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Paris Climate Change agreement: What lies ahead?

Written By Gopal Krishna on Wednesday, February 03, 2016 | 9:05 PM

Guests: Prof. C.K. Varshney, Former Dean, School of Environment Sciences, JNU ; Dr Gopal Krishna, Environmentalist; Dr. Srikanta K Panigrahi, DG, Carbon Minus India ; Sopan Joshi, Researcher and Journalist, Gandhi Peace Foundation.
Anchor: Qurban Ali




How India failed at Paris Climate Conference: As a state it has fundamental responsibility to preserve land, water, air

India failed to do even what a small country like Nicaragua did in the Paris Climate Conference by raising 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 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 failed to comprehend that as a State it has a fundamental responsibility to preserve resources like the land, water, and air, which belongs to the future generations. Its responsibility “predates statutory law”.
What Indian environment minister, Prakash Javadekar did not disclose to the Parliament has already been admitted by Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, chairperson of the Group of 134 developing countries (G77 and China Group). India is a member of this Group. Diseko has 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 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was adopted on 9th May, 1992, 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.
Industrial War against Climate System
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%insteadof28%ashasbeen claimed quite deceptively.
Where does India stand?
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.
Paris Agreement has a stark lesson for Indian Government and its INDC which promoted “Nuclear Power as a safe, environmentally benign and economically viable source to meet the increasing electricity needs of the country.” The word “nuclear” does not appear in the Agreement despite efforts by countries like India. It is high time India followed the path of those who have no nuclear power reactors and remain opposed to nuclear power.
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 surprise on 17th December “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.
India should have taken 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.

Ahead of the next conference which is planned in November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco, India 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.
By Dr Gopal Krishna*
*Public policy analyst; Director, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA). Source: PUCL Bulletin
The author has been tracking the climate issue for more than a decade 

Isn't nuclear commerce anti-people?

Written By Gopal Krishna on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 | 12:05 AM

India-Japan Joint Declaration disregards public health concerns from nuclear commerce and nuclearisation
Joint Declaration should have called for scrapping of WHO-IAEA agreement that compromises nuclear & radiological safety
Disregarding lessons from preventable Fukushima nuclear disaster, a profoundly man-made disaster, the Indo-Japan joint declaration titled Japan and India Vision 2025 Special Strategic and Global Partnership dated December 12th, 2015 welcomed “the agreement reached between the two Governments on the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, and confirmed that this Agreement will be signed after the technical details are finalised, including those related to the necessary internal procedures.
Having decided to pursue the nuclear path, the Prime Ministers of India and Japan “expressed concern over North Korea's continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, including its uranium enrichment activities”. Such averments underline double standards being practiced at the behest of nuclear companies.    
The pious expression seeking “the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula” under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions appears hollow because unless there is universal denuclearization how can denuclearization of Korean Peninsula alone can serve the ultimate purpose of global disarmament.  
“The two Prime Ministers, on the occasion of the 70th year since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. They called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of Shannon Mandate. In this context, Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which should lead to nuclear disarmament. They also supported the strengthening of international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.”  It is noteworthy that the two Prime Ministers chose not to make any mention of anniversary of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disaster.
“The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of effective national export control systems. Japan welcomed India's intensified engagement with export control regimes .The two Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the four international export control regimes: Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening the international non- proliferation efforts.”
But they maintained studied silence of about the conflict of interest ridden regime of Vienna based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is acting both as a regulator and promoter of nuclear commerce.  
Indo-Japan joint declaration for collaboration in the areas like civil nuclear energy, solar power generation, rare earths and advanced materials to work for peace, security and development of the Indo-Pacific region toward 2025 merits critical attention in the context of Japan- India-U.S. Trilateral dialogue that was held in New York in September 2015 and the inaugural Japan-India-Australia Trilateral dialogue.
Indo-Japan joint declaration should have called for scrapping of agreement between World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “WHA 12-40” on 28th May, 1959 that sanitizes information about adverse health impacts of nuclear accidents. Notably, Secretariats of IAEA and WHO keep each other informed about all relevant programmes and nuclear activities. As a consequence of this WHO-IAEA agreement, WHO has lost its autonomy of action in the field of protection from ill effects of radiation. Signing of such agreement by WHO is contrary to its own constitution which states “Informed opinion and active cooperation from the public are of paramount importance for improving the health of people …” As long as the WHO-IAEA agreement exists, WHO’s role with regard to health impact from nuclear accidents and activities will not inspire even an iota of confidence. For WHO to regain its legitimacy, there is a compelling reason for it to remain faithful to Article 1 of its own constitution of WHO which states: “The goal of the World Health Organization shall be the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”
Notably, European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) has called for abandonment of the controversial agreement. There were protests against WHO-IAEA agreement at the WHO's 62nd World Health Assembly.
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) and No to Nuclear Energy Forum (NNEF) denounces the subordination of the WHO to IAEA. This appears to aimed at underestimating and misreporting of nuclear risk and radiological emergencies. This agreement is against natural justice and truth.

