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Government Actions this week

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Plastic Waste: a European strategy to protect the planet

The European Commission puts together a long-term garbage reduction policy.
The start of any coordinated action by the state has to be preceded by some policy document that clearly lays out the direction as well as allocates resources. The EC has done precisely this on garbage rules. Will India follow suit, or will India’s counterpart – Swachh Bharat – simply remain a mish-mash of words and phrases?



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Cuomo Pledges to Set Energy Efficiency Target for New York

Governor Cuomo commits New York State to environmental targets.
While California is far ahead of other states in the US, New York is rapidly moving ahead in the same direction. What do heads of sub-national governments know that heads of national governments do not? They are much closer to the people than national heads, and much better able to pick up the pulse of the people.



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Capt Amarinder clears air, says no rethink on closure of Bathinda thermal p

Punjab is not far behind.
Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab’s Chief Minister is not known for his world vision, but even he is responding to an emerging global reality. When old and highly polluting power plant in Bathinda became unviable, the state government decided to shut it down. There are hundreds of such units across India, others can take a cue. But more importantly, when combined with a retraining/re-employment program as Punjab is doing, change becomes easier.



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How the government ignored the cost of pollution

Why does the Modi government listen only to its babus?
Hundreds of coal power plants continue with their immoral and unethical practices of using dirty fuel, dirty technology and creating dirty emissions. And the government lets them do this for 5 more years. A shameful practice is continuing in India despite the fact that it is clearly harmful to the masses. 



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Germany faces risks, higher costs without focus on green finance

When a Deuche Bourse study finds Germany negligent, the world needs to notice.
Ultimately global environmental change will be driven by the financial sector, and when among the world’s largest financial sector players point towards incorporating the environment in its decisions, then it means something big is starting to happen.



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California's climate policies have created thousands of jobs

Governor Jerry Brown does what President Trump needs to do.
California is the largest state economy in the US and its action send a strong signal not just within the US but across the world. The state has been systematically attempting to put together a more environmentally beneficent economy for some time now. A case study of how iron workers retrained for the solar energy sector. The process of change can be catalyzed with a kinder and softer method, than simply relying on hard market forces.



Initiatives


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Interference of union leaders in garbage collection plays spoilsport

RWAs find local governments problematic.
When local governments do nothing RWAs can achieve much, however, when local government employees and unions actively discourage change, there is a problem. Chandigarh finds poorly resourced and empowered RWAs far more oriented to green garbage practices if only local government functionaries would let them.



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