Flavia Lopes is an environment journalist and researcher specialising in climate change, biodiversity, energy transition and allied topics. She writes at the intersection of environmental policies, scientific research, societal dynamics, socio-economic impacts, and the imperative of social justice.

Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Morning Context, IndiaSpend, The Wire, Article 14, among others. She has also been a fellow/ grantee with Pulitzer Centre, Clean Energy Wire, Earth Journalism Network, and Climate Tracker.

Currently, she is a German Chancellor’s Fellow with Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Germany. Her research delves into the  relationship between the low-carbon transition and its impact on women.


Clean energy’s dirty secret: the trail of waste left by India’s solar power boom

Under the scorching sun, a sea of solar panels gleams in the semi-arid landscape. Pavagada, 100 miles north of Bengaluru in southern India, is the world’s third-largest solar power plant, with 25m panels across a huge 50 sq km site, and a capacity of 2,050MW of clean energy.

India has 11 similarly vast solar parks, and plans to install another 39 across 12 states by 2026, a commitment to a greener future.

Yet this solar boom has a downside: the waste it generates from the panels, made of glass

Karnataka’s Pavagada Solar Park Fails Locals, India’s Renewable Energy Goals

The park, one of the world’s largest, has failed to transcend caste and gender barriers in bringing jobs and other economic benefits for the locals.

Back in 2015, Muthyallappa Venkatesh and his fellow villagers from Karnataka’s Vollur village received a lucrative offer. They could earn Rs 21,000 per acre every year in exchange for covering their land with solar panels. For a long time, Venkatesh had yearned for some kind of relief, working as an agricultural labourer in rich farmers’ lands for

Against The Sea: Rising Sea Levels In Ratnagiri Turn Farm Lands Into Mangrove Forests

Velas, Bhankot and Anjarle village (Ratnagiri): It is a rather ordinary morning in January. The waves nibble away at the western coast in Ratnagiri district. Much of the coast is armoured with sea walls.

There is a bustling jetty at a distance, with ships waiting to transport people to a town in the adjacent district of Raigad. There is also a bridge, that has been in the making for the last eight years, to connect Raigad district to Mandangad tehsil in Ratnagiri. But the part-finished struct

Loss And Damage: Could COP27 Discussions Help Those Affected By The Climate Crisis

Ake-gavhan (Palghar) and New Delhi: It had been drizzling all day on Wednesday, October 19. 30-year-old Suvarna Vikas Shingda from Palghar's Ake-gavhan village sat on the front porch of her hut. In one corner, harvested rice was stacked in piles, the cut sheaves covered with grains.

"We grow food for our stomach, we don't sell it for profit," Shingda, who belongs to the Warli Adivasi community, says. "Poor harvest means you rely on food from government ration shops or simply forget about one

Uttarakhand Natural Spring Revival Unites Women

Chamoli and Almora, Uttarakhand: Newlywed, she was asked to trek for an hour to the forest to worship the village spring. Now 60 years old, Kamala Devi has been digging trenches and percolation pits for the past couple of weeks to save that spring.

"I had to carry a ghagar (copper vessel) to the spring, fill it and get it back to distribute to the village elders," Kamala Devi, dressed in saree with a long-sleeved blouse and adorned in a multi-colour paranda or scarf, reminisced. Over 200 peo

Forest Rights Foster Self-Sustaining Villages In Maharashtra's Gondia

Gondia (Maharashtra): The setting sun painted the sky a ripe orange as Pawar Singh Hidme--a lean 45-year-old man from the tribal community of Gond, dressed in a plain shirt, khaki pants with a pink gamcha (scarf) around his neck--took us on a tour of his farm.

"Twelve different types of produce--lemon, jamun, chillies, onions, garlic, mango, papaya, rice, guava, lima beans, chickpea lentils and pigeon peas," Pawar Singh said, with evident pride. His farmland is surrounded by forest on three s

Defenders Of The Forest: How Forest Dwelling-Communities Of Gondia Are Regenerating Forests

Gondia (Maharashtra): It is a mid-February afternoon. Dhansingh Janglu Dugga, a lean, rugged 55-year-old gond adivasi, has come home from his daily wage job under the government's rural jobs scheme. There is a wedding in his village, Dhamditola, and the supervisor has given him the rest of the day off.

"It is off-season," Dugga said, explaining why he is doing work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for a meagre pay of Rs 200 per day. By mid-March, all

Exposed At Sea, Fishers Need Better Insurance To Manage Climate Risks

Mumbai: Rufino Possa, 52, a fisher from Uttan, a coastal village in north Mumbai, returned home on October 2, after 12 days at sea, four days more than he planned. The rough seas churned up by towards the end of September meant that he could not find any catch. "Each trip costs us more than Rs 1 lakh, we cannot afford to come back without any catch," he said.

Rufino Possa, 50, came back from the sea after 12 days. "Each trip costs us more than Rs 1 lakh, we cannot afford to come back without

Laws and Court Orders Say Delhi’s Ponds, Lakes Shouldn’t Disappear. They Do. – The Wire Science

A waterbody board has been fixed outside a pond that has been converted into a park, Shahbad Mohammadpur. Photo: Flavia Lopes

New Delhi: Shahbad Mohammadpur, a village located in Delhi close to its international airport, has two ponds, called johad by local residents. Outside one pond, a board says “Delhi Development Authority Waterbody”. But when you look beyond the board, there is a levelled surface where children play while some older people socialise on park benches. The other pond in the v

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