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Paradigms of global climate change and sustainable development: Issues and related policies


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Combating climate change is intimately linked with peace and resource equity. Therefore, critical link establishment between climate change and sustainable development is extremely relevant in global scenario. Following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the international sustainable development agenda was taken up by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD); the climate change agenda was carried forward by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). International and local climate change mitigation policies need to be assessed based on sustainability criteria. The increasing concern over climate change drives towards the search of solutions enabling to combat climate change into broader context of sustainable development. The core element of sustainable development is the integration of economic, social and environmental concerns in policy-making. Therefore, article also analyzes post-Kyoto climate change mitigation regimes and their impact on sustainable development. Wide range of post- Kyoto climate change mitigation architectures has different impact on different groups of countries. Nevertheless, there are several reasons for optimism that sustainable consumption patterns might develop. One is the diversity of current consumption patterns and the growing minority concerned with ethical consumption. Another is the growing understanding of innovation processes, developed to address technological change, but applicable to social innovation. A third reason is the growing reflexivity of communities and institutions.
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Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
Environmental and socio-economic impacts of global climate change:
An overview on mitigation approaches
Prabhat Kumar Rai1, Prashant Kumar Rai2
1Department of Forest Ecology, Biodiversity, and Environmental Sciences, School of Earth Sciences and Natural Resource
Management, Mizoram Central University, Gram MZU, Tanhril, Aizawl, 796009, India
2Law School, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
Received 17 March 2013; Accepted 7 May 2013; Published online 1 December 2013
Climate change is expected to bring about major change in freshwater availability, the productive capacity of
soils, and in patterns of human settlement. Likewise, climate change is intimately linked to human health either
directly or indirectly. However, considerable uncertainties exist with regard to the extent and geographical
distribution of these changes. Predicting scenarios for how climate-related environmental change may
influence human societies and political systems necessarily involves an even higher degree of uncertainty.
Societies have a long record of adapting to climate risks and, climate changes. Household asset portfolios and
livelihood choices are shaped by the need to manage climatic risks, especially in rural areas and for low-
income households. Likewise, disaggregated analysis revealed that demographic and environmental variables
have a very profound effect on the risk of civil conflict and hence peace. In nutshell, we can say that there may
be multifaceted impact of climate change in its totality. Further, different views, issues and mitigation
measures are discussed particularly in Indian scenario. In this direction, The “National Action Plan on Climate
Change” was set by Indian Prime Minister which encompasses a broad and extensive range of measures, and
focuses on eight missions, which will be pursued as key components of the strategy for sustainable
development. These include missions on solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat,
conserving water, sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem, creating a “Green India,” sustainable agriculture and,
finally, establishing a strategic knowledge platform for climate change. Finally, different steps/approaches
pertaining to green, eco-friendly and sustainable technology has been discussed in order to mitigate the impact
of global environmental damage originating from increased industrialization and hence appropriately address
this global disaster which is being the root cause of North-South debate and global environmental politics.
Keywords climate change; green house gases; Kyoto Protocol; civil conflict; sustainable; green technology.
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
1 Introduction
Global climate change is of prime concern at global scale in present era of science of technology (Zhang and
Liu, 2012). In the present era of Science and Technology, due to the rapid pace of industrialization and
urbanization, quantity of natural resources as well as quality of global environment has been altered seriously
(Rai, 2008a; Rai, 2008b; Rai and Tripathi, 2009). According to Environmental Protection Agency-USA, (US-
EPA), with increasing population, more and more countries are facing the problem of global environmental
change originating from large expansion of industrial sector. Hand in hand, population growth will cause a
rapid increase in number of industries preparing agro-chemical to sustain agriculture as well as will uplift the
industrial demand for resources.
Economic globalization constitutes integration of national economies into the international economy
through trade, direct foreign investment (by corporations and multinationals), short-term capital flows,
international flows of workers and humanity generally, and flows of technology: phenomena defined and
treated more fully below. Economic globalization is the favoured target of many of the critics of globalization.
It is distinct from other aspects of globalization, such as cultural globalization (which is affected by economic
globalization) and communications (which is among the factors that cause the deepening of economic
Aforesaid factors resulted in global environmental change. If the views of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) are an accurate gauge of world scientific opinion, then the majority of scientists
believe that anthropogenic global warming has either already begun or will become manifest in the very near
future, with average global temperatures predicted to rise by 1.5-4.5°C by the middle of next century (IPCC,
1990). Despite an incomplete understanding of the processes at work, there is considerable agreement that this
warming will be the result of increased releases and atmospheric accumulation, since the industrial revolution,
of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N20), methane (CH4) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) the primary
greenhouse gases (GHGs). Anticipation in some quarters of a host of negative consequences of such warming
has led to ever louder calls to initiate strong policy actions to curtail GHG emissions (Wirth and Lashof, 1990).
2 Climate Change and Its Impact
Recent evidence and predictions indicate that climate changes are accelerating and will lead to wide-ranging
shifts in climate variables. There will be changes in the mean and variance of rainfall and temperature, extreme
weather events, food and agriculture production and prices, water availability and access, nutrition and health
status. The most adverse impacts are predicted in the developing world because of geographic exposure,
reliance on climate sensitive sectors, low incomes, and weak adaptive capacity. Socio-economic impacts,
though generally not well understood, are likely to be profound and will impact humans through a variety of
direct and indirect pathways (Stern, 2006; IPCC, 2007; Cline, 2007; Tyler, 2010; Zhang and Liu, 2012).
Climate events can result in irreversible losses of human and physical capital and may cause poverty traps.
Environmental change as a cause of violent conflict has been a contentious issue in the security discourse
of the 1990s. While the concerns over the security implications of population growth and resource scarcity
goes back to the late 1960s, the issue has featured more prominently in the security debate after the end of the
Cold War.
The experience with managing current climatic variability does not bode well for what may happen as
climate changes increase climatic variability and climatic extremes. In many parts of Africa and elsewhere,
variability in rainfall and temperatures already cause variability in agricultural production and food security
(Molua, 2002). Studies of the costs to poor people of coping with the climate extremes of floods, droughts, and
storms make clear the enormous costs and difficulty and the limited success (Kates, 2000). Natural disasters
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
caused by climate extremes repeatedly wipe out the gains from development, destroying lives and livelihoods.
Famines, as pointed out by Sen (1981), are manmade disasters that result from climatic risks and human
failures to respond to the resulting declines in food production.
Observed responses to climate change are found across a wide range of systems as well as regions.
Changes related to regional warming have been documented primarily in terrestrial biological systems, the
cryosphere and hydrologic systems; significant changes related to warming have also been studied in coastal
processes, marine and freshwater biological systems, and agriculture and forestry (Matthews et al., 2011;
Wilby and Keenan, 2012). Climate change has adversely affected the hydrology of Indian river basins (Gosain
et al., 2006)
Climate change is intimately linked with human health (Ebi and Semenza, 2008; Gage et al., 2008; Hess et
al., 2008; Keim, 2008; Kinney, 2008). The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and
precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 150,000 lives
annually. Many prevalent human diseases are linked to climate fluctuations, from cardiovascular mortality and
respiratory illnesses due to heat waves, to altered transmission of infectious diseases and malnutrition from
crop failures.
The most vulnerable households are those with assets and livelihoods exposed and sensitive to climatic
risks and who have weak risk management capacity. While all households are exposed to risks associated with
climate change and could potentially be rendered vulnerable, the poorer households are the most at risk. This is
because their assets and livelihoods tend to be highly exposed and sensitive to the direct and indirect risks
associated with climate change, and because they lack access to formal and informal risk management
arrangements. People that depend on agriculture (especially rainfed), livestock, and fisheries would be at risk.
Within households, impacts will sometimes fall disproportionately on vulnerable individuals such as children,
women, elderly, and disabled. Improved management of climatic variability becomes all the more important as
climate changes lower the returns to assets and livelihoods and increases volatility.
Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the temperature increase since
the mid-twentieth century is "very likely" due to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations
(Table 1). Singh (2005) also discussed the impact of climate change by mentioning the report of Oslo situated
Centre for International and Environmental Research (Rahish Singh, 2005).
