement dated 12th December, 2015 adopted by the countries that are Parties to UNFCCC, is an articulation of how ‘climate-inequality’ shapes the text of an international treaty supposedly aimed at climate justice and for the protection of Mother Earth.
It may be recalled that the false solution of carbon trade and off setting was introduced in the Kyoto Protocol at the behest of USA which had made it a pre-condition to sign the Protocol. Notably, after diluting the Protocol USA unsigned the Protocol. Unmindful of the fraud and corruption ridden carbon trade projects, instead of discarding this fake remedy the Paris Agreement makes way for global carbon market through Article 6 of the Agreement. It makes space for “voluntary contribution” among countries in the implementation of their emission reduction targets and “to allow for higher ambition in their mitigation and adaptation actions”.
It creates a new class of carbon assets namely, “internationally transferred mitigation outcomes” (ITMOs) for trading and “support for results- based payments to implement policy approaches”. This new mechanism of UNFCCC has been incarnated as Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM) as main mitigation tool in place of pre-existing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation post-2020.
What is charitably referred to as “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” in the text of the UNFCCC is in reality an act of industrial warfare against climate and its allied ecosystem whose impact has become glaring. It is quite surprising that green house gas emissions from the war industry which is reaping unprecedented profits amidst conflicts around natural resources has not been included as one of the key sources of climate crisis.
It is apparent that world governments have adopted Ostrich policy with regard to climate crisis under the influence of undemocratic economic organizations. Richer countries became prosperous and dominant due to carbon emission since 1750. Between 1850 and 2011, USA, European Union, Russian Federation, Japan and others contributed over 2/3rd of total global emissions. Notably, developed countries have been outsourcing their carbon-intensive industries to developing countries like India.
Admittedly, the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030 resulting from INDCs do not fall within least –cost 2 degree C but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatons in 2030. The Decision underlines that in order to hold the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degree C above pre-industrial levels there is a need for reduction of emissions to 40 gigatons.
It is quite bizarre that while almost all the countries have stated their commitments to reduce emissions from 1990 levels, USA has decided to count its reduction in emission using 2005 as the base year. Thus, its commitment of reduction is only 14% instead of 28% as has been claimed quite deceptively.
It has been estimated that India’s current per capita income is close US’s per capita income in the 1890s. Like most developed countries where coal remains unavoidable, India continues to argue that it will continue to use coal as its primary source in its energy mix. Meanwhile, in a remarkable move, the share of renewables in India has increased over 6 times between 2002 and 2015. India has also announced that it will add 175 GW of renewable energy capacity (almost equal to the total installed power generation of Germany) by 2022. This will lead to avoidance of burning over 300 million tonnes of coal.
India cannot afford to be complacent citing emissions by top polluters given the fact emissions of top 10 % of urban Indians is about 27 times the emissions of the bottom 10 % of rural India that the carbon footprint of 1 % of the India’s wealthy class is being veiled by 823 million poor class of the country. Saving climate from poisonous market interference
Paris Agreement panders to the whims and fancies of commercial czars who are obstinately commodifying and monetizing nature and interfering with climate and allied ecosystems. The natural resource dependent communities are facing unprecedented deprivation. This has created an episteme that blindly bulldozes technical and market solutions as “real” solutions. Meanwhile, World Bank Group feigned wished “to see the extent and detail on carbon markets” included in the Paris Agreement that paves the way for “Carbon Markets 2.0”.
A new, non-market, climate finance mechanism is needed to support the formalization and expansion of mitigation and technology transfer as a genuine solution to combat the propensity of promoting free trade in carbon at the cost of climate system. Climate talks remain relevant because fate of the communities and global order is linked to the decision by the richest countries to undergo mandatory fossil fuel de-addiction. But the Agreement fails to make top polluters liable for “dangerous anthropogenic interference” and for endangering human ecosystem which is the substratum for the existence of living beings.
In effect, despite the brave effort of a G77 country, Paris conference failed to save climate and intra-generational and inter-generational equity from the banks and markets that threaten our planet by integrating carbon pricing policies in all sectors of economy. It failed to make ratification of Doha amendment 2012 to Kyoto Protocol, 1997 developed under the UNFCCC’s charter covering 2012-2020 time span a priority.
In such a scenario, even at this late stage India should take ethical leadership by declaring carbon trading as a fake solution and by choosing not “to pursue the reckless and environmentally harmful path to development” that the developed countries have taken so far. It should have sought early ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Protocol which is the international law till 2020. But this law has not entered into force as yet. This exposes the hollowness of the claims about leading “nearly 200 nations to the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change” made by President Barack Obama in his last State of the Union address in front of the US Congress. The failure to apply “public trust doctrine” for safeguarding climate system is quite evident.
India must combat the propaganda of developed countries which have unleashed an information war to submerge the primacy of Doha Amendment, the only existing international climate treaty at least till 2020.           