India, Japan and other countries should urge the General Assembly of WHO in May 2016 to unsign the WHO-IAEA agreement. Indian Government should consider submitting a proposal for inclusion of revision of this agreement in the Agenda to the WHO’s Executive Council in January 2016 and Japan Government should be persuaded to support it to enable WHO to regain its autonomy. Considering the supremacy of people' health over all other interests, there is a compelling logic in seeking revocation or appropriate revision of the questionable agreement.

Historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a binding agreement

Written By Gopal Krishna on Sunday, December 13, 2015 | 10:55 PM

Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the COP (Conference of the Parties), it will be deposited at the UN in New York and be opened for one year for signature on 22 April 2016--Mother Earth Day.

The agreement will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification.


195 Nations Set Path to Keep Temperature Rise Well Below 2 Degrees Celsius
  • Mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal
  • A transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action
  • Adaptation – strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts
  • Loss and damage – strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts
  • Support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures
  • Over 7,000 cities, including the most vulnerable to climate change, from over 100 countries with a combined population with one and a quarter billion people and around 32% of global GDP.
  • Sub-national states and regions comprising one fifth of total global land area and combined GDP of $12.5 trillion.
  • Over 5,000 companies from more than 90 countries that together represent the majority of global market capitalisation and over $38 trillion in revenue.
  • Nearly 500 investors with total assets under management of over $25 trillion
  • All countries will submit adaptation communications, in which they may detail their adaptation priorities, support needs and plans. Developing countries will receive increased support for adaptation actions and the adequacy of this support will be assessed.
  • The existing Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage will be significantly strengthened.
  • The agreement includes a robust transparency framework for both action and support. The framework will provide clarity on countries’ mitigation and adaptation actions, as well as the provision of support. At the same time, it recognizes that Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States have special circumstances. 
  • The agreement includes a global stocktake starting in 2023 to assess the collective progress towards the goals of the agreement. The stocktake will be done every five years.
  • The agreement includes a compliance mechanism, overseen by a committee of experts that operates in a non-punitive way.
  • Under the Kyoto Protocol, there is now a clear and transparent accounting method for carry-over credits for the second commitment period, creating a clear set of rules.
  • The first round of international assessment and review process (IAR) that was launched in 2014 was successfully completed.
  • A number of technical and implementation issues related to the existing arrangements on technology, adaptation, action for climate empowerment and capacity building were also successfully concluded.
With 196 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.



An historic agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris on 12th December, 2015.

The Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.

The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defense line against the worst impacts of a changing climate.

Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change.  

To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows will be put in place, thus making stronger action by developing countries and the most vulnerable possible, in line with their own national objectives.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “This is a resounding success for multilateralism.”

The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of the UN climate conference (COP21) cover all the crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion:

As well as setting a long-term direction, countries will peak their emissions as soon as possible and continue to submit national climate action plans that detail their future objectives to address climate change.

This builds on the momentum of the unprecedented effort which has so far seen 188 countries contribute climate action plans to the new agreement, which will dramatically slow the pace of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The new agreement also establishes the principle that future national plans will be no less ambitious than existing ones, which means these 188 climate action plans provide a firm floor and foundation for higher ambition.

Countries will submit updated climate plans – called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – every five years, thereby steadily increasing their ambition in the long-term.  

