Efforts to lay down fuel standards fail to move government body (Re-issue)

September 12th, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Sept.12 (ANI): As the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) continues to dither in making concrete move towards getting mandatory fuel efficiency standards for India, Greenpeace “climate cops doubling up as postmen, today delivered 22,000 petitions signed by car owners and citizens across India to the Director General of BEE, Dr. Ajay Mathur, demanding mandatory fuel efficiency standards from the efficiency watchdog. Dr. Mathur received these petitions but was non-committal on the issue of implementing mandatory fuel standards. When quizzed by media, he batted for a voluntary norm as opposed to mandatory measures that is the need of the hour, even though the national climate action plan treats this issue as priority in its mission statements, “For the BEE, the writing on the wall is loud and clear: That India needs mandatory fuel efficiency standards, and needs them desperately,” said Brikesh Singh, Greenpeace climate campaigner. Brikesh Singh said:”The Director General of the BEE seems to have his priorities wrong. Dr Mathur again showed that the millions affected by climate change are not his priority.” A mandatory fuel economy standard will not only ensure energy security but will be an effective weapon to fight climate change that is the biggest threat to humanity. Responding to Greenpeace snap opinion poll conducted recently by its climate patrol team, 22,000 car owners and citizens from 14 cities across India have affirmed the need for a fuel efficiency law for the automobile industry, as envisaged in the National Climate Action Plan to combat climate change. The BEE has been working on this for nearly a year. However, no one has any idea whether the fuel economy legislation will be mandatory unlike the labeling process which is clearly mandatory. National climate Action Plan released by the Prime Minister of India and the integrated energy policy has taken long time to be implemented. It s clear that voluntary measures do not stand up to the need of the hour. Voluntary labeling does not drive out inefficient products being sold in the market. For example, energy inefficient ”two star” refrigerators and air-conditioners are still available in the market. Greenpeace feels in the absence of any effective intervention from the BEE, automobile makers and their association continue to be engaged in green-washing, as is evident from the a recent brochure released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Greenpeace demands that the BEE, being the nodal implementing agency, should come out, with mandatory provisions and put the onus squarely on auto manufacturers to deploy appropriate technology to reduce CO2 emissions drastically. Vehicular fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions regulation is in practice in different countries including in the EU, China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Why should India lag behind? “When the world is pulling up its socks to set ambitious targets and is working diligently to cut CO2 emissions, the BEE should exercise the power and authority mandated by the Constitution of India and enforce mandatory fuel standards in order to come out as a clear winner, ending all the ambiguity which has been floating in the air for some time now over which is the body that would announce the law,” said Singh. (ANI)

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