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Biodiversity preservation and sustainable development an analysis in India by Ms. Nanda Pardhey

 

Biodiversity preservation and sustainable development an analysis in India

Ms. Nanda Pardhey[1]

India’s fast growth and huge population, scientific and techonological development, urbanization, industrialization and various other related factors are responsible for the rapid degradation of the environment and the ecosystem. Environmental problems and balancing of the biodiversity and ecosystem has become a serious issue in India, its a high time that this issues need to be curb and effective measures be taken for sustainable development of the environment and also protect and preserve biodiversity not only for present but also for the coming future. It has been observed past few decades, and it is evident that we can no longer think of socio- economic development in solitude from environment and biodiversity.

Biological diversity is an essential factor in the organization of  organism for survivability and sustainablity of life. Biological diversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems[2]. Biodiversity can be classified and categorised in three sphere of living system- genetic, species and ecosystem diversity. Genetic diversity relates to genetic variability within species.  The term diversity also covers distinct population of a single species. Every individual species possesses genes which are the source of its own unique features. Species diversity relates to the variety of different animals and plants that live in a particular habitat. An ecosystem is a natural system consisting of all plants, animals and microorganisms (biotic factors) in an area functioning together with all the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment.

 

Biodiversity preservation and protection is knittly related to various global environmental changes and globalization, industralization, urbanization and technological develpoment  has raised many issues relating to climate change, land use and land cover change. If we look over the last century due to fast growth in industralization and urbanization there has been drastic change in the ecosystem as compared to the history of mankind, as a result biodiversity has been impacted and variety of genes, species and ecosystem has declined rapidly in India and around the globe imbalancing the ecosystem. This loss has fused the knowledge of biodiversity amongst the people who were in close proximity with the natural ecosystem.

 

India has a varied biodiversity amongst the people and is known for its genetic and species richness in vivid ecological zone throughout. Scientific and technological development has disturb the ecosystem and increasing human intervention and excessive exploitation of natural resources had resulted in tremendous changes in the environment and contributed alarming signals of increased biodiversity loss. Due to this change in the ecosystem which resulted in a policy shift from conservation single species to their habitats. Presently we can see that there is distinct change in understanding the priorities of biodiversity preservation, protection and balancing the ecosystem mainly through sustainable development in various vivid biodiversity rich and poor areas in India.

 

The change in past century relating to land use and agriculture in Indian subcontinent and South Asia is remarkably diverse. According to many ecologists and environmentalist  relating to preservation and protection of biodiversity, inquest remain uncertain to estimate species richness, due to the drastic decline of species diversity and ecological imbalance which relates to climate change. Various issues are seen confronting us with the increasing degradation of the ecosystem and steps are being necessiated by various countries by making rules, regulation and law for preserving the nature and ecosystem. At international level many countries came together for protection of the biodiversity and balancing the ecosystem by sustainable development.

 

The milestone event at international level was laid down by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, which effectively aggravated the world’s attention on environmental and development issues which the global community face as a whole. The Summit lead in sync governments from around the world from 178 countries , representatives from International agencies  and NGO with the objective of preparing the world for attaining long-term goals of sustainable development and the fundamental focus was on the issues of how to diminish the global environmental system through the launch of principles of sustainable development. The concept of sustainable development highlight that socio-economic progress depend critically on preservation and protection of the natural resources which will ultimately prevent environmental degradation.

 

Rio Earth summit made a benchmark as compared to an earlier Conference in Stockholm plus ten which was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 1982. Rio Summit strived two terms together relating to broadening the scope of global environmental diplomacy and adopting the notion of sustainable development. Increased leveled of public interest was seen amongst the people in the environment and environment concerned was raised relating to stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change were on the policy map and emphasis was laid for preservation of energy which become a major concern for economic security. If we look it from jurisprudential point , it can be said that social engineering theory of Roscoe pound can be related here when it comes to preservation and protection of natural resources by using the means of sustainable development and conservation of natural resources. According to his theory, satisfaction of maximum wants with minimum friction and waste is complementary and supplementary to the concept of sustainable development and conservation of biodiversity. Further, the concept of interests in his theory , under social interest emphasised on protecting and preserving social resources not only for today but also for the coming generation. Social interest tries to balance the needs of the people  same can be applied to environment were it demand for balancing the ecosystem while utilizing the natural resources. Rio Declaration also advocated that development should not undermine the natural resources which are base of future generation and its a collective responsibility of all countries to preserve and protect environment and biodiversity by using the means of sustainable development.

 

The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development is a set of 27 legally non-binding principles designed to commit governments to ensure environmental protection and responsible development and intended to be an Environmental Bill of Rights, defining the rights of people to development, and their responsibilities to safeguard the common environment.[3] The Declaration also established the Precautionary principle[4] which had a impact in India too. The declaration also adopted various progressive approaches like polluter pay principle i.e., the polluter bears the costs of the pollution which he has done to the environment.

 

According to Agenda 21 , which was the international plan of action to sustainable development, made a blueprint of key policies for acheiving sustainable development that meets the needs and also recognizes the limits of development. The agenda define a balance between development and natural resources and keep a check on the production, consumption, population, development  and the Earth’s life- supporting capacity. The main emphasis of agenda was  firstly sustainable development, with conservation and management of natural resources like atmosphere, land, forest, deserts, agriculture, biodiversity, etc. Secondly, socio- economic aspect relating to developing countries, consumption patterns, population, assimilating environment and development.  Thirdly, strengthening the role of major groups like indigenous peoples, NGO’s, local authorities, farmers, scientists and technologists. Lastly, laying down means of implementation by way of technology transfer, science, education, capacity-building, international institutions, legal measures and information.

 

The United Nations Convention on Biological diversity which is also known informally as the Biodiversity Convention was signed by 154 member countries and today it is 197 member countries. The fundamental purpose of the convention was conservation of biological or biodiversity and protecting and preserving various species, genetic resources, various habitats and the ecosystem; to ensure sustainable use of the biological components and guarantee fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. The convention was to envisage the principles laid down in Agenda 21 into reality and use it as a practical tool.

 

The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1992 to ensure aftereffect of UNCED. The commission is responsible for reviewing the breakthrough of the Agenda 21 and Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and also administering policy guidance to follow up the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI)[5] at local, regional, national and international levels. The commission advocated the CSD in the high-level conference for sustainable development within the United Nations system.

 

Indian Scenario on sustainable development and biodiversity

 

Sustainable development focuses on the development and also emphasises on the environmental mandates. Natural resources to be sustainable, balancing the development, the development  should be both economic and ecological sustainability. Sustainable development must be economic and environment friendly and necessary conditions for achieving it by way of ecological security, economic efficiency and fair and equitable social equity based on the CBD. Sustainable development is the highway for conserving and preserving the socio-economic well-being of the people around the world. The CBD stressed that all states have the sovereign rights to exploit their own resources, and further laid down that all contracting parties should co-operate for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, develop national strategies, plans and programmes, identify and monitor components of biological diversity and