Climate action will also be taken forward in the period before 2020. Countries will continue to engage in a process on mitigation opportunities and will put added focus on adaptation opportunities. Additionally, they will work to define a clear roadmap on ratcheting up climate finance to USD 100 billion by 2020.

This is further underlined by the agreement’s robust transparency and accounting system, which will provide clarity on countries’ implementation efforts, with flexibility for countries’ differing capabilities.

The Paris Agreement underwrites adequate support to developing nations and establishes a global goal to significantly strengthen adaptation to climate change through support and international cooperation.

The already broad and ambitious efforts of developing countries to build their own clean, climate-resilient futures will be supported by scaled-up finance from developed countries and voluntary contributions from other countries.

Governments decided that they will work to define a clear roadmap on ratcheting up climate finance to USD 100 billion by 2020 while also before 2025 setting a new goal on the provision of finance from the USD 100 billion floor.

New text of Paris Climate negotiation adopts 1.5 degree C target option

Written By Gopal Krishna on Wednesday, December 09, 2015 | 10:54 PM

http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Adoption-of-Paris-agreement-628x353.jpgExposing the weakness of the position of sponsored NGOs, the latest text from Paris Climate Summit aims at reducing the targeted maximum increase of global average temperature from 2 to 1.5 degree C. 

As per the new text option 1 aims at below 2 degree C above pre-industrial  level, option 3 aims at "below 1.5 degree C above pre-industrial level. 

The text notes the "needs and integrity of terrestrial ecosystems. oceans and Mother Earth" besides factoring in "imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities."  

It acknowledges the "fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change." 

It is apparent that so far "non-party stakeholders" from NGOs, cities and other subnational authorities do not have their own agency, independent of the private sector and financial institutions. This underlines how the entire exercise suffers from democracy deficit structurally wherein "Mother Earth" and public institutions have become subordinate to institutions of profit.    

Draft Paris Agreement, CLIMATE JUSTICE & historical debt

Written By Gopal Krishna on Tuesday, December 08, 2015 | 11:55 PM

Draft Paris Agreement and the submissions by top polluters who also happen to be top profit makers reveal that arrangements have not been made to make top polluters pay the “ecological debt” that global north owes to the south. 

Some 23 years after the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) and 18 years after the Kyoto Protocol, over 160 countries have communicated voluntary Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for the period 2021 to 2030 for combating climate crisis. Demanding ‘fair share’ of world’s resources, insisting on common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) to end climate inequality, Indian Government too has communicated its 38 page long INDC. Its INDC is “contingent upon an ambitious global agreement including additional means of implementation to be provided by developed country parties, technology transfer and capacity building following Article 3.1 and 4.7” of the UNFCCC.
While it is true that “both in terms of cumulative global emissions (only 3%) and per capita emission (1.56 tCO 2 e in 2010), India’s contribution to the problem of climate change is limited”, the fact is that ‘Make in India’ kind of initiative paves the for transfer of hazardous and polluting industries to India. Although it has officially taken note of “consumption-based or imported emissions”, India’s INDC fails to stop transfer of industries that emit Green House Gases (GHGs). Amit Narang, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of India to UN noted it in New York while delivering his remarks on “The rich are from Mars, the poor are from Venus: Tackling climate inequality for a sustainable world” on 21st November, 2015.  

The ultimate objective of UNFCCC and any related legal instruments is that the Conference of the Parties (COP) may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. UNFCCC’s text refers to “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” which in reality is an act of industrial warfare against climate and its allied ecosystem whose impact has become glaring. Its continued relevance for the communities of shared fate and global order is linked to the decision by the richest countries to undergo mandatory de-addiction.
Notably, industrialized countries have committed to implementing quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020. But the INDCs of the top polluters- China, USA and EU including India aren’t significant enough to deal with climate crisis from 2020 onwards. Such announcements by the top polluters are far from what is required based on scientific evidence in order to limit global temperature rise by 2°C.

There was a need to cut emissions to the tune of 70 % below 2010 levels by 2050 to be on the path of limiting 2°C temperature increase.
The 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) aims to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. But by now it is quite clear that INDCs submitted by the key countries aren’t sufficient to meet the 2OC target. 