Natural phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes probably had a small warming effect from pre-
industrial times to 1950 and a small cooling effect from 1950 onward. These basic conclusions have been
endorsed by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of
science of the major industrialized countries. While individual scientists have voiced disagreement with these
findings, the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate change agree with the IPCC's main
Societies have a long record of adapting to climate risks and, climate changes. Household asset portfolios
and livelihood choices are shaped by the need to manage climatic risks, especially in rural areas and for low-
income households. Even so, climate events continue to bring devastation.
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
Table 1 Annual green house gas emission by sector.
Sector GHG gases
(%) CO2
Power Stations 21.3 29.5 -
Industrial Processes 16.8 20.6 -
Transportation fuels 14.4 19.2 -
Agricultural bi-products 12.5 - 40
Fossil fuel retrieval, processing and distribution 11.3 8.4 29.6
Residential, commercial and other sources 10.3 12.9 4.8
Land use and bio-mass burning 10.0 9.4 6.6
Waste disposal and treatment 3.4 - 18.1
Source: IPCC Report.
Climate model projections indicate that global surface temperature will likely rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C
(2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the twenty-first century. The uncertainty in this estimate arises from use of differing
estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions and from use of models with differing climate sensitivity.
Another uncertainty is how warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe.
Although most studies focus on the period up to 2100, warming is expected to continue for more than a
thousand years even if greenhouse gas levels are stabilized. This results from the large heat capacity of the
Increasing global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of
precipitation, likely including an expanse of the subtropical desert regions. Other likely effects include
increases in the intensity of extreme weather events, changes in agricultural yields, modifications of trade
routes, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.
3 Regulation of Global Environmental Change
3.1 The politics of climate change and the Kyoto Protocol
Most national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas
emissions. Political and public debate continues regarding what, if any, action should be taken to reduce or
reverse future warming or to adapt to its expected consequences.
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC or FCCC), an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, from 3–14 June 1992. The treaty is intended to achieve "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations
in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."
The Kyoto Protocol establishes legally binding commitments for the reduction of four greenhouse gases
(carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride), and two groups of gases (hydro-fluorocarbons
and perfluoro-carbons) produced by "Annex I" (industrialized) nations, as well as general commitments for all
member countries. As of 2008, 183 parties have ratified the protocol, which was initially adopted for use on
11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and which entered into force on 16 February 2005. Under Kyoto,
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
industrialized countries agreed to reduce their collective GHG emissions by 5.2% compared to the year 1990.
National limitations range from 8% reductions for the European Union and some others to 7% for the United
States, 6% for Japan, and 0% for Russia. The treaty permitted GHG emission increases of 8% for Australia and
10% for Iceland (Nature reports climate change, 2007).
Kyoto includes defined "flexible mechanisms" such as Emissions Trading, the Clean Development
Mechanism and Joint Implementation to allow Annex I economies to meet their greenhouse gas (GHG)
emission limitations by purchasing GHG emission reductions credits from elsewhere, through financial
exchanges, projects that reduce emissions in non-Annex I economies, from other Annex I countries, or from
Annex I countries with excess allowances. In practice this means that Non-Annex I economies have no GHG
emission restrictions, but have financial incentives to develop GHG emission reduction projects to receive
"carbon credits" that can then be sold to Annex I buyers, encouraging sustainable development. In addition, the
flexible mechanisms allow Annex I nations with efficient, low GHG-emitting industries, and high prevailing
environmental standards to purchase carbon credits on the world market instead of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions domestically. Annex I entities typically will want to acquire carbon credits as cheaply as possible,
while Non-Annex I entities want to maximize the value of carbon credits generated from their domestic
Greenhouse Gas Projects.
Among the Annex I signatories, all nations have established Designated National Authorities to manage
their greenhouse gas portfolios; countries including Japan, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, France,
Spain and others are actively promoting government carbon funds, supporting multilateral carbon funds intent
on purchasing Carbon Credits from Non-Annex I countries, and are working closely with their major utility,
energy, oil and gas and chemicals conglomerates to acquire Greenhouse Gas Certificates as cheaply as possible.
Virtually all of the non-Annex I countries have also established Designated National Authorities to manage the
Kyoto process, specifically the "CDM process" that determines which GHG Projects they wish to propose for
accreditation by the CDM Executive Board.
3.2 Objectives of protocol
Kyoto is intended to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases. The objective is to achieve "stabilization of
greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system."
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted an average global rise in
temperature of 1.4°C (2.5°F) to 5.8°C (10.4°F) between 1990 and 2100.
Proponents also note that Kyoto is a first step as requirements to meet the UNFCCC will be modified until
the objective is met, as required by UNFCCC Article 4.2(d).
The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, opened for signature on 16 March 1998, and
closed on 15 March 1999. The agreement came into force on 16 February 2005 following ratification by
Russia on 18 November 2004. As of May 2008, a total of 181 countries and 1 regional economic integration
organization (the EEC) have ratified the agreement (representing over 61.6% of emissions from Annex I
According to article 25 of the protocol, it enters into force "on the ninetieth day after the date on which not
less than 55 Parties to the Convention, incorporating Parties included in Annex I which accounted in total for
at least 55% of the total carbon dioxide emissions for 1990 of the Parties included in Annex I, have deposited
their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession." Of the two conditions, the "55 parties"
clause was reached on 23 May 2002 when Iceland ratified. The ratification by Russia on 18 November 2004
satisfied the "55%" clause and brought the treaty into force, effective 16 February 2005. Australian Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd ratified the Kyoto protocol on 3 December 2007. This came into effect after 90 days (the
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
end of March 2008), as is stated in the guidelines set by the United Nations.
The five principal concepts of the Kyoto Protocol are as follows:
Commitments: The heart of the Protocol lies in establishing commitments for the reduction of
greenhouse gases that are legally binding for Annex I countries, as well as general commitments for all
member countries.
Implementation: In order to meet the objectives of the Protocol, Annex I countries are required to
prepare policies and measures for the reduction of greenhouse gases in their respective countries. In addition,
they are required to increase the absorption of these gases and utilize all mechanisms available, such as joint
implementation, the clean development mechanism and emissions trading, in order to be rewarded with credits
that would allow more greenhouse gas emissions at home.
Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change.
Accounting, Reporting and Review in order to ensure the integrity of the Protocol.
Compliance. Establishing a Compliance Committee to enforce compliance with the commitments
under the Protocol.
3.3 Common but differentiated responsibility
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to a set of a "common but
differentiated responsibilities." The parties agreed that:
1. The largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in
developed countries;
2. Per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low, and
3. The share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and
development needs.
In other words, China, India, and other developing countries were not included in any numerical limitation
of the Kyoto Protocol because they were not the main contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions during the
pre-treaty industrialization period. However, even without the commitment to reduce according to the Kyoto
target, developing countries do share the common responsibility that all countries have in reducing emissions.
There will be a mechanism of "compliance", which means a "monitoring compliance with the commitments
and penalties for non compliance."
3.4 Financial commitments
The Protocol also reaffirms the principle that developed countries have to pay billions of dollars, and supply
technology to other countries for climate-related studies and projects. This was originally agreed in the
3.5 Emissions trading
Kyoto is a 'cap and trade' system that imposes national caps on the emissions of Annex I countries. On average,
this cap requires countries to reduce their emissions 5.2% below their 1990 baseline over the 2008 to 2012
period. Although these caps are national-level commitments, in practice most countries will devolve their
emissions targets to individual industrial entities, such as a power plant or paper factory. One example of a 'cap
and trade' system is the 'EU ETS'. Other schemes may follow suit in time.
This means that the ultimate buyers of credits are often individual companies that expect their emissions to
exceed their quota (their Assigned Allocation Units, AAUs or 'allowances' for short). Typically, they will
purchase credits directly from another party with excess allowances, from a broker, from a JI/CDM developer,
or on an exchange.
National governments, some of whom may not have devolved responsibility for meeting Kyoto obligations
to industry, and that have a net deficit of allowances, will buy credits for their own account, mainly from
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
JI/CDM developers. These deals are occasionally done directly through a national fund or agency, as in the
case of the Dutch government's ERUPT programme, or via collective funds such as the World Bank’s
Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF). The PCF, for example, represents a consortium of six governments and 17
major utility and energy companies on whose behalf it purchases credits.
