Centre for Science and Environment



Sunita Narain's picture
31 January 2014
Sunita Narain

It was way back in 1986 that Rajiv Gandhi had launched the Ganga Action Plan. But years later, after much water (sewage) and money has flowed down the river, it is as bad as it could get. Why are we failing and what needs to be done differently to clean this and many other rivers?

Sunita Narain's picture
16 January 2014
Sunita Narain

When I look back at 2013, I hear a cacophony. There was huge dissent about the way we are mismanaging coal reserves; the Supreme Court shut down iron ore mining in Goa; there was outcry about rampant sand mining and the havoc it is wreaking on rivers. There were equally loud calls for the need for green clearance to all projects, from hydropower projects in the Himalayas to mines in dense forests of central India. One side wanted to shut everything; another wanted to open up everything.

Sunita Narain's picture
1 January 2014
Sunita Narain

Does the Indian government’s loud voice in international negotiations produce results? At the recent WTO meet in Bali, the Indian government went all guns blazing to defend the rights of its farmers and to ensure food security for millions of poor. It opposed the Agreement on Agriculture that limits government food procurement at 10 per cent of the value of total production, based on the prices of late 1980s. It said this clause would impinge on its right to offer farmers a supportive price and to procure food stocks for its food safety programme.

Sunita Narain's picture
16 December 2013
Sunita Narain

India has emerged as a “voice” in climate change and trade negotiations. At the recently concluded trade talks in Bali, the Indian government was insistent that the rights of poor farmers should not be compromised; in climate change it has raised the matter of equity in sharing global atmospheric space. The already industrialised countries say India is obstinate, strident and unnecessarily obstructionist in crucial global debates. The problem is not that India is loud—that it must be.

Sunita Narain's picture
1 December 2013
Sunita Narain

In the past 10 years, India’s environmental movement has had a rebirth. It was first born in the 1970s, when the industrialised world was seeing the impact of growth on its environment. In that decade the air and rivers of London, Tokyo and New York were full of toxins. The world was learning the pain of pollution. The first major global conference on the environment, the Stockholm meet, was held to find ways to deal with this growing scourge.

Chandra Bhushan's picture
22 November 2013
Chandra Bhushan

Climate negotiations at Warsaw may give the world a financial mechanism to deal Loss and Damage, but it may be a non-starter like the Adaptation Fund agreed to at the Poznan COP

As I leave a cold and rainy Warsaw, the outcome of the 19th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) looks as gloomy as the weather.

Chandra Bhushan's picture
19 November 2013
Chandra Bhushan

"I care" is the slogan of CoP19 at Warsaw.  With this symbol, Poland wants to tell the world that it cares for climate change. But the facts are otherwise. Next to the biggest climate conference, Poland is also hosting the biggest coal conference in Warsw. That’s symbolic of the position that Poland has taken in climate negotiations. But Poland is not the only problem. Every developed country is now going back on its past commitments.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 November 2013
Sunita Narain

I write this column from my bed, recovering from an accident that broke my bones. I was hit by a speeding car when cycling. The car fled the scene, leaving me bleeding on the road. This is what happens again and again, in every city of our country, on every road as we plan without care for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. These are the invisible users. They die doing nothing more than the most ordinary thing like crossing a road. I was more fortunate. Two cars stopped, strangers helped me and took me to hospital. I got treatment. I will be back fighting fit.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 October 2013
Sunita Narain

What we desperately shut our minds to is once again being pronounced ever more clearly: climate change is here; it is already bringing devastating extreme weather events; it will become worse in the years to come. In late September, part 1 of the fifth assessment report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released in Stockholm.

Sunita Narain's picture
1 October 2013
Sunita Narain

We were standing in the only street of this small village called Mohda. Located in the forested region of Chhattisgarh, the village had no access to the road and markets. The women of the village surrounded me. They wanted me to know that malaria was a serious problem for them. They wanted something to be done about it. I was taken aback because we were talking about solar energy—the state government had set up a small power station in the village, and we were there to learn more about it. “What’s the connection?” I asked.

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