The 2015 agreement will only come into effect and be implemented from 2020. The Doha Amendment covers the pre - 2020 period, which is critical in the overall mitigation effort to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2° C above pre- industrial levels. The agreement will have any purposeful meaning only if it can subordinate commercial contracts to international law, the Paris
treaty. 


Govt’s joint inspection team visits Jindal’s municipal waste incinerator based power plant in Okhla

Written By Gopal Krishna on Thursday, November 19, 2015 | 8:46 PM

Delhi's Okhla area awaits public heath disaster due to unapproved Chinese technology

November 19, 2015: Following the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) a Joint Inspection team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) visited the Dioxins and heavy metals emitting unapproved Chinese incinerator technology based municipal solid waste (MSW) based 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. The joint inspection team visited the factory from 10 AM- 11.45 AM on November 19, 2015 along with Anant Trivedi, Dr U C Bahri, K S Rao and A B Akolkar, Member Secretary, CPCB and Bharat Sharma of CPCB, B.L Chawla, Senior Environment Engineer, DPCC, Dr Anil Kumar, Department of Environment, Government of Delhi, Rakesh Agrawal, Executive Director, TOWMCL and Neelesh Gupta, whole Time Director, TOWMCLGopal Krishna of ToxicsWatch Alliance which has been opposing this plant because of its hazardous technology since March 2005 also joined the inspection team at the request of the residents.

The NGT case is named Application No. 22 of 2013 in NGT. The next date of hearing is on December 14, 2015. Residents of Delhi's Okhla locality await relief and justice at least since 2009. Environmental groups have been opposing this plant since March 2005. 

The Show Cause Notice issued to the plant of Jindal's TOWMCL reveals unambiguously that the its Consent to operate under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 & Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 granted by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), which exercises the delegated powers of CPCB had expired on 20th March, 2013. The plant is operating without the same since then. But DPCC has failed to order its closure despite such blatant violation of law.
As per the website of TOWMCL, it is claimed that the plant received Consent to operate on 21st December. 2011. The fact is that the plant is operating without consent to operate since 2013.

As per the attached official document of DPCC on the subject of "Status of Okhla Waste to Energy plant by Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd" (TOWMCL) as on 16th April, 2015. The plant of TOWMCL is operational. It is processing 1950 MT of waste and
generating 16 MW of power. The report mentions that the plant was supposed to use RDF technology but refrains from mentioning that it is using an unapproved Chinese technology brought to light by the CPCB committee report prepared pursuant to 22th March 2011 dated order of the then Union Minister of Environment & Forests. This led to the official recognition of deviations from approved technologies. 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.
Notably, 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).
Notably, the representatives of GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) led by Dr. Juergen Porst, Senior Advisor stressed the need for a Disaster Management Plan in the very first meeting of this CPCB Committee, which is annexed to the CPCB's report. This finds reference in the minutes of the meeting annexed with the report. It underlines the possibility of disaster from the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant, which is situated in a residential area.