There is a logical compulsion to undertake climate action to prevent irreversible global changes in the pre-2020 and post-2020 period. India must explore the remedial nature of the proposed solutions for combating climate crisis instead of falling into the tarp of false solutions.

Ahead of the next Conference of the Parties (COP 23) from 6 to 17 November, 2017 in Bonn, Germany, under the Presidency of Fiji, India and other affected countries should take recourse to “long memories” to mobilize G-77 countries to put limits on ungovernable national and transnational business enterprises by adopting principles that account for the imminent danger to the very substratum of human existence.
It is evident that the dominant economic and political ideology has constrained the actions needed to strengthen the provisions on mitigation and in dealing with the impacts of climate crisis. Most donor driven civil society groups and a section of media appear complicit with this ideology. As a consequence almost all visible climate-related activities end up being hand in glove with status quo that prefers to remain tight-lipped about Doha Amendment, carbon trade and false climate solutions.    

There is a logical compulsion to seek ratification of mandatory Doha Amendment for the pre 2020 period in right earnest, voluntary Paris Agreement is just a post dated cheque.   

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 9818089660, 08227816731, E-mail: 1715krishna@gmail.com, Web: www.toxicswatch.org   

18 pesticides banned, 48 pesticides like Monocrotophos, Paraquat Dichloride, Glyphosate yet to be banned

Written By Gopal Krishna on Friday, January 13, 2017 | 2:01 AM

ToxicsWatch
To

Shri Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia
Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
Government of India
New Delhi

Date: January 13, 2017

Subject- Appreciation for your decision to ban 18 pesticides & demand for phase out of organophosphate-containing insecticides like Monocrotophos as part of the remaining 48 pesticides whose use cannot be justified