Since allowances and carbon credits are tradable instruments with a transparent price, financial investors
can buy them on the spot market for speculation purposes, or link them to futures contracts. A high volume of
trading in this secondary market helps price discovery and liquidity, and in this way helps to keep down costs
and set a clear price signal in CO2 which helps businesses to plan investments. This market has grown
substantially, with banks, brokers, funds, arbitrageurs and private traders now participating in a market valued
at about $60 billion in 2007. Emissions Trading PLC, for example, was floated on the London Stock
Exchange's AIM market in 2005 with the specific remit of investing in emissions instruments.
Although Kyoto created a framework and a set of rules for a global carbon market, there are in practice
several distinct schemes or markets in operation today, with varying degrees of linkages among them.
Kyoto enables a group of several Annex I countries to join together to create a market-within-a-market. The
EU elected to be treated as such a group, and created the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The EU ETS
uses EAUs (EU Allowance Units), each equivalent to a Kyoto AAU. The scheme went into operation on 1
January 2005, although a forward market has existed since 2003.
The UK established its own learning-by-doing voluntary scheme, the UK ETS, which ran from 2002
through 2006. This market existed alongside the EU's scheme, and participants in the UK scheme have the
option of applying to opt out of the first phase of the EU ETS, which lasts through 2007.
The sources of Kyoto credits are the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI)
projects. The CDM allows the creation of new carbon credits by developing emission reduction projects in
Non-Annex I countries, while JI allows project-specific credits to be converted from existing credits within
Annex I countries. CDM projects produce Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), and JI projects produce
Emission Reduction Units (ERUs), each equivalent to one AAU. Kyoto CERs are also accepted for meeting
EU ETS obligations and ERUs will become similarly valid from 2008 for meeting ETS obligations (although
individual countries may choose to limit the number and source of CER/JIs they will allow for compliance
purposes starting from 2008). CERs/ERUs are overwhelmingly bought from project developers by funds or
individual entities, rather than being exchange-traded like allowances.
Since the creation of Kyoto instruments is subject to a lengthy process of registration and certification by
the UNFCCC, and the projects themselves require several years to develop, this market is at this point largely
a forward market where purchases are made at a discount to their equivalent currency, the EUA, and are
almost always subject to certification and delivery (although up-front payments are sometimes made).
According to IETA, the market value of CDM/JI credits transacted in 2004 was EUR 245 m; it is estimated
that more than EUR 620 m worth of credits were transacted in 2005.
Several non-Kyoto carbon markets are in existence or being planned, and these are likely to grow in
importance and numbers in the coming years. These include the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement
Scheme, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Western Climate Initiative in the United States, the
Chicago Climate Exchange and the State of California’s recent initiative to reduce emissions.
These initiatives, taken together may create a series of partly-linked markets, rather than a single carbon
market. The common theme across most of them is the adoption of market-based mechanisms centered on
carbon credits that represent a reduction of CO2 emissions. The fact that some of these initiatives have similar
approaches to certifying their credits make it conceivable that carbon credits in one market may in the long run
be tradeable in other schemes. This would broaden the current carbon market far more than the current focus
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
on the CDM/JI and EU ETS domains. An obvious precondition, however, is a realignment of penalties and
fines to similar levels, since these create an effective ceiling for each market.
3.6 Revisions
The protocol left several issues opens to be decided later by the sixth Conference of Parties (COP). COP6
attempted to resolve these issues at its meeting in the Hague in late 2000, but was unable to reach an
agreement due to disputes between the European Union on the one hand (which favoured a tougher agreement)
and the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia on the other (which wanted the agreement to be less
demanding and more flexible).
In 2001, a continuation of the previous meeting (COP6bis) was held in Bonn where the required decisions
were adopted. After some concessions, the supporters of the protocol (led by the European Union) managed to
get Japan and Russia in as well by allowing more use of carbon dioxide sinks.
COP7 was held from 29 October 2001 through 9 November 2001 in Marrakech to establish the final details
of the protocol.
The first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP1) was held in Montreal from 28 November to
9 December 2005, along with the 11th conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP11). See United Nations
Climate Change Conference.
The 3 December 2007, Australia ratified the protocol during the first day of the COP13 in Bali.
Of the signatories, 36 developed C.G. countries (plus the EU as a party in the European Union)agreed to a
10% emissions increase for Iceland; but, since the EU's member states each have individual obligations, much
larger increases (up to 27%) are allowed for some of the less developed EU countries (see below #Increase in
greenhouse gas emission since 1990). Reduction limitations expire in 2013.
3.7 Enforcement
If the Enforcement Branch determines that an Annex I country is not in compliance with its emissions
limitation, then that country is required to make up the difference plus an additional 30%. In addition, that
country will be suspended from making transfers under an emissions trading program.
4 Issues & Mitigating Steps of Climate Change: Indian Perspective on Legal as well as Related Polities
‘More and more people now believe climate change to be a result of human activities’
Global warming and climate change are the most written-about topics in the journals, newspapers and
magazines in the last few years. It paved the way to researches to mitigate the impact of global climate change
worldwide (Desai, 2012; Zhang and Liu, 2012). The importance of this phenomenon was highlighted when
Nobel Prize for peace was awarded jointly to Al Gore and R K Pachauri, Chairman of the Inter Governmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the year 2007. In Indian scenario, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan
Singh, and leaders of four other emerging economies, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, took the
offensive in the debate on climate change asking the developed world first to make significant cuts in
greenhouse gas emissions (K. Venugopal , 2007).
Recently, in India, Dr. Manmohan Singh unveiled action plan on climate change i.e. ‘National Action Plan
on Climate Change’ here, ahead of the G-8 Summit to be held in Japan. The National Action Plan
encompasses a broad and extensive range of measures, and focuses on eight missions, which will be pursued
as key components of the strategy for sustainable development. These include missions on solar energy,
enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, conserving water, sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem,
creating a “Green India,” sustainable agriculture and, finally, establishing a strategic knowledge platform for
climate change.
The mission for sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem will include measures for sustaining and safeguarding
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
the Himalayan glacier and mountain ecosystem as it is the source of key perennial rivers. The Green India
mission will enhance ecosystem services including carbon sinks, to be called Green India. The sustainable
agriculture mission intends making agriculture more resilient to climate change by identifying and developing
new varieties of crops that are thermal-resistant and capable of withstanding extreme weather.
The mission on strategic knowledge will identify challenges and develop responses to climate change. The
solar mission will be launched to significantly increase the share of solar power in the total energy mix while
recognising the need for expanding the scope of other renewable and non-fossil options such as nuclear energy,
wind energy and biomass.
Under the national mission for enhanced energy efficiency, four new initiatives including a market-based
mechanism to improve the cost-effectiveness of improvements will be put in place. With solid waste proving a
major challenge, the action plan stresses recycling material and urban waste management, and developing
technology to produce power from waste. The mission on sustainable habitats will include a major research
and development programme, focussing on biochemical conversion, waste water use, sewage utilisation and
recycling options wherever possible. The water mission will develop a framework to optimise water use
through regulatory mechanisms.
Dr. Singh said further that “India is prepared to play its role as a responsible member of the international
community and make its own contribution. We are already doing so in the multilateral negotiations taking
place under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the outcome we
are looking for must be effective, fair and equitable,”. Further, he added that every citizen on the planet must
have an equal share of the planetary atmospheric space. Long-term convergence of per capita emission was,
therefore, the only equitable basis for a global compact on climate change. Pointing out the need for rapid
economic growth to overcome widespread poverty in the country, the Prime Minister said ecologically
sustainable development need not be at odds with achieving the growth objectives. “In fact, we must have a
broader perspective on development. It must include the quality of life, not merely the quantitative accretion of
goods and services but a better standard of living.” (Aarti Dhar, The Hindu, 2008).
Before this India has criticised the U.S. for voicing concerns over the provisions of the deal fixing a 2009
deadline for signing a new treaty to tackle global warming. Science and Technology Minister and leader of the
Indian delegation to the Bali conference on climate change, Kapil Sibal, made this known to The Hindu (17
December 2007).