DPCC's attached status report dated 16th April, 2015 states, "...in case the Project Proponent (Jindal's TOWMCL) found defaulting in compliance of the direction of Tribunal, the Tribunal would be compelled to direct the closure of this industry." The DPCC concludes
that "directions u/s 31 (A) of the Air Act, 1981 was issued on 03.07.2014 and simultaneously show cause notice was issued for refusal of consent under Air & Water Act and authorization under MSW Rules. The Project Proponent has filed statutory appeal against the directions dated 03.07.2014 before the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. The appeal was listed for 27.02.2015 and the same is pending. The matter is to be listed for final hearing and the next date of hearing is yet to be notified."
The ToR given by MoEF's Experts Appraisal Committee to the project in question specifically demanded "Disaster Management Plan" but the High Powered Committee constituted by the then Union Minister of Environment & Forests headed by Chairman, CPCB observed in its report that this plan has not been prepared. It condemned the non-cooperation by the company. This committee noted that this plant is operating in violation of Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) [MSW] Rules, 2000. It came to light from the observation of A B Akolkar from CPCB. Akolkar is currently the Member Secretary of CPCB. He was part of the Join Inspection Team that visited the plant on November 19, 2015.
A judgment of Delhi High relevant to Okhla refers to 'The summary of "Epidemiological Studies on Adverse Health Effects Associated with Incineration" would show that medical waste incinerators are a leading source of dioxins and mercury in the environment and there is link between incinerator emissions and adverse health impacts on incinerator workers and residents living around the incinerators.'
The observations made in the judgment will have far reaching implications. It reads: "Both older and more modern incinerators can contribute to the contamination of local soil and vegetation with dioxins and heavy metals. In several European countries, cow's milk
from farms located in the vicinity of incinerators has been found to contain elevated levels of dioxin, in some cases above regulatory limits. Increased levels of dioxins have been found in the tissues of residents near to incinerators in the UK, Spain and Japan. At an incinerator in Finland, mercury was increased in hair of residents living in the vicinity. Children living near a modern incinerator in Spain were found to have elevated levels of urinary thioethers, a biomarker of toxic exposure. " It notes that "After 2 years of operation of incinerator, dioxins levels were found increased by about 25% in both groups living between 0.5 to 1.5 and 3.5 to 4.0 km away (201 people) of people. In the repeat analysis, the increase was in
the range of 10-15%".
It records that "Mothers living close to incinerators and crematoria from 1956 to 1993" showed "increased risk of lethal congenital abnormalities, in particular, spinal bifida and heart defects, near incinerators: increased risk of stillbirths and anacephalus near
crematoria". With regard to "Residents from 7 to 64 years old living within 5 km of an incinerator and the incinerator workers" the judgment observes, "Levels of mercury in hair increased with closer proximity to the incinerator during a 10 year period".
The judgment found that "Residents living within 10 km of an incinerator, refinery, and waste disposal site" showed "Significant increase in laryngeal cancer in men living with closer proximity to the incinerator and other pollution sources". The "Residents living
around an incinerator and other pollution sources" showed "Significant increase in lung cancer related specifically to the incinerator". The "People living within 7.5 km of 72 incinerators" displayed "Risks of all cancers and specifically of stomach, colorectal, liver and lung cancer increased with closer proximity to incinerators".
The  Court had 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" The same holds true for the location of the Jindal's municipal waste based incinerator plant. This order of High Court underlines that its approach to environmental damage is better than that of NGT. 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. This plant has violated all the rules in the rule book.

Besides violating all the relevant laws and rules, this plant is violation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 creating a compelling reason for the closure of this plant. The plant became operational in 2012 but it is using untested and unapproved Chinese incinerator technology, a fact noted in the report of the Central Pollution Control Board committee constituted after a delegation had met Shri Jairam Ramesh, the then Union Minister of Environment & Forests pursuant to his site visit of the plant. It is noteworthy that the Union Environment Minister had written to the then Chief Minister, NCT of Delhi underling that the plant is functioning in violation of environmental regulations.
Notably, this plant does not have clearance from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, which is a mandatory requirement.
This plant is in a green belt contrary to the Master Plan of Delhi, in contravention of section 3(2) (v) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Rule 5 (ix) of Environment (protection) Rules, 1986 and Guidelines for Establishment of Industries issued by MoEF.
As per  Supreme Court's order in the Writ Petition (Civil) No.888 of 1996 such subsidies are not meant for incinerator plants like the one in Okhla.  Court's order dated 6th May, 2005 said, "...we hope that till the position is clear, the Government would not sanction any
further subsidies." It is noteworthy that on 15th May, 2007, the Court's order "permit (s) Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES) to go ahead for the time being with 5 pilot projects chosen by them" but it is noteworthy that this refers specifically to bio-methanation technology. MNES is renamed as Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) and is part of Power Ministry at present. It has been revealed through RTI that neither the proposed Delhi's waste to energy incinerator projects one of those 5 pilot projects nor is it based on the recommended technology.
It is apparent that amendments made in the EC have been made to gain this assistance of Rs 1.5 crore/MW even as the stay by the  Supreme Court on sanction of any further subsidies for projects on energy recovery from Municipal Solid Wastes continues to be in force, in manifest violation of Court's order. In the light of the Court's order MNRE must be persuaded to withdraw or modify its letter (No.10/3/2005-UICA) to stop promotion of polluting technologies like incinerators.