Sir,

This is to express our appreciation for the Notification dated December 15, 2016 published in the Gazette of India by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (Department of Agriculture, Co-operation and Farmers Welfare) that announces your decision to ban manufacture, import, formulate, transport, sell and use of 18 of the 66 pesticides which are still registered for domestic use in India but banned or restricted in one or more other countries due to health and environmental concern.
While we welcome the announcement of ban on hazardous pesticides like Benomyl, Carbary, Diazinon, Fenarimol, Fenthion, Linuron, Methoxy Ethyl Mercury Chloride (MEMC), Methyl Parathion, Sodium Cyanide, Thiometon, Tridemorph, Trifluralin, Alachlor, Dichlorvos, Phorate, Phosphamidon, Triazophos and Trichlorfon, we submit that the non-inclusion of Paraquat Dichloride and Glyphosate, highly hazardous herbicides in the decision is a significant omission which must be promptly remedied. As you aware Paraquat Dichloride has been banned in the State of Kerala but it continues to be used in the remaining parts of our country. It is noteworthy that Paraquat Dichloride is a candidate for the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list of UN’s Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. The use of Paraquat Dichloride is banned in Switzerland, which the home country of Syngenta, the main producer of Paraquat Dichloride since 1989 due to its high acute toxicity for humans. It is banned or disallowed in some 32 countries due to its adverse health effects. Glyphosate has been classified as a carcinogenic chemical by World Health Organisation (WHO).
We demand phase out of the remaining 48 pesticides as well because their continued use cannot be scientifically and medically justified. As a best scientific practice to safeguard the health of Indians government should initiate a process to review all other pesticides registered for use in our country for their adverse impact of environmental and occupational health in rigorous coordination with ministries of health, environment, consumer affairs and chemicals in order to come up with specific remedial actions.
Pursuant to our letter dated September 21, 2016 in the matter of failure of Central Insecticide Board in Bihar insecticide tragedy and phase out of organophosphate-containing insecticides like Monocrotophos, we submit that similar action is required for organophosphate-containing insecticides and all the 48 pesticides.  
You may recollect that Monocrotophos, the insecticide was responsible for the Mid Day Meal tragedy on July 16, 2013 at the Dharma Sati Primary School Mashrak, Chapra in Saran district, Bihar and the failure of Central Insecticide Board. We are saddened to note that instead of recommending ban on this toxic chemical Dr. Anupam Verma headed expert committee has unwisely allowed its continued use by stating that its status is “to be reviewed again in 2018, after completion of the recommended studies”. 
In a significant and related development, on August, 29, 2016, Shri Vijay Anand Tiwari, Additional District Judge II of Saran (Chhapra) Court, Bihar in a 49 page long verdict sentenced Mina Devi, Gandaman primary school principal to 10 and 7 years imprisonment in connection with the 2013 midday meal tragedy, in which 23 children had died after eating soyabean vegetable. The court makes mention of Monocrotophos, the pesticide in question and underlines that the food that caused the death of 23 students was contaminated with this pesticide.
The verdict is available at

Although Gandaman primary school principal has been sentenced to 10 years jail term under IPC sections of 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and seven years under section 308 (criminal negligence) and fined her with Rs 2.5 lakh under Section 304 and Rs 1.25 under Section 308, the fact remains the manufacturers, sellers and regulators of pesticide have remained out of the scanner so far. The poisonous pesticide in question was kept at home for spraying on sugar cane crops. The institutional responsibility for availability of such a toxic substance lies with the regulator. In such cases manufacturers and sellers should also be held accountable.   

It is high time our country stopped transboundary movement of hazardous chemicals by creating an inventory of hazardous chemicals besides conducting an environmental and occupational health audit along with the ministry of health to ascertain the body burden through investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood. In one such study in the US, of the 287 chemicals detected in umbilical cord blood, 180 were known to cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in  animal tests. Absence of such studies in India does not mean that a similar situation does not exist in India. Until and unless we diagnose the current unacknowledged crisis, how will he regulatory bodies predict, prevent and provide remedy. Currently, our country is a victim of the unfolding Lawrence Summers Principle. Lawrence Summers, former director of the White House's National Economic Council for US President Barack Obama as a World Bank chief economist, sent a memo to one of his subordinates justifying transfer of harmful chemicals from developed countries to developing countries.  Our decision makers should factor in these malevolent motives of international financial institutions, foreign companies and governments.

We submit that our ecological space is a living entity but it is faced with the cannibalistic propensities of illegitimately totalitarian scientism which is married with political consensus. Its linear, piecemeal and closed technological thinking fails to acknowledge that no unlimited development is possible in the nature of things.

We express our support to you in resisting the influence of lobbying through their objections or suggestions by industry associations which give priority to profit over any human and environmental cost. 

In view of the above facts and the ongoing food chain poisoning, we earnestly and solemnly urge you to intervene urgently to get to the bottom of the insecticide tragedy to take the issue of the tragedy to its logical end by banning organophosphate-containing insecticides like Monocrotophos, Paraquat Dichloride, Glyphosate and other pesticides to protect public health of the present and future generations.

Thanking You

Yours faithfully
Dr Gopal Krishna
Editor, ToxicsWatch
Mb: 09818089660, 08227816731

Cc
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture
Chairman, Central Insecticides Board, Union Ministry of Agriculture



Environmental Impacts of GM crops

Written By Gopal Krishna on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 | 1:06 AM

To

Smt Renuka Chowdhary
Chairperson
Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests
New Delhi 

  
Through Shri Rajeev Saxena, PSC on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests


Subject: Request for Submission of views/evidence on Environmental Impacts of GM crops

Madam,

With due respect we wish to state that we have learnt that PSC on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests has chosen "Environmental Impacts of GM crops" as one of its subjects of study, we wish to make submissions on behalf of ToxicsWatch in this regard.

