Centre for Science and Environment



Sunita Narain's picture
8 February 2016
Sunita Narain

Let’s leave for the moment the questions why these extreme weather events are happening in our world with greater frequency and intensity. Let’s discuss what we need to do

Sunita Narain's picture
16 January 2016
Sunita Narain

Let’s share cars; take a bus or metro; cycle or walk

Early this month, I was in the Delhi High Court, where a battery of lawyers had filed separate petitions against the odd-even scheme of the Delhi government. This is a scheme to ration car usage so that in the critically polluted winter months only half the vehicles are on the road. Their arguments were that the scheme had led to enormous inconvenience and worse, daily pollution data showed no impact on air quality. Cars, they said, were not responsible for pollution. 

Sunita Narain's picture
1 January 2016
Sunita Narain

If we don't heed 2015, we will never improve the future

The year 2015 has come to an end. This year has been full of events that are interconnected and foretell our future in a way that should enormously worry us. And, hopefully, get us all to rise to the challenge. 

In December, the Paris climate change talks ended with an agreement far from ambitious and way off from being equitable. It has left the world even more vulnerable; the poor, even more deprived of basic human development. 

Sunita Narain's picture
15 December 2015
Sunita Narain

As I write this, it is two days to the endgame at the Paris climate conference. Despite problems, everybody is clear that there will be an agreement. Let me explain why 

As I write this, it is two days to the endgame at the Paris climate conference. There has been little breakthrough on the contentious issues that elude an agreement, but still everybody is clear that there will be an agreement.

I am beginning to understand why they are so confident. Let me explain.

Sunita Narain's picture
1 December 2015
Sunita Narain

I wrote last about what I expect will happen at the Paris climate change conference. But what should happen? First, the world must strongly underscore the need to keep the temperature rise below 2°C at the very least. Today, with less than 1°C rise, the world is beginning to experience deadly impacts.

Sunita Narain's picture
1 November 2015
Sunita Narain

Volkswagen diesel car scam is of no consequence to us. India’s diesel vehicle industry is so powerful that even this exposé of the cover-up of diesel emissions is like water off a duck’s back to them. They should be renamed Teflon Diesel. They will ride it out, literally, even if it means we choke and die from deadly emissions of their vehicles.

Sunita Narain's picture
16 October 2015
Sunita Narain

Why should we look at the US to check out its climate action plan? The fact is that the US is the world’s largest historical contributor to greenhouse gas emissions—the stock that is already in the atmosphere and already warming the earth’s surface—and the second largest contributor (after China) to annual emissions. What the US does makes a huge difference to the world’s fight against runaway climate change. It will also force others to act. It is, after all, the leader.

Sunita Narain's picture
30 September 2015
Sunita Narain

What does farmer’s despair over crop failure have in common with dengue fever, which is ravaging Delhi and other cities of India? Seemingly nothing. But dig a little deeper and you will find that in both cases variable and erratic weather is at the root of these tragic events. There is another connection: lack of governmental policy, action and, quite frankly, callous neglect that has made both events even more horrific and painful.

Last fortnight, I wrote about the killing fields of India, where unseasonal, extreme and deficient rainfall had driven farmers to despair.

Sunita Narain's picture
16 September 2015
Sunita Narain

This is our season of despair. This year, it would seem, the gods have been most unkind to Indian farmers. Early in the year came the weird weather events, like hailstorms and freak and untimely rains that destroyed standing crops. Nobody knew what was happening. After all, each year we witness a natural weather phenomenon called the Western Disturbance, winds that emanate from the Mediterranean and travel eastward towards India. What was new this year was the sheer “freakiness” of these disturbances, which brought extreme rain with unusual frequency and intensity.

Sunita Narain's picture
31 August 2015
Sunita Narain

Last August 15, speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the prime minister made a very important announcement—his government would ensure “there is no school in India without separate toilets for boys and girls” by the next Independence Day. Exactly one year later, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has announced that this target has been met and that some 417,000 toilets have been built in 261,000 schools.

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