Similarly, Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz recently called for immediate action to make a
realistic assessment of climate change on water resources. “The effect of climate change on water is bound to
have an impact on agriculture, ecology, as well as on health-related issues”, he said while addressing “Kshitij
2008,” an annual techno-management festival organised at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
5 There Are Different Reports on Impact of Climate Change in India
Rising temperature is changing the climate and the lives of the people in the villages of Tehri Garhwal (Dionne
Bunsha, 2007, Frontline). In Jardhargaon, a village on the slopes of the Tehri Garhwal Himalayas (1,500
metres), the rising temperatures are changing the climate and the lives of people who live off the land.
6 Class Injustice in Climate Change Policies
R. Ramachandran added that “Rich Indians are eating into the carbon space the poor need for economic growth,
and recent national policies have helped such disparities grow”.
“Hiding behind the Poor”, a recent report by Greenpeace India, provides a quantitative perspective to this
internal “climate injustice”. Even such a quantitative perspective is not new. In 1997, N.S. Murthy and
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
associates from the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai, highlighted the high
degree of distortion in energy consumption prevalent in the country. Using 1989-90 data, they showed that the
richest top 10 per cent of urban people emitted 12 times as much carbon a person a year as the bottom poor.
They showed that the extreme disparity ratio (EDR), defined as the ratio of the energy (direct and indirect)
consumed by the urban top and the rural bottom, was 10.3 for coal, 14.8 for oil and 9.0 for electricity and 12 in
terms of the total carbon equivalent. The Greenpeace report only serves as a reminder – if one was required –
that it is high time the government put in place appropriate policy measures to reverse this trend, which has
been allowed to continue unbridled.
7 Strategies to Combat Global Environmental Change
The “Bali Road Map” for the future fight against climate change in the period after 2012, when the first
commitment period of the Kyoto protocol ends, has an agenda for the developing countries also to adapt to the
impact of climate change. As has been rightly emphasised by environmentalist Mr R.K. Pachauri, who heads
the Nobel Prize-winning Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, India has to gear itself for a path of
development that is sustainable and get ready for a low-carbon society. Developing countries, seeing the
writing on the wall, have agreed to take action to mitigate climate change, though they have not been mandated
to do so under the UN Framework convention on climate change. India, which has played a major role through
an amendment for the road-map, has the added responsibility to ensure that it emerges a winner in a scenario
of low-carbon society through innovative strategy for energy alternatives.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is an accepted goal with a definite commitment from industrialised
countries to cut the emissions by 5 per cent below 1990 levels. Attempts are afoot to replace the fossil fuels in
the transport sector, which is considered to be a major culprit in this regard.
Hydrogen as an energy source has found favour with many countries, ostensibly for the advantages it
It is environmentally clean, particularly in transport applications, as it does not release greenhouse gases at
the end-use. Transition to hydrogen economy is much easier, as production is possible through a variety of
processes such as thermal, photolysis, biochemical routes to name only a few. It can be stored in all the three
states of matter, namely gas, liquid and solid. Its distribution is also easily possible.
Developing countries are normally taken in by the euphoria generated by the industrialised West and try to
imitate the technology adopted by them unmindful of the differing conditions and environment. There is also a
tendency to accept their conclusions without subjecting them to rigorous proof. There is a belief that hydrogen
being the most abundant element in the nature should be exploited and transition to hydrogen-based fuel cell as
the west, could be a solution for sustainable energy economy even for countries such as India. The proponents
overlook the fact that even after three decades of research (the hydrogen movement started in 1974), the
hydrogen option has not made the kind of impact that was expected to. For a secured energy future we have to
look for a new energy source.
It is also important to note that production, packaging, storage, transfer and delivery of hydrogen are
energy guzzlers. Is there an alternative to hydrogen economy?
Hydrogen or methanol as alternative energy source to mitigate climate change concerns has not made the
impact expected and with the rising energy demand, it is vital to find cost-effective options. Methanol
alternative recent developments in this regard point to the emergence of a methanol economy. Prof George A
Olah, a Nobel laureate, proposed this concept as an alternative in 2005. The supporters of methanol economy
claim that methanol can be directly used as a fuel and can be produced in a greenhouse-neutral process.
Methanol which has higher hydrogen content per litre than liquid hydrogen can be blended with gasoline.
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
Yet another positive aspect is that methanol can be distributed through the existing gasoline infrastructure.
In a country such as India where even switchover to LNG for vehicles is beset with numerous distribution
problems, the cost of infrastructure required for hydrogen distribution will be prohibitively high and cannot be
Methanol too has its limitations. Synthesis of methanol is not a clean process and requires carbon
monoxide and hydrogen which are presently produced from fossil fuels. Methanol’s corrosive action on some
metals can have adverse effects. It can even cause contamination to the groundwater.
A road map for energy conversion no doubt has to take into account energy efficiency and environmental
impact, more so because of the global awareness on the impact of climate change.
But any changeover should not only be easy to implement, but also capable of being sustained over a
period by the economy.
We are in a market economy driven by profit motive and expensive energy options are likely to be
discarded in favour of better ones.
As the demand for fuel from the expanding transport sector, is likely to shoot up with the projected 9-10
per cent growth of the economy, there is an imperative need to look for better alternatives which can be
smoothly implemented.
A roadmap for the introduction of the most appropriate alternative based on a critical and careful analysis
is a must and thus a priority research area for the country (Vijayalakshmi Viswanathan, 2007, Business Line).
Further, B S Bhavanishankar, 2007 in The Hindu mentioned that: “India must put in place water management
plans to counter climate change”.
Sewerage generation from habitation in rural as well as urban areas should be reduced to the least by
adopting zero water toilets for which technologies are available. Wastage of water must be prevented at all cost
at both individual and community level. There must also be ways of recycling waste water. Efficiency in
agriculture (which uses nearly 80 per cent of water for irrigation), that is currently at 30 per cent, should be
gradually increased to 60 per cent, so that a large amount of water could be made available for municipal and
industrial requirements. Water literacy should be introduced at primary and university levels to create
awareness about water conservation. Integrated water resource management should be adopted in right earnest
at all levels in various sectors where water is used. This should be done by all stake holders, including the
governments and corporate agencies. These measures coupled with the measures taken by countries around
the world to counter climate change, that involves all the stakeholders, are important to ensure sustainability of
water and are necessary to take on the challenges posed by climate change.
Appropriate change in policies and practices relevant to electricity industry alone can go a long way in
reducing the total GHG emission of the country. What is required is a paradigm shift in our energy policy
(Shankar Sharma).
Further, climate change originating from rapid industrialization and globalization is a matter of serious
concern. The member of British Antarctic Survey Dr. John Turner mentioned in his research paper that
temperature of Antarctica is increasing day by day which is an alarming signal for global climate and
environment (Anonymous, 2006).
N. Gopal Raj (2007) alarmed that melting of glaciers which feed important rivers such as the Ganga, the
Indus, and the Brahmaputra that provide water for millions of people as well as for irrigation and industry. The
accelerated melting of these glaciers are experiencing as a result of the earth’s warming will have profound
effect on future water availability. A sharp rise in sea level could have a considerable impact as about a quarter
of the population lives within 50 km of the coastline. Further, balancing greenhouse gas emissions and
economic growth is another worry. Similarly, changes in temperature and rainfall associated with global
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
warming could result in about 80% of the existing forests in the country undergoing a change in the vegetation
type, according to R. Sukumar, an environmental Scientist at Indian Institute of Science. Such changes were
bound to have a very significant impact on the forests and wildlife they supported (N. Gopal Raj, 2007).
Similarly, coral reefs which are considered to be the rain forests of oceans and ecologically play an
important role have declined particularly one recent report in Science stated that there was a 14% drop in coral
growth of Great Barrier Reef from 1990-2005 due to effect of global warming (R. Prasad 2009. The Hindu dt.
William D. Dar, President of ICRISAT, Andhra Pradesh emphasized that a combined effort to deal with
climate uncertainty, land degradation and water scarcity is needed. Further, he emphasized that dry-land
farmers will be severely affected with the process of climate change. Similarly, in its recent report entitled
“Climate Change and Food Security in Pacific Island Countries” Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
reported that climate change may threaten the food security (The Hindu dt. 2-12-08)
Based on scale, magnitude, and irreversible, global climate change constitutes a critical security issue.
