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Initiatives

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Cuomo appoints panel to study congestion pricing

Governor Cuomo wants congestion pricing for vehicles and forms an advisory group of businessmen, technocrats, technologists and a religious leader.
Why is this of any consequence for India?  Pricing is a valuable tool to discourage undesirable activities, but high prices harm businesses, impact employment and do not always work well.  Governor Cuomo preferred technocrats, political, religious and trade representatives to advise him rather than intellectuals and bureaucrats.



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Rural Rwanda is home to a pioneering new solar power idea

Rwanda solved the telecom access problem with cell phones and is now solving the power problem throw solar.
The key problem of solar power is that it’s somewhat more expensive than coal or hydropower.   However, in a country where there is little access to electricity people use kerosene and biomass for their energy needs.  And solar power happens to be cheaper than both of these in rural Rwanda. So a for-profit venture is profitably solar-electrifying rural Rwanda. 



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Why Japan wants your electronic waste

Japan is taking over what China is giving up – waste recycling.
Environmental concerns are forcing China to reduce waste recycling.  But the Japanese are fast taking up the slack and setting up new plants.  Electronic waste can generate a large volume of inputs including aluminium and copper, not to mention rare metals.  What Japan can do, countries such as India can as well, except our governments are not at regulating things.



Government Actions this week


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Checking trucks to controlling stubble burning, little change on the ground

Stubble burning has commenced across north-west India, and all that bureaucrats and judges can do is huff and puff.
When poor environmental practices cause significant harm, merely ordering people and small businesses to desist cannot work.   As the resilient farmers have shown, incentives need to be changed upstream in the value chain.   In other words, the farmer needs to find it beneficial to collect the straw and stubble for him to stop burning. Instead, the judiciary and bureaucrats attempted to mandate with little appreciation for the factors that force the farmers to burn straw.  The solution is simple, reduce the cost of straw collection through incentives and increase the price of straw by encouraging its use in coal-burning power plants.  Banning straw burning cannot work.



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Govt should scrap old vehicles before bringing new ones: Renault

The head of Renault calls for scrapping old cars – should the government ban them?
The head of the carmaker Renault in India suggests that there needs to be an old vehicle scrapping policy if electric vehicles are to get a leg up.  Old cars that would run on petroleum-based fuels will continue to pollute way into the 2030s without some proactive government intervention.  This author believes that higher cost of petroleum fuels can do the job of an accelerated shift better than any other form of intervention or ban.


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