Prime Minister reconstitutes climate panel
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday reconstituted a high-level advisory group on climate change, days ahead of a crucial United Nations (UN) meet on global warming in Peru.
While the government retained The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) chairperson R.K. Pachauri, Nitin Desai and retired diplomat Chandrasekhar Dasgupta as the non-government members of the 18-member ‘Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change´, environmentalist and director-general of the Centre for Science and Environment Sunita Narain and industrialist Ratan Tata have been dropped. Both Tata and Narain were members of the high-level panel on climate change constituted by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2007. The advisory body had not met for the past three years.
Asked about Narain’s absence in the newly-constituted panel, environment ministry officials said there is a provision in the notification that the chairman can invite any other minister/officer/expert to any meeting of the committee depending upon the context of the meeting. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), had come under attack from various quarters over the IPCC’s 2007 report that said the glaciers in the Himalayas will disappear by 2035 due to global warming.
But the Teri head had maintained the mistake was “unfortunate”. Headed by Modi, the reconstituted council, tasked with evolving a coordinate national action for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change at national level, also saw increase in the ministerial strength with induction of urban development minister and coal minister as members. These ministries were not represented in the previous council.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, environment minister Prakash Javadekar, water resources minister Uma Bharati, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, science and technology minister Jitendra Singh and coal minister Piyush Goel are the members of the council.