There is a need for action by all and a need for action now. Delay in acting on climate change now will mean
that the costs of addressing it later, according to stern report, will be significantly greater. The technical
challenges will also mount with growing complexity. An intermediate grouping between the G8 and the U.N.,
which includes China and India, is best suited to deal with the challenges of climate change and energy
security (Thakur and Bradford, 2007).
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) made an alarming note that climate
change will impact India more due to heavy dependence on fossil fuel and it will cause severe health hazards
particularly more spread of vector borne diseases as well as shortage of fresh water will aggravate. UNIDO
also predicted that green house emission will soar if India sustains 8% growth rate (The Hindu: Climate
change will imact India more says UNIDO dt. 4-09-08).
Prior to this India should maintain sustainability in energy, industrial and environmental law sector to
address the challenge of industrialization, urbanization and climate change.
Srinivasan (2007), who is former chairman and presently a member of Atomic Energy Commission,
mentioned that there are many initiatives that India can take to reduce carbon emission without sacrificing its
priority of economic development.
1. All new coal generators should use super-critical boilers in the size range of about 800 MW, which can
achieve an efficiency of about 40%.
2. A further gain in efficiency is possible when the integrated coal gasification technology is available.
3. India should collaborate with foreign countries in removal of carbon dioxide (carbon sequestration) from the
flue gases of coal power station.
4. India must give maximum emphasis to developing the still fairly large untapped hydrogen potential in the
north-west, north and north east.
5. Avery important non-carbon energy is nuclear power which can be given more emphasis. Indo-US nuclear
deal may be an important step in this regard.
6. Solar energy in India provides immense option as energy source which should be given emphasis. R.K.
Pachauri, (2008) also gave impetus that India can emerge as a leader in solar energy within the next 10 years
and show the world a way out of global warming.
7. Energy efficiency will have to be achieved in Industry, transport, domestic appliances and agriculture. CFL
and other electric appliances should be used by the society.
8. India must adopt, as a matter of deliberate choice, decentralised and regional development, which would
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
minimise long distance transport of food articles, consumer goods, minerals, and industry items.
9. Responsible lifestyle of society is extremely essential.
10. Environmental Impact Assessment: Judicial Activism
In the countries where the mandatory model EIA exists it is found that judicial review makes a significant
contribution in involving procedural standards and developing EIA as a strong weapons in maintaining the
balance between development and environmental.
Better strategy and curriculum preparation or Environmental Impact Assessment is a weapon which can be
followed in the state of Orissa. This Environmental Impact Assessment should reach to the remote area where
we can make them aware of EIA system. Any proposed project by our Orissa Govt. or policies this EIA will
change the quality of environment. It is the duty of the State Board, other agencies and most important to the
political parties to see the EIA not to be misused but be handled properly. According to my opinion EIA is a
multi disciplinary process which involves resolution of disputes among conflicting and diverse interest in
society'. Therefore I appeal to the people of Orissa that please take proper care of EIA in order to function it
smoothly in the state of Orissa.
11. Environmental Education may play a pivotal role in environmental management because self-analysis is a
great way to learn. The Centre for Science and Environment’s green schools audit their consumption of water,
land, air, and energy. This appreciable step promises to instil mindfulness in human relations with nature.
12. Other developing countries should also ratify the Kyoto protocol.
Gupta emphasized the need of developed countries to ratify the Kyoto protocol because they are the prime
industrialized countries and hence contributing to global environmental change. USA and China are two top
ranker producers of green house gases. However, they have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
Kyoto protocol should be enforced effectively in order to have uniform regulation of industrial emission.
The world is on track to meet its Kyoto targets for green house gases. But unfortunately the drop has little to
do with climate policies (David Adam, The Hindu dt. 8-12-08). The Kyoto Protocol ends on 2012 and there is
an urgent need to decide on a new agreement in Copenhagen in 2012 for more effective emission control
policies (Mary Robinson et al. 2008 The Hindu dt. 11-12-08).
13. Although climate change is something which affects us all and which we need to address together inspite
of debate between developed and developing countries (Richard Stagg, Managing climate change The Hindu
dt. 12-3-08), however, India should stand tough on its stand for implementing environmental protection
policies in its own climatic conditions. Because costly pollution control devices operating in developed
countries may not be successful in India therefore, focus should be on indigenous technologies. There was
also a view that Kyoto has failed and we must rethink climate change policy because the global economy is not
decarbonising-it is carbonizing therefore, there must be a much larger commitment to fundamental energy
technology R&D (Gwyn Prins, The Hindu dt. 6-04-08). After tough time in Bali a paper published by Oxford
University, places India at the very bottom of the list of countries assessed to be morally responsible for
climate change supported the India’s stand (Promode Kant, 2007).
Very recently (Special Correspondent, The Hindu dt. 21-10-08), 193rd report of Parliamentary Standing
Committee on “Global Warming and its Impact on India” recommended inclusion of several measures such
as identification of key areas of energy technologies, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, setting up
technology missions to focus on development of cutting edge renewable technologies and attracting
investment. Further, the committee suggested the initiation of national research agenda on climate change to
address the impact of climate change and the setting up of a national institute on climate change to cater to the
concerns pertaining to climate change mitigation. Similarly, the committee felt that the Mass Rapid Transit
transport system should be introduced in major cities for integration of public transport services and
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
encouraging the use of energy efficient fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED).
14. Industries should also take initiatives in the direction of climate change however, the generally failed to
take concrete action. While a number of industries expect to contribute to mitigating their impact on climate
change, only few seem to be approaching it in a structured and measurable manner (V. Jayanth, 2008 The
Hindu dt. 10-08-08).
Industries should follow the B model (Closed Loop Model) instead of A (Open Loop Model) for
sustainable and healthy environment Fig. 1 (A & B).
Fig. 1 Model for industrial growth.
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
15. R.K. Pachauri, Nobel laureate and Chairman, I.P.C.C. emphasized that role of Youngsters to spread
climate change message while honouring the 60 Indian and 5 Srilankan youngsters (Smriti K. Ramchandran,
The Hindu dated 3-12-08).
16. Also media may play an important role to spread the message of climate change among wide masses of
people e.g. very successful film Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and the other film Age os Stupid which
attacks consumerism, exploitation and human tendency to ignore unpleasant realities (Priscilla Jebaraj, 2008.
Artists document disasters of climate change. The Hindu dt. 11-12-08).
17. One recent UN report emphasized that fighting global warming is a moral imperative and the urgency of
the global financial crisis is no excuse for global climate change (Ban Ki-moon et al. 2008: The Hindu dated
12-11-08). Further, Ban Ki-moon has observed that a well thought-out fiscal stimulus can address both the
problems through green growth. New President Of US Barack Obama promised of opening a “new chapter” in
country’s response to climate change has raised great hopes. At the recent UN Climate Change Conference in
Poland a great deal of attention was devoted to implementing a much-needed adaptation fund for vulnerable
countries (Anonymous 2008. Looking beyond Kyoto. The Hindu dt. 19-12-08).
18. Four Pillars of Environmental Management in Industries are:
Efficiency (Increase)
Resource use (Optimize)
Education (Awareness)
Cybernetics (Control)
Long term energy and resource security are increasingly becoming the focus of political and economic debate
worldwide. Conflicts over energy and water will shape the decades to come and an efficient use of resources
will become one of the dominant issues and an important strategy of green growth (Sigmar Gabriel 2008.
Strategies for green growth. The Hindu dt. 16-11-08).
Cybernetics (Communication and Control) includes
- Legal Provisions
Command and Control Legislation: Discussed already in detail in Chapter III
Market based Instruments (MBIs)
- Ethical Approach : Realizing the people’s responsibility to protect the environment.
19. Plant based technologies or phyto-technologies should be promoted e.g. green belt development for air &
vehicular pollution control (Phytoremediation technology).
These technologies are particularly effective in abatement of aquatic industrial pollution.
