Thursday, 2 November 2017

Upcoming COP23 Climate Change negotiations at Bonn & WTO on e-com & Adani Coal plant & disaster in UK

Some of the big minefields that countries face at the upcoming COP23 Climate Change negotiations at Bonn:

In an earlier part of the curtain-raiser we tried to explain how the COP23 shall set the game for implementing Paris Agreement:

India: Premature to start talks at WTO on e-com: Commerce ministry

Premature to start talks at WTO on e-com: Commerce ministry
PTI | Nov 1, 2017, 19:57 IST

New Delhi, Nov 1 () The commerce ministry today said it would be premature to start negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on rules for the e-commerce sector as the contours of this segment are still "in the dark".

Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce Sudhanshu Pandey said that India is focusing on making rules for domestic e-commerce players.

"Starting negotiations on WTO rules in the e-commerce would be premature as the contours of this space are still in the dark," industry body Ficci said in a statement quoting Pandey.

The official was speaking at an interactive session on 'E-Commerce, Digital Infrastructure, Trade Rules and WTO'. It was organised by Ficci and the Centre for WTO Studies.

The remarks assume significance as developed countries including the US are pushing for inclusion of new issues like investment facilitation and e-commerce in the WTO's ministerial meeting to be held in Argentina in December.

Pandey said several countries were eager to negotiate multilateral rules to govern global trade through e-commerce.
"Such rules stand to hurt the interests of most developing countries, including India. India needs to think whether it was prepared to take on the obligations that would bind its stakeholders to an international policy in a sector, which was still evolving," he added.

Since July last year, around 24 papers have been submitted by different countries to the WTO on e-commerce and nations like Japan have put out highly ambitious papers, he said.

In such a scenario, Pandey said, India needs to safeguard its domestic market which is still small.

National rule making for e-commerce is also a daunting task as there were many issues that are overlapping in nature, he said, adding that different departments are trying to address various issues to help formulate an overarching national policy for e-commerce.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is working on a draft paper on e-commerce, which will be put out for comments.

Speaking at the event, Abhijit Das, Head, Centre for WTO Studies, said that there are many challenges in starting the negotiations.

These, he added, include data flow, servers, data localisation, transfer of technology and mandatory sharing of telecom infrastructure and need attention. RR CS SA

India may wait for more clarity before agreeing to WTO negotiations on e-commerce
Joe C Mathew       

Last Updated: November 1, 2017 

Adani’s Australia Story: How a Massive Coal Mine is Sparking a New Wave of Environmental Concerns (

Kabir Agarwal
The Carmichael Coal mine proposed by the Adani group, if built, would be the largest in Australia, and among the largest in the world. 2.3 billion tonnes of coal would be extracted from the mine over its lifetime, causing 4.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. According to estimates, the remaining global carbon budget to limit global temperature rise below two degree celsius above pre-industrial levels as agreed in the Paris climate agreement, is 850 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The Adani coal mine will, on its own, use up 0.53% of that budget. According to a 2014 report by Dr Chris Taylor and Professor Malte Meinshausen submitted to the Land Court of Queensland which was hearing objections to the granting of mining lease to Adani, “The cumulative emissions related to this mine are amongst the highest in the world for any individual project, and – to the knowledge of the authors – the highest in the southern hemisphere”.

In Rebuilding Kedarnath, a New Disaster in the Making
Rohit Joshi
The devastating floods of June 2013 highlighted the need for sound planning and construction in the high-altitude terrain of the Himalayas. That lesson and concerns of geologists, however, are being ignored in its reconstruction. (


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