We submit that the entire country cannot and should not be turned into a big laboratory and all Indians into lab rats for GM experiments.

We submit that the claims on the yield increases from GM crops are questionable. It is only aimed at seducing farmers into a vice like grip of market controlled seeds and herbicide combination for the benefit of agri-business corporations. It is noteworthy that it is the import tariffs for edible oil which has destroyed the market for them, affecting production of indigenous edible oils. It is evident that no
GM technology can solve this engineered crisis.

We submit that the opposition to GM food crops has also become louder across the country. Those opposing GM crops say that the monoculture will affect the existing biodiversity of mustard in India and in effect it will be a shortcut to long term misery. It will put an additional burden on farmers, who have to purchase seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides every year.

We submit that the history of GM cotton itself has been splattered with the blood of thousands of farmer suicides in western India.  They also assert that ‘Genetic Engineering’ is an unnatural and imprecise breeding technology with living organisms and there is enough evidence that it is an unstable, unpredictable, irreversible and uncontrollable technology being deployed in our food and farming system. This then has serious implication for our health and environment.  Further, increased riskiness in agriculture, lack of choices for farmers and consumers, market rejection are all consequences of the environmental release of GMOs. GM crops would be “disastrous” for self-sustaining farmers as it would eventually open the doors for multinational corporations to control India’s agriculture.

We submit that the scientifically questionable issues behind controversial GM crops need critical analysis and feedback before it gets into our field and our kitchen. We seek your personal intervention for disclosure of all the relevant data, independent scrutiny providing sufficient time and hold public consultations.

In view of the above facts, we demand that lessons from industrial disaster of Bhopal caused by Union Carbide Corporation create a compelling logic for decision-making on GM crops be withheld.

We will be happy to share more information and relevant documents in this regard. We want to provide you inputs on this matter and request you for granting me an opportunity to make personal appearance before you.






India all set to accept New Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)?

Written By Gopal Krishna on Monday, January 02, 2017 | 10:30 PM

India continues to lag behind by operating under 2004 UN Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) without accepting the subsequent amendments. Serious public health concerns create a compelling logic for India to ratify all the New POPs in the new year. 

India is one of those countries which not accepted any New POPs but operating is under 2004 treaty. The other such countries are: Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Vanuatu and Venezuela. Notably, Israel, Italy, USA, Malaysia, Malta, Brunei Darussalam and Haiti are non-Parties to the Convention. The Eight Conference of Parties (COP8) of Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants will take up the listing of three more substances: DecaBDE, Short-chain chlorinated paraffins, and HCBD in May 2017.

At present the treaty’s POPs Review Committee is evaluating two more substances for addition to the Convention: dicofol and PFOA. The Convention started with a list of 12 POPs (Dirty Dozen) in 2004. In due course 14 more POPs have been added to the Convention’s list of POPs. The 14 New POPs are:
1.    Chlordecone
2.      Hexabromobiphenyl
3.      Pentachlorobenzene
4.      Lindane
5.      Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane
6.      Beta hexachlorocyclohexane
7.      Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether
(commercial PentaBDE)
8.      Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether
(commercial OctaBDE)
9.      Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), its salts, and PFOSF
1.     Endosulfan
1.     Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
1.   Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)
1.     Pentachlorophenol (PCP)
1.     Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)

The last three-Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), Pentachlorophenol (PCP) and Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) were added to the treaty at COP7 in 2015.

When a substance is added to the Stockholm Convention, the ban applies to most countries unless they write the Secretariat saying that they cannot accept it. However, a small group of countries has an arrangement which automatically rejects a new listing unless they write the Secretariat to accept it. This is supposed to give countries a chance to have a little time to facilitate elimination. However, in practice some countries use this as an excuse not to do anything.