The figure comprises two broad categories of effluents. First category comprises effluents of thermal
power plants, acidic mine effluent (from energy intensive industrial region) and chlor-alkali effluent while,
second includes primarily treated municipal effluent. The first category of effluents is generally more intense
in relation to heavy metal pollution level particularly in comparison to primary/secondary treated municipal
effluent. Therefore, after harvesting of wetland macrophytes the only option for reuse lies in the production of
biogas. Due to high metal retention in biomass they cannot be used as bio-fertilizer or animal feed whereas, in
partially treated municipal effluent after bio-filtration of heavy metals from wetland plants provide an
additional reuse option in agriculture thus, aiding in water resource conservation. Also, like first category
biomass may be used for biogas production. Wetland plants like Azolla pinnata provide reuse opportunities as
a biofertilizer after metal release through mild chemical treatment thus assisting in eco-friendly agriculture.
The overall integrated process thus follows an eco-sustainable approach and provides an eco-technological
innovation (Fig. 2).
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
20. Adoption of Industrial Ecology Concept
Industrial ecology (IE) is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the sustainable combination of environment,
economy and technology. The central idea is the analogy between natural and socio-technical systems. The
word 'industrial' does not only refer to industrial complexes but more generally to how humans use natural
resources in the production of goods and services. Ecology refers to the concept that our industrial systems
should incorporate principles exhibited within natural ecosystems.
Industrial ecology is the shifting of industrial process from linear (open loop) systems, in which resource
and capital investments move through the system to become waste, to a closed loop system where wastes
become inputs for new processes.
Much of the research focuses on the following areas:
material and energy flow studies ("industrial metabolism")
dematerialization and decarbonization
technological change and the environment
life-cycle planning, design and assessment
design for the environment ("eco-design")
extended producer responsibility ("product stewardship")
eco-industrial parks ("industrial symbiosis")
product-oriented environmental policy
Industrial ecology proposes not to see industrial systems (for example a factory, an eco-region, or national
or global economy) as being separate from the biosphere, but to consider it as a particular case of an ecosystem
- but based on infrastructural capital rather than on natural capital. It is the idea that as natural systems do not
have waste in them, we should model our systems after natural ones if we want them to be sustainable.
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
Fig. 2 Model developed for treatment of industrial effluents, municipal wastewater and eco-sustainable utilization of biomass
using macrophytes (Source: Rai, 2008a; 2008b; 2008c; Rai and Tripathi, 2009).
Along with more general energy conservation and material conservation goals, and redefining commodity
markets and product stewardship relations strictly as a service economy, industrial ecology is one of the four
objectives of Natural Capitalism. This strategy discourages forms of amoral purchasing arising from ignorance
of what goes on at a distance and implies a political economy that values natural capital highly and relies on
more instructional capital to design and maintain each unique industrial ecology.
Industrial Ecology approaches problems with the hypothesis that by using similar principles as natural
systems, industrial systems can be improved to reduce their impact on the natural environment as well.
Moreover, life cycle thinking is also a very important principle in industrial ecology. It implies that all
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
environmental impacts caused by a product, system, or project during its life cycle are taken into account. In
this context life cycle includes
Raw material extraction
Material processing
The transport necessary between these stages is also taken into account as well as, if relevant, extra stages
such as reuse, remanufacture, and recycle. Adopting a life cycle approach is essential to avoid shifting
environmental impacts from one life cycle stage to another. This is commonly referred to as problem shifting.
For instance, during the re-design of a product, one can choose to reduce its weight, thereby decreasing use of
resources. However, it is possible that the lighter materials used in the new product will be more difficult to
dispose of. The environmental impacts of the product gained during the extraction phase are shifted to the
disposal phase. Overall environmental improvements are thus null.
A final and important principle of IE is its integrated approach or multidisciplinary. IE takes into account
three different disciplines: social sciences (including economics), technical sciences and environmental
21. Cleaner production
Cleaner production is a preventive, company-specific environmental protection initiative. It is intended to
minimize waste and emissions and maximize product output. By analysing the flow of materials and energy in
a company, one tries to identify options to minimize waste and emissions out of industrial processes through
source reduction strategies. Improvements of organisation and technology help to reduce or suggest better
choices in use of materials and energy, and to avoid waste, waste water generation, and gaseous emissions, and
also waste heat and noise.
Examples for cleaner production options are:
Documentation of consumption (as a basic analysis of material and energy flows, e. g. with a Sankey
Use of indicators and controlling (to identify losses from poor planning, poor education and training,
Substitution of raw materials and auxiliary materials (especially renewable materials and energy)
Increase of useful life of auxiliary materials and process liquids (by avoiding drag in, drag out,
Improved control and automatisation
Reuse of waste (internal or external)
New, low waste processes and technologies
22. Pollution prevention
Pollution prevention describes activities that reduce the amount of pollution generated by a process, whether it
is consumer consumption, driving, or industrial production. In contrast to most pollution control strategies,
which seek to manage a pollutant after it is formed and reduce its impact upon the environment, the pollution
prevention approach seeks to increase the efficiency of a process, thereby reducing the amount of pollution
generated at its source. Although there is wide agreement that source reduction is the preferred strategy, some
professionals also use the term pollution prevention to include recycling or reuse.
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
As an environmental management strategy, pollution prevention shares many attributes with cleaner
production, a term used more commonly outside the United States. Pollution prevention encompasses more
specialized sub-disciplines including green chemistry and green design (also known as environmentally
conscious design).
23. Ministry of Environment & Forest (Government of India) Initiative
The Ministry of Environment & Forests is implementing the National Plan for pollution control in the country.
Abatement of industrial pollution is one of the major thrust areas of this plan. According to the latest data
collected by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), out of the 1551 large and medium industries in 17
categories of highly polluting industries, 1266 industries have installed the requisite pollution control facilities
for complying with stipulated environmental standards. 130 industries have closed down and 155 industries are
in the process of installing pollution control facilities. All these 155 defaulting units in various states have been
subjected to legal action by the CPCB under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act. The CPCB and
SPCBs are monitoring status of pollution control in these industries and they are being persuaded to use
cleaner production technologies for reducing the ultimate pollution load. Fiscal incentives, in the form of
reduced customs and excise duty, are also being given to industries for installing pollution control equipment.
The Government is catalysing industry in forming waste minimization circles and industries are being
encouraged to adopt waste minimization and cleaner technologies. A total of 847 grossly polluting industries
discharging their effluents into rivers and lakes have been identified in 15 States/UTs. Out of these, as per the
latest status, 176 units have provided requisite effluent treatment facilities, 136 are closed and 535 are
defaulters. The defaulters include industries, which are either in the process of installing the requisite treatment
facilities or facing legal action. Preparation of zoning atlas for setting up of industries based on environmental
consideration has been taken up.
24. Attaining Eco-efficiency in Industrial Sector
The term eco-efficiency was coined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in
its 1992 publication "Changing Course". It is based on the concept of creating more goods and services while
using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.
The 1992 Earth Summit endorsed eco-efficiency as a means for companies to implement Agenda 21 in the
private sector, and the term has become synonymous with a management philosophy geared towards
According to the WBCSD definition, eco-efficiency is achieved through the delivery of "competitively
priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life while progressively reducing
environmental impacts of goods and resource intensity throughout the entire life-cycle to a level at least in line
with the Earth's estimated carrying capacity."
This concept describes a vision for the production of economically valuable goods and services while
reducing the ecological impacts of production. In other words eco-efficiency means producing more with less.
According to the WBCSD, critical aspects of eco-efficiency are:
A reduction in the material intensity of goods or services;
A reduction in the energy intensity of goods or services;
Reduced dispersion of toxic materials;
Improved recyclability;
Maximum use of renewable resources;
Greater durability of products;
Increased service intensity of goods and services.
The reduction in ecological impacts translates into an increase in resource productivity, which in turn can
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
create a competitive advantage.
25. Implementation of Eco-industrial park concept
An eco-industrial park (EIP) is an industrial park in which businesses cooperate with each other and with the
local community in an attempt to reduce waste and pollution, efficiently share resources (such as information,
materials, water, energy, infrastructure, and natural resources), and help achieve sustainable development, with
the intention of increasing economic gains and improving environmental quality.
