Expected Questions in Environment & Latest Developments 2019 – IAS/NET ( Part-3) (Set-1) (Download PDF)


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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channel to get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. com. You can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF”.

International Sanitation Convention

International sanitation convention addressed on 4th anniversary of cleanliness mission.

India was taking lead on UN’s Sustainable Development Goal on sanitation & was on course to fulfil its commitments 11 years early.

More than 94 % of rural households across country are declared open defecation free in comparison to just 39 % when mission was launched 4 years ago.

Membership of International Solar Alliance (ISA) — restricted to countries b/w Tropics of Cancer & Capricorn — would be expanded to include all member countries of UN.

About Sustainable Development Goals (Fast Recap)

17 SDGs were adopted by UN member nations in 2015. Deadline to meet them is 2030.

Formula to remember all 17 Goals - I Can HELP

I2 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure


Can5 Clean water and Sanitation

Clean Energy

Climate Change

Cities and Communities

Consumption and Production

H2 Hunger


E3 Education



L2 Life below water

Life on land

P3 Poverty

Peace and Justice

Partnerships for the Goals

Champions of the Earth Award

  • UN Environment Programme honours PM w/UN’s Top Environmental Award - Champions of Earth

  • UN recognised PM w/its highest environmental honor in policy leadership category for his efforts to eliminate all single use plastic in India by 2022.

  • President of France, is awarded in same category for his work on Global Pact for Environment.

  • They were selected for their pioneering work in championing ISA.

  • India & France had together launched ISA on sidelines of UN climate conference (COP21) in Paris in 2015.

  • ISA - inter-governmental body of solar rich nations - objective is to galvanise actions for increasing solar power footprints in 121 potential member countries across globe.

  • India’s Cochin International Airport - world’s 1st fully solar-powered airport - selected for award in Entrepreneurial Vision category for its leadership in use of sustainable energy.

  • Annual ‘Champions of the Earth’ prize is awarded to outstanding leaders from Govt. , civil society & pvt. sector whose actions have had positive impact on environment.

Neelakurinji flowers fail tourists

  • Large number of tourists who could reach Mullayyana Giri & Seethalayyana Giri hoping to catch a glimpse of flowers returned disappointed.

  • Neelakurinji flowers, a shrub belonging to genus Strobilanthes, blossom once in 12 years.

  • Kurinji or Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthianus) is shrub that is found in shola forests of Western Ghats in South India.

  • Nilgiri Hills, which means blue mountains, got their name from purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji.

  • Some Kurinji flowers bloom once every 7 years & then die. Their seeds subsequently sprout & continue cycle of life & death.

  • Paliyan tribal people living in Tamil Nadu used it as a reference to calculate their age.

SC to ban sale of BS-IV vehicles from 2020

SC ruled that no Bharat Stage-IV vehicle shall be sold across country w/effect from April 1,2020.

Court ruled for no grace period for automobile manufacturers for sale of BS-VI non-compliant vehicles after April 1,2020.

Automobile manufacturers justified grace period to sell their vehicles contending that India was switching from BS-IV emission norms to BS-VI w/I short span of time & they should be granted reasonable time to sell their stock.

Bharat Stage norms

  • BS emission standards were introduced in 2000 in line w/recommendations made by RA Mashelkar Committee.

  • Emission standards were set up by Govt. to regulate output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.

  • Diff. norms are brought into force in accordance w/timeline & standards set up by Central Pollution Control Board.

  • Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in its ‘The Auto Fuel Policy 2003’ had recommended implementing BS-VI norms by 2023 by compressing technology development time by one year.

World Wildlife Fund “Living Planet” report 2018

Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas prepared by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) released. Atlas was released as part of WWF’s biennial Living Planet Report (LPR) 2018.

Key aspect of report was threat to soil biodiversity & pollinators, 2 key drivers of biodiversity. 2 key drivers loss were due to over exploitation of natural resources & agriculture.

Highlights of report

  • Soil Biodiversity: It encompasses presence of micro-organisms, micro-fauna-nematodes & tardigrades & macro-fauna -ants, termites & earthworms

  • WWF’s ‘risk index’ for globe: Indicated threats from loss of above-ground diversity, pollution & nutrient over-loading, over-grazing, intensive agriculture, fire, soil erosion, desertification & climate change.

  • India was coloured red on atlas & is among countries whose soil biodiversity faces highest level of risk. Other countries - Pakistan, China, Africa, Europe, North America.

  • India’s per capita ecological footprint: It was less than 1.75 ha/person. India’s high population made it vulnerable to ecological crisis, even if per-capita consumption remained at current levels.

  • Pollinators: 150 million bee colonies were needed to meet pollination requirements of about 50 million hectares of agricultural land in India, only 1.2 million colonies were present.

  • Ecological loss: Population of fish, mammals, birds, amphibians & reptiles has dwindled by average of 60 % from 1970 to 2014 & fresh-water species have declined by 83 % in same period. Globally, extent of wetlands was estimated to have declined by 87 % since 1970.

  • Cloudy forecast: on climate change

  • Conference of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bangkok was to draft rulebook for Paris Agreement ahead of crucial international conference in Poland, ran into predictable difficulties over issue of raising funds to help poorer nations.

  • Some developed countries led by U. S. has rejected agreement & are unwilling to commit to sound rules on raising climate finance.

  • Emissions done by Developed Countries:

  • Those emissions raised living standards for their citizens but contributed heavily to the accumulated carbon dioxide burden, now measured at about 410 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, up from 280 ppm before the industrial revolution.

  • If scientific estimates are correct, damage done to West Antarctic Ice Sheet is set to raise sea levels; a 2 rise will destabilise Greenland Ice Sheet.

  • Failed agriculture in populous countries will drive more mass migrations of people, creating conflict.

  • India and China: should take Leadership Role:

  • There is international pressure on China & India to cut GHG emissions. Both countries have committed themselves to a cleaner growth path.

  • India estimates that GHG emissions intensity of its GDP has declined by 12 % for 2005 - 2010.

  • China & India have responsibility of climate leadership in developing world & have to green their growth.

‘Carbon taxes key in climate fight’

  • Fighting global warming will necessarily require taxing carbon emissions, or setting price on carbon pollution.

  • Shadow price for carbon is a method of calculating a price per tonne of carbon that Includes social costs of pollution.

  • At least 46 countries & 26 sub-national governments have established a carbon pricing policy as of 1st April.

Carbon Pricing

  • Carbon pricing includes a range of tools that help us drive decarbonisation in fair way, providing financial incentives to transition to low-carbon alternatives.

  • Carbon pricing acknowledges costs to society that carbon emissions create in form of climate change, air pollution & other adverse effects.

  • Govt. implement carbon pricing in 2 key ways - thru carbon taxes or thru cap-and-trade or emissions trading systems.

Shadow Price

  • Internal or shadow price on carbon creates theoretical or assumed cost per ton of carbon emissions.

  • It is used to understand potential impact of external carbon pricing on profitability of project, new business model or investment.

  • When emissions bear cost in profit-and-loss statements, it helps to uncover inefficiencies & incentivize low carbon innovation within departments, cutting a company´s energy use & carbon pollution.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 10, 2019


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