The countries with this special arrangement referred to as “opt-in” include India. The other such countries are: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, Canada, China, Estonia, Guatemala, Mauritius, Micronesia, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Vanuatu, and Venezuela. The Convention’s secretariat is yet to provide news about the three remaining New POPs.
For more details visit:

Lawlessness in Okhla after expiry of consent to operate given to Jindal's power plant

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

To

Shri Anil Baijal
Lieutenant Governor
Government of N.C.T. of Delhi
Delhi

January 2, 2017

Subject-
Lawlessness in Okhla after expiry of consent to operate; provisional authorization too expired on December 31, 2016

Sir,

This is to draw your attention towards a specific case of the lawlessness in Okhla that is setting a very bad precedent now that the after expiry of consent to operate, even the provisional authorization of for municipal solid waste (MSW) based thermal power plant of Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited has expired on December 31, 2016.

We submit that the minutes of the meeting held on 24/06/2016 under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi to implement the orders of National Green Tribunal in the matter of Original Application No. 22/2013 reveals that “Regarding Okhla plant it was informed by the DPCC, that as per the decision taken by Consent Management Committee (CMC) in its 26th meeting held on 11/3/2016 the plant may operate on provisional basis and improve its emission standards to 30 mg/Nm3  as per direction of DPCC/Hon’ble NGT for transitional period till 31/12/2016. The Chief Secretary, Delhi, desired that the Chairman DPCC should take a meeting with all the stake holders, and an all out effort should be made to improve emission standards before 31/12/2016”. (Source: Department of Urban Development, Government of NCT of Delhi dated 06.07.2016 (F.N 13/56/CC/MB/UD/2016/1327-1341). It is quite clear from this minute that after the expiry of consent to operate, provisional authorization too has expired on December 31, 2016. 

We submit that the official documents reveal how conditions of Land Allotment to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the municipal council of the city of New Delhi imposed by Delhi Development Agency (DDA) have been breached to facilitate “land grab” for a hazardous waste to power plant in Okhla endangering public health. It may be noted that Indian waste has hazardous waste characteristics.

We submit that a letter dated June 18, 1980 sent from DDA to NDMC on the subject of allotment of land at Okhla for compost plant. The letter specifically states the conditions for the allotment. The letter reads: “The land shall be used by N.D.M.C. for the construction of compost plant and for no other purpose whatsoever.” It further reads: “The land shall not be transferred to any other Department without prior permission of DDA obtained in writing.” Another letter from DDA dated August 4, 1995 sent to N.D.M.C. reiterates: “The allotted land shall be used for the purpose of compost plant and no other purpose whatsoever”. These letters reveals that the allotment of land to NDMC was a conditional allotment subject to compliance with the stated conditions. Given the fact that NDMC has violated these conditions in an apparent exercise of facilitating “land grab” for municipal solid waste (MSW) based thermal power plant of Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited.  In a significant disclosure it has come to light that there are two lease deeds for a total of 13.5 acres. NDMC has violated the conditions imposed by DDA with regard to both of them.

We submit that a September 2008 document of Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services (IL&FS) Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd focused on Timarpur-Okhla integrated municipal waste facility referred to contractual framework and mentioned about “Land License Agreement for Okhla and Timarpur land for use of land for 25 years” and Shri Anurag Goyal, the then Director Projects, NDMC was recorded saying, “NDMC provided land as its equity to the project.”

It is noteworthy that Appellate Tribunal for Electricity for New Delhi headed by Justice Surendra Kumar and Mr Rakesh Nath recorded on 19th May, 2015 a submission about “Land leased by NDMC on nominal rate” as part of “promotional steps were taken to promote Timarpur Okhla’s Plant” as part of its Judgment in Appeal Nos. 251 of 2013 and 325 of 2013.  The company Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Company Ltd (TOWMCL) Old NDMC Compost Plant, Behind Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), Mathura Road, New Delhi was appellant.

