Plans to build 292 Himalayan hydroelectric dams described as “train wreck”

By John Parnell

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Monday 07 January

Last updated: 1735

India: Plans to build 292 hydroelectric dams in the Himalayas to resolve India’s energy shortage have been criticised. Blackouts last year left 600m people without power but the government’s proposed solution has been described as “a train wreck” with the biodiversity, water supplies and displaced populations among the major concerns. (New York Times)

Science: Sea level rise is being seriously underestimated and could be as high as one metre this century according to a new paper in the journal Nature Climate Change. With the last IPCC climate science report not adequately counting the contribution of melting ice sheets, a panel of glaciologists say an additional 29cm should be added to previous estimates. (Nature Climate Change)

India: Nobel laureate Yuan Tseh Lee has urged India not to follow the western model of development. “There can be no sustainable future of the world without a sustainable Asia, and no sustainable Asian future without a sustainable India. The time for sustainable transformation must begin today and India can take the leadership,” said the prize winning chemist. (Newstrack India)

Science: There is new evidence that a little-known pollutant could be making biofuel production more harmful to the environment. Fast-growing crops such as eucalyptus, often planted for use as fuel, could be producing unhealthy levels of isoprene, which can cause respiratory problems and stunt crop growth. (The Guardian)

Australia: Severe wildfires in Tasmania have led Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to lay the blame with climate change. During a visit to the worst affected regions she said: “While you would not put any one event down to climate change…we do know that over time as a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events.” (Sydney Morning Herald)

UK: The Prince of Wales has said the news that he is to become a grandfather has made him keener to avoid passing on “an increasingly dysfunctional world” to his grandchildren. “I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and [have] them say: ‘Why didn’t you do something?” The Prince is an ardent environmental campaigner.  (The Guardian)

Carbon Markets: The value of the world’s carbon markets fell by 36% in 2012 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. EU and UN carbon credits almost halved in value in the last 12 months from €11.2 to €6.4 but the number of permits traded increased. (EurActiv)




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