The Eco-industrial Park Handbook defines EIPs as "An Eco-Industrial Park is a community of
manufacturing and service businesses located together on a common property. Members seek enhanced
environmental, economic, and social performance through collaboration in managing environmental and
resource issues."
"Industrial symbiosis" is a related but more limited concept in which companies in a region collaborate to
utilize each other's by-products and otherwise share resources. In Kalundborg, Denmark a symbiosis network
links a 1500MW coal fired power plant with the community and other companies. Surplus heat from this
power plant is used to heat 3500 local homes in addition to a nearby fish farm, whose sludge is then sold as a
fertilizer. Steam from the power plant is sold to Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical and enzyme manufacturer, in
addition to a Statoil plant. This reuse of heat reduces the amount thermal pollution discharged to a nearby fjord.
Additionally, a by-product from the power plant's sulfur dioxide scrubber contains gypsum, which is sold to a
wallboard manufacturer. Almost all of the manufacturer's gypsum needs are met this way, which reduces the
amount of open-pit mining needed. Furthermore, fly ash and clinker from the power plant is utilized for road
building and cement production.
The industrial symbiosis at Kalundborg was not created as a top-down initiative, but instead evolved
gradually. As environmental regulations became stricter, firms were motivated reduce the cost of compliance,
and turn their by-products into economic products.
26. Industrial symbiosis
Industrial symbiosis is a type of eco-industrial development which is an application of the concept of industrial
ecology. Industrial ecology is a relatively new field that is based on the ideology of nature. It claims that
industrial ecosystem may behave similar to the natural ecosystem where everything gets recycled.
Eco-industrial development is one of the ways in which industrial ecology contributes to the integration of
economic growth and environmental protection. Some of the examples of eco-industrial development are:
Recycling Clusters
Green Companies' Clusters
Redevelopment of industrial parks
New development of eco-friendly industrial parks
Eco-friendly resource exchange networks (not confined in the same area)
Industrial symbiosis can be defined as sharing of information, services, utility, and by-product resources
among one or more industrial actors in order to add value, reduce costs and improve environment. Industrial
symbiosis is a subset of industrial ecology, with a particular focus on material and energy exchange.
Industrial symbiosis engages traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to competitive
advantage involving physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and/or by-products. The keys to industrial
symbiosis are collaboration and the synergistic possibilities offered by geographic proximity”. Such a system
collectively optimizes material and energy use at efficiencies beyond those achievable by any individual
process alone. IS systems such as the web of materials and energy exchanges among companies in Kalundborg,
Denmark have spontaneously evolved from a series of micro innovations over a long time scale; however, the
engineered design and implementation of such systems from a macro planner’s perspective, on a relatively
Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(4):
short time scale, proves challenging. Often, access to information on available by-products is non-existent.
These by-products are considered waste and typically not traded or listed on any type of exchange.
8 Conclusion
A complete policy on anthropogenic climate change would require addressing at least four major issues in their
totality and also following an integrated approach
(1) Greenhouse gas levels: what proportion of the current global greenhouse gas (GHG) content in the
atmosphere should be removed and by what dates should that reduction be accomplished?
(2) Burden sharing: for what share of the desired global GHG reduction should each nation or region be
(3) Actions: what is the best set of actions to undertake to achieve the reductions, who (eg which sectors)
should take which ones, and where (e.g. which nations) and when should they be done?
(4) Institutions: how should the specified actions be carried out that is, in what institutional context and
through what kind of administrative processes or mechanisms (e.g. market based, command and control,
taxation, voluntary compliance, or some combination of these)?
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... Seasonal changes occurring over many years in the world lead to climate change and global warming. Likewise, as time goes on these climate patterns not only shape the natural ecologies but also affect human economies and livelihood of people (Rai and Rai, 2013;Shea et al., 2016;Wise, 2010). On similar note, the impact of climate change is multi-dimensional as its affects the whole ecosystem and well-being of all. ...
... This calls for proper assessment of International and local climate change mitigation policies based on sustainability criteria. As such, the increasing concern over climate change drives towards the search of solutions enabling to combat climate change and global warming into broader context of sustainable development (Rai and Rai, 2013). Hence, the core element of sustainable development is the integration of economic, social and environmental concerns in policymaking all over the world. ...
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Biodiversity is considered to be one of the most precious resource issues of 21 st century. Present paper presents the multifaceted aspects related with biodiversity particularly in context of its enormous direct/indirect uses, threats and conservation issues. Biodiversity is an integral component of environment and intimately linked with economy as well as environment. It boosts the socio-economy and hence livelihood by providing direct benefit through food, fibres, timbers, medicines, dyes, emulsifiers, non-timber forest produce (NTFP) etc. and concomitantly has the potential to cope up with climate change and thus maintain a healthy environment by offering indirect benefits. Further, biodiversity is inextricably linked with human health. Traditional knowledge of biodiversity reflected through ethno-medicinal plants, demonstrated to be linked with human health as well as socio-economy of tribal people. In current scenario, global biodiversity is declining at an alarming pace due to habitat fragmentation, invasions, pollution and climate change. Invasion is one of the most severe threats to biodiversity and adequately addressed in present paper. In view of its protective, productive and regulatory function we need to conserve the biodiversity and present paper attempts to discuss the issue with special focus on global biodiversity hotspots. Finally, present paper concludes by suggesting an eco-sustainable model based on agroforestry systems.
Global warming threatens our environment as well as basic human needs. In the present scenario, increasing demand and excessive use of automobiles have increased the level of carbon dioxide emission in the environment, providing a significant contribution to increase the global warming. This paper deals with the modeling of the effect of automobiles on global warming. For this, three nonlinearly interacting variables namely; density of human population, density of automobiles and the concentration of carbon dioxide have been taken into account. In the modeling process, it is assumed that the density of automobiles increases in proportion to human population following a logistic growth. The model is analyzed using stability theory of ordinary differential equations. Local and global stability conditions are established to study the feasibility of the model system. It is shown that with increase in human population, the demand for automobiles increases which has significant effect on global warming increase.
Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) is the environmental component of sustainable development (SD). The main aim of this study is to explain the issues related to ESD from different points of view. Considering that environmental issues is essential to achieve SD goals, emphasizing the central role of ecological resources in SD is an important issue that makes it possible to suggest certain solutions that might help keep the global ecosystem sustainable for the desired SD. The role of natural capital in clarifying concepts and linking the economic system with the environment is significant.
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The temperature of Earth’s surface is increasing over the past few years due to emission of global warming gases such as CO2, CH4 and NOx from industries, power plants, etc., leading to several adverse effects on human and his environment. Therefore, the question of their removal/reduction from the atmosphere is very important. In this paper, a nonlinear mathematical model to study the removal/reduction of carbon dioxide by using suitable absorbent (such as aqueous ammonia solution, amines, sodium hydroxide, etc.) near the source of emission and externally introducing liquid species in the atmosphere is presented. Dynamical properties of the model which include local and global stabilities for the equilibrium are analyzed carefully. Model analysis is performed by considering three physical situations i.e. when both absorbent and the liquid species are used, only absorbent is used and only liquid species is used. It is shown that the concentration of carbon dioxide decreases as the rate of introduction of absorbent in the absorber increases. It decreases further as the rate of introduction of liquid species. Thus, the concentration of carbon dioxide would be reduced by a large amount if adequate amount of absorbent is used near the source of emission. The remaining amount can be reduced further by infusing liquid drops in the atmosphere. Numerical simulations are also carried out to support the analytical results.
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Many studies discussed climate change without considering the complexity of climate system. In our view, climate system is a complex and non-linear system. It possesses all properties that a complex system will have, such as non-linearity, chaos, catastrophe, multiple stable or unstable equilibrium states, etc. It is increasingly obvious that the equilibrium state of climate system is being broken by destructive human activities. There are several possibilities that global climate will proceed. We would not exactly predict what outcome will finally occur if destructive human activities continue. In the farther future, in addition to the scenario of continuous warming, there is also possibility that the climate would proceed and reach a new stable or unstable equilibrium state, and the new equilibrium state would be realized in a smooth and continuous way, or realized in an abrupt way by jumping or plummeting. Recent years' and the coming tens of years' unusual change in global climate would be a prelude for dramatic climate change in the far future. We found that global annual mean temperature since 1880 has been rising in sinusoidal-type, similar to a superposition of sine curve and exponential curve, in which a periodicity of about 60 years existed and in the first ~40 years the temperature rose and in the second ~20 years it declined or approximately to be constant. Accordingly, we predicted that the global annual mean temperature had reached a peak around 2005, and would decline or be approximately constant until around 2030. Some models, equations and parameters on climate change were also developed based on past hundreds of years' historical records.
