COP13: Environmental Impact Assessment for power lines not needed, says India

The CMS secretariat had prepared both the resolutions based on inputs provided by its ETF and Scientific Council. Incidentally, India, which leads the International Solar Alliance, has ambitious targets of renewable energy generation.

Two days after India was given the Champion of Migratory Species award by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) for promoting “wildlife-friendly energy”, the country’s representatives clarified that environmental impact assessment (EIA) was not a requirement for power transmission lines and thus, differed from a draft resolution proposed by the global body.

A draft resolution moved by the CMS secretariat at the ongoing 13th Conference of Parties (COP13) at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, on Wednesday, proposed careful site selection and planning through EIAs for renewable energy development projects.

The draft resolution annexed to a document entitled Renewable Energy and Migratory Species urged Parties to “apply appropriate Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) and EIA procedures, when planning the use of renewable energy technologies, avoiding existing protected areas in the broadest sense and other sites of importance to migratory species”.

The CMS secretariat also moved another proposal entitled “Power Lines and Migratory Birds” calling for reconciliation between the need to develop renewable energy and power line infrastructures, and the imperatives of the conservation of migratory species.

Reacting to the resolution on power lines and migratory birds, Soumitra Dasgupta, Inspector General of Forests (Wildlife), clarified that power transmission line projects in the country do not require EIA and proposed an amendment in the resolution.

“India is generally in agreement with the introduction. But we would be very happy if modifications are made. The resolution generally appears to be an order. However, in India, environment impact assessment studies are not required for transmission projects,” Dasgupta told the meeting of the Committee of the Whole of the COP13.

The Indian Express
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