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International Update Volume All, Issue All

India Launches National Consultation for Air Pollutants

India

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh announced the launch of a "very small" emissions trading scheme last week as an effort to reduce air pollution. Ramesh maintained that the scheme was not "because of the global negotiations on climate change," but is instead aimed at reducing public health problems as a result of air pollution. Valsa Nair Singh, chairperson of the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board, said that the initiative will be carried out by placing air quality analyzers on factory premises as well as inside chimney stacks.

Asian States Launching Climate Plans, "Winning the Green Economy Race"

China

China is going to leave the rest of the world "in the dust" in terms of the development of a green economy, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christina Figueres said at a panel discussion in Switzerland last week. Last year the country boosted low carbon energy spending by 30 percent to reach over $50 billion, the largest figure of any country, and the development is set to continue. According to Bloomberg, China WindPower Group is slated to borrow as much as $240 million from the Asian Development Bank to develop more wind farms.

South Africa Faces Water Pollution Crisis From Flooding

South Africa

The South African Cabinet is expected to give a directive on action in response to acid mine spillage from Gauteng. Unexpected flooding has raised the levels of the toxic water in the province's mines, overwhelming the pumps designed to remove hazardous water out from underground. Mine foreman Derrick Souden said that the pumping should be four times its current rate, and that gold in mines will shortly be unreachable when the pumps themselves become flooded.