We submit that the documents from 1980, 1995, 2008 and 2015 create a compelling logic for DDA to cancel the land allotment to NDMC and ensure that the land from TOWMCL is taken back and given to DDA.

We submit that as you are aware even a minor change with regard to land use is required to published in the Gazette notification but the same has not been done. Had DDA permitted changes in land use at Okhla, it would have published a similar Gazette notification.

We have been struggling against this project in question since March 2005. Besides violating all the environmental clearance conditions and conditions laid down in the No Objection Certificate under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the plant Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, this plant has violated the Battery Limit as well. It is noteworthy that the waste incinerator based thermal power plant is located exactly in the vicinity of the residential colonies.

We are at a loss to comprehend as to why has Delhi Government not acted to save public health in the face hazards from a highly polluting plant which has violated every environmental norm and caused serious public health crisis. Unmindful of the demands of the environmental groups and residents who seek closure of the plant, the Chief Secretary has been paying lip-service about making efforts to “improve emission standards.” This is manifestly misleading given the fact that emission standards fixed by law have to be complied with and in the case of non-compliance the plant has to be shut down for good.  The legality of allowing the plant to operate with “provisional” consent following withdrawal of consent to operate is highly questionable. Given the fact that all the relevant clearances were granted for RDF technology, not for the unapproved Chinese technology which has been used by the company, the grant of provisional consent demonstrates collusion and connivance of the DPCC and Delhi Government. Its reference to NGT’s order for doing so is an exercise in creative construction of legal argument to justify the environmental lawlessness in the national capital.

We submit that the plant is amidst residential colonials and institutions of national importance like Central Road Research Institute, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and the Indian Institute of Information Technology.  Such toxic emissions from the Jindal's power plant in an ecologically sensitive area and thickly populated area has become a routine affair with all the concerned authorities turning a blind eye towards this illegitimate and illegal act. Besides violating the Master Plan, this plant has violated all the rules in the rule book including environmental clearance conditions.

We submit that this power plant of TOWMCL was supposed to use RDF technology but it is using an unapproved Chinese technology brought to light by the report of Technical Experts Evaluation Committee headed by Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) prepared pursuant to 22th March 2011 dated order of the Union Minister of Environment & Forests. This constitutes deviations from approved technology. The Chinese technology provider is from Hangzhou New Century Company Ltd of Hangzhou Boiler Group. The High Powered Technical Experts Evaluation Committee of CPCB in its 31 page report on the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant brought to light the illegalities committed by Jindal's TOWMCL. The report was communicated on March 22, 2012. This report is based on three meetings of the Technical Experts Evaluation Committee held on April 26, 2011, August 11, 2011 and September 22, 2011 under the chairmanship of Chairman, CPCB.

We submit that in a related case in an earlier order Delhi High Court has observed, "10. In Master Plan for Delhi, 2021, notified on 07.02.2007, hazardous waste processing viz. hospital/medical/industrial waste is amongst the industries, manufacturing of which shall be prohibited within National Capital Territory of Delhi." The Court observed that "This is a mandatory requirement of the guidelines issued by CPCB, that such facility should be far away from residential and sensitive areas"

It is may be noted that substitution of technology is prohibited under the provisions of the Environmental Clearance. It is deemed dangerous to according to a report of CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). What is also important is that the consent to operate clearly mentions biomethanation and RDF as the route to energy production and does not provide for incineration at all. This plant is owned by Shri Prithviraj Jindal who won an open tender in 2008 to build and operate the plant for 25 years at a project cost of Rs 240 crore. It is apparent that the owner has ignored the disastrous environmental health consequences of plant’s operations.

We wish to inform you that this plant occupies some 10 acres of green area under the Master Plan of Delhi.  

In view of the above submission, we seek you intervention to ensure compliance with conditions imposed by DDA, relevant environmental rules and consider closure of the Dioxins emitting power plant located in a residential and ecologically sensitive area.

We wish to meet you to share the relevant documents and apprise you of the situation. Kindly grant us the permission for the same.

Yours faithfully
Gopal Krishna,
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660,
E-mail: krishna1715@gmail.com



 
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