Supreme Court is quite categorical in saying, "The Committee has recommended that projects based on bio-methanation of MSW should be taken up only on segregated/uniform waste unless it is demonstrated that in Indian conditions, the waste segregation plant/process can separate waste suitable for bio-methanation. It has opined that there is a need to take up pilot projects that promote integrated systems for segregation/collection/ transportation and processing and treatment of waste. In view of the report of the Committee and having regard to the relevant facts, we modify the order passed by this Court earlier and permit Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES) to go ahead for the time being with 5 pilot projects chosen by them, keeping in view the recommendations made by the Expert Committee and then take appropriate decision in the matter." Despite this Delhi Government has erred in supporting illegal waste to energy incinerators in Delhi which is contrary to the Court's order.
But Delhi Government falsely claimed in the High Court that it was one of the five projects cleared by  Supreme Court leading to dismissal of petition filed by residents but when the  High Court later found to its shock that such a claim was manifestly untrue, the petition was
restored. It was in March 2009 that Writ Petition (Civil) No. 9901 of 2009 which was initially dismissed on 12th August, 2009 because of misrepresentation of facts by the then Additional Solicitor General.  High Court later found that it was misled earlier which had led to it dismissing the petition. The Petition was restored by an order dated 15th January, 2010. In the presence of A.S. Chandihok, the bench headed by the Chief Justice, Delhi High Court in the order observed, "that the project in question" and "the location of the pilot project in Delhi was neither recommended by the Expert Committee nor approved by the Supreme Court."

In a strange case that one of NGT's order in the case in question relied on reasoning advanced in the dismissal order of  High Court and chose not to take cognizance of the  Court's restoration of the same case which later admittedly got transferred to NGT.
Notably, High Court on had asked Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) 18th July, 2010 to conduct a joint inquiry about India's first waste-to-energy plant and file a report on the allegations that it posed health risks
to citizens.  The Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna ordered, "A joint report be submitted by the DPCC and the CPCB after an inquiry of the site of the energy plant about the alleged risks posed to citizens".
It is noteworthy that Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s Asian Pacific Carbon Fund (APCF) dropped this waste to energy plant out of its portfolio amidst controversy surrounding it. In any case it is a misplaced carbon credit project. It underlines how carbon trade is not
part of the solution but part of the problem.
Now a bizarre situation has emerged because the arguments for Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) incineration technology that was advanced by the company and the law officers of the previous central and state governments are no more relevant because the plant is using an experimental Chinese technology which was never ever mentioned at the time of submitting the project proposal or in its EIA report based on which a so-called Public Hearing was conducted in Saket.

The ongoing protest rallies and an online campaigns against the toxic, waste-to-energy incinerator where students are also participating in large numbers underlines that the operation of Jindal's waste burning based power plant is an act of environmental lawlessness in the heart of the national capital.
The closure of this plant will be a major and memorable contribution to NCR's landscape for generations to come and help prevent approval for hazardous industrial units in the region at a time when Delhi's residents are gasping for fresh air.
Having been involved with these issues since October 2000 and with this specific issue since March 2005, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) has sought Union environment minister’s urgent intervention for prevention of unfolding public health and environmental disaster in Delhi's Okhla area and adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh in particular and NCR region in general due to the Dioxins emitting plant of Jindal's TOWMCL.
Global experience demonstrates without any dispute that incinerator based WTE plants do not resolve the issue of non-availability of land and landfill sites because disposal of incineration ash into the landfill site remains a problem recognized under Schedule IV of the
MSW (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000. This experience also shows that energy from municipal waste is not produced at any lesser price in fact it more expensive. The myth of incinerator based WTE plant solving the problem of leachate which contaminates ground water has long been debunked. The existing literature on waste management underlines that incinerator based WTE plants constitute a meaningless and misplaced option. The fact is that it is not a solution, it is a problem creator. It gives birth to the problem of what can be deemed as landfills in the sky. It is a case of putting resources up in flames.
It appears strange that Delhi Government is following the footprints of a government whose misplaced initiatives like these led to it being vanquished. It is hoped that the report of the Joint Inspection Team will undo the threat of public health disaster due to the plant’s location in the proximity of the residential colonies. 

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660
E-mail: 1715 krishna @
gmail.com, Web: www.toxicswatch.org
 
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