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Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal that can cause adverse ecological and toxicological impacts through the mechanism of biomagnification. Hg accumulation in aquatic biota may thus also pose a serious threat to humans and other fish-eating animals. The present work observed the transfer of Hg from abiotic (water and sediments) to biotic (algae, aquatic macrophytes, and fish) components, belonging to different trophic levels in a tropical lake in India. Hg was analyzed in water, sediments, plants, and fish collected from different sampling points, receiving the discharge of chloralkali effluent. Hg concentrations increased significantly from lake water and sediments to algae and aquatic macrophytes. Statistical analysis (Pearson correlation) revealed a significant positive correlation between Hg in water and plants (r = 0.88–0.93; p < .01 and p < .05) as well as for Hg in sediment and plants (r = 0.50–0.83; p < .01 and p < .05). However, the increase in Hg concentration in fish was not significantly correlated with lake ambient water (r = 0.31–0.36), sediments (r = 0.29–0.33), and aquatic plants (r = 0.31–0.36). Results obtained encourage the use of naturally occurring wetland plants in designed systems like constructed wetlands to ameliorate Hg pollution in lakes, rivers, and ponds resulting from the discharge of industrial effluents, especially chloralkali effluent, hence reducing the human health risks associated with Hg.
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The rapid pace of industrialization and urbanization has given birth to heavy metal pollution. Heavy metals are one of the most hazardous contaminants that may be present in the aquatic environment. It derives its origin from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystem poses a serious threat to aquatic biodiversity, and drinking contaminated water poses severe health hazards in humans. The economic aspects and side effects of conventional treatment technologies in aquatic ecosystems paved the way to phytoremediation technology. In phytoremediation, plants are used to ameliorate the environment from various hazardous pollutants. It is cost-effective and eco-friendly technology for environmental cleanup. The characteristics, general mechanism, and ecology of metal hyper-accumulation have been discussed previously. The present review examines the role of aquatic macrophytes in phytoremediation studies. Macrophytes are potent tools in the abatement of heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems receiving industrial effluents and municipal wastewater. They are preferred over other bio-agents due to low cost, frequent abundance in aquatic ecosystems, and easy handling. Aquatic macrophytes usually follow the mechanism of rhizo-filtration for metal removal. The efficiency and selection of potent aquatic plants is done through microcosm investigation, and an overview of significant works is given here. Aquatic macrophytes in natural and constructed wetlands proved to be a potent tool for the treatment of heavy metals from industrial effluents. Physico-chemical factors like temperature, pH, light, salinity, and presence of other heavy metal may affect the metal uptake. Both live and dead biomass of macrophytes may be used in phytoremediation, though dead biomass is generally preferred in the treatment of industrial effluents due to reduced cost, easy disposal, and lack of active biochemical machinery leading to metal toxicity and death of plants. Biomass disposal problem and seasonal growth of aquatic macrophytes are some of the limitations in the transfer of phytoremediation technology from the lab to the field. However, an eco-sustainable model has been developed through our various works that may curb some of the limitations. Disposed biomass of macrophytes may be used for many fruitful applications. Genetic engineering, biodiversity prospecting, and X-ray diffraction spectroscopy are promising future prospects regarding the use of macrophytes in phytoremediation studies. A multidisciplinary and integrated approach may enable this embryonic technology to become the new frontier in environmental science and technology.
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As part of the National Communication (NATCOM) project undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, the present study has been taken up to quantify the impact of the climate change on the water resources of Indian river systems. The study uses the HadRM2 daily weather data to determine the spatio-temporal water availability in the river systems. A distributed hydrological model namely SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) has been used. Simulation over 12 river basins of the country has been made using 40 years (20 years belonging to control or present and 20 years for GHG (Green House Gas) or future climate scenario) of simulated weather data. The initial analysis has revealed that under the GHG scenario, severity of droughts and intensity of floods in various parts of the country may get deteriorated. Moreover, a general reduction in the quantity of the available runoff has been predicted under the GHG scenario. This paper presents the detailed analyses of two river basins predicted to be worst affected (one with respect to floods and the other with respect to droughts).
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The alignment of energy policy in South Africa is considered in the context of the country's emerging climate mitigation vision. The term 'policy' is first defined as having a number of levels and components. It is then argued that at the level of written and stated energy policy, the intention exists to move towards a more diverse, efficient and less carbon-intensive energy sector. A number of policy instruments are being developed that go some way towards achieving these emission reductions. However, at a policy paradigm level, the energy paradigm and institutional orientation and capacity are fundamentally misaligned with the mitigation vision. In particular, vested interests constrain policy coordination and hence alignment. How could greater alignment be secured? First, government must ensure sufficient capacity, leadership and influence within its energy institutions as a prerequisite. This would prioritize and enable appropriately oriented sector institutional capacity, either by creating new institutions, or by mandating existing institutions to deliver on low-carbon initiatives. It is suggested that, while new capacity may be optimal, it would be unrealistic to attain this level of sector transformation within urgent time frames, given the strongly entrenched energy sector interests in maintaining the status quo.
According to DOE statistics, between 1990 and 2000, total US energy consumption increased about 25%, consumption per person increased 3%, and the US population increased 13%. To maintain the 1990 level of energy use, the energy use should be cut by at least 13% instantly to accommodate the increasing population. Though the world's population growth rate is slowing, some projections indicate a doubling in the next 40 yr. Acknowledging that statistical data, according to Richard K. Traeger (Alburqueque, NM), can readily be manipulated and all statements such as those mentioned can be questioned, the logic that population increase has a profound impact on emissions is irrefutable. The impact of increasing numbers of people must be part of any analysis, and not everything is the government's fault.
Flooding is the most common natural hazard and third most damaging globally after storms and earthquakes. Anthropogenic climate change is expected to increase flood risk through more frequent heavy precipitation, increased catchment wetness and sea level rise. This paper reviews steps being taken by actors at international, national, regional and community levels to adapt to flood risk from tidal, fluvial, surface and groundwater sources. We refer to existing inventories, national and sectoral adaptation plans, flood inquiries, building and planning codes, city plans, research literature and international policy reviews. We distinguish between the enabling environment for adaptation and specific implementing measures to manage flood risk. Enabling includes routine monitoring, flood forecasting, data exchange, institutional reform, bridging organizations, contingency planning for disasters, insurance and legal incentives to reduce vulnerability. All such activities are 'low regret' in that they yield benefits regardless of the climate scenario but are not cost-free. Implementing includes climate safety factors for new build, upgrading resistance and resilience of existing infrastructure, modifying operating rules, development control, flood forecasting, temporary and permanent retreat from hazardous areas, periodic review and adaptive management. We identify evidence of both types of adaptation following the catastrophic 2010/11 flooding in Victoria, Australia. However, significant challenges remain for managing transboundary flood risk (at all scales), protecting existing property at risk from flooding, and ensuring equitable outcomes in terms of risk reduction for all. Adaptive management also raises questions about the wider preparedness of society to systematically monitor and respond to evolving flood risks and vulnerabilities.
How will global warming affect developing countries, which rely heavily on agriculture as a source of economic growth? William Cline asserts that developing countries have more at risk than industrial countries as global warming worsens. Using general circulation and agricultural impact models, Cline boldly examines 2070-99 to forecast the effects of global warming and its economic impact. This detailed study: * outlines existing studies on the agricultural impact of climate change; * estimates projected changes in temperature, precipitation, and agricultural capacity; and * concludes with policy recommendations. * Cline finds that agricultural production in developing countries may fall between 10 and 25 percent, and if global warming progresses unabated, India's agricultural capacity could fall as much as 40 percent. Thus, policymakers should address this phenomenon now before the world's developing countries are adversely and irreversibly affected.