(The Gist of Kurukshetra) INDIA MAKES STRIDES TO TACKLE
INDIA MAKES STRIDES TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE
Facing the grave challenges of climate change, India has taken some definite
strides in two fields -the Swachh Bharat campaign and the pursuit of renewable
sources of energy, especially solar power. On both fronts, the country has been
quite successful and there has been commendable progress. In fact, toilets are
being built all over the country with government assistance with the objective
of making the country defecation free by the year 2019. The pace of activity in
the solar power sector has picked tremendously in the last two years due to
strong government support and increasing price competitiveness of solar power.
There is a hue and cry over natural resources of the earth being mindlessly
exploited globally, resulting in a poor state of their regeneration and causing
irreversible damage to the planet. Every year, the World Environment Day is
observed with great fanfare but in reality whatever is being done by most
countries is not sufficient to restrict global warming to save mother earth.
The report, prepared by German Watch and other organizations from across the
world, found climate change impacts had killed 2119 people in India during 2016,
a number higher than any other country. However, analysts believe that India’s
actual vulnerability may be even higher than assigned because the effects of
long-term climate impacts such as sea level rise which, in the country, affects
regions like the Sunderbans with a population of five million had not been
considered in assessing the climate risk. It estimated that India lost about $
21,500 million due to extreme weather events during 2016, the third highest
financial loss after those suffered by China and the US.
Estimates reveal that India needs over $1 trillion to meet its requirements
to counter climate change and would like to have a meaningful resolution of the
issue of long-term finance at the global climate negotiations. It is estimated
that India needed S 206 billion to support plans to curb emissions, $ 189
billion to execute national and state level climate action plans and S 134
billion for low carbon growth related mitigation.
All the above developments confirm that the so called modern civilization is
destroying the tropical forests, hastening land degradation and desertification,
destroying the environment, destroying livelihoods of poor farmers and turning
human lives into well trained slaves, specially in Third World countries,
including India. Moreover, a latest report of the Southern University of Science
& Technology in China has pointed out that even if global warming is limited to
2° C, as per the Paris Accord, around 25 per cent or even more of the total land
surface will become drier. And this includes land in all five climatic zones
-hyper arid, arid, semi arid, dry sub-humid and humid.
Gandhiji had the foresight to recognize the imminent danger threatening the
existence the Earth as a result of environmental destruction and violence and
references are found in his famous book, Hind Swaraj. He predicted “We all have
to die with it (modern civilization), if we do not act, that is, if we don’t do
In such a critical situation, India has taken some definite strides in two
fields -the Swachh Bharat campaign and the pursuit of renewable sources of
energy, specially solar power. On both fronts, the country has been quite
successful and there has been commendable progress. In fact, toilets are being
built all over the country with government assistance with the objective of
making the country defecation free by the year 2019. Certain sections believe
that this may take another year or so to achieve the objective and, within this
time frame, the habits of people are also expected to change“
The water resources secretary of U.P. confirmed that water quality of the
river has improved in terms of three parameters biochemical oxygen demand (BOD),
dissolved oxygen (D0) and coliforms which indicate the health of the river. The
DO levels have improved at 33 locations and BOD levels at 26 locations while
coliform bacteria count is reduced at 30 locations, while referring to water
quality monitoring data of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for 2015-17
As regards the power sector, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi wants to
raise renewable capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 from 45 gigawatts at present.
In addition to meeting its own energy targets, which Bloomberg New Energy
Finance estimates may cost $200 billion. India wants to emulate industrial
development in neighboring China, where solar manufacturing has created a
world-leading export industry.
Afforestation, desiltation of rivers and canals and replenishment of soil
with organic matter- will need maximum resources that now flow to power, large
industry and irrigation. The present trust on solar power and wind power are, no
doubt, steps in the right direction but this has been very late in the day. As
it is quite obvious, “afforestation can be successful only if for a few decades
the forests and freed from the pressure of firewood and dams and other
development do not replace these forests, causing extermination of wild life”.
This is the price we have to pay for the destruction we have carried out in the
name of development.
Finally, it need to be reiterated that at this juncture a civilization that
is ecologically balanced has to be the strategy of all countries, including
India. Humans have to learn to care about what happens to other species and
ecosystems that is, to treat nature as if it mattered. What is more important at
this juncture is that humans can no more longer treat the environment and other
species as mere objects but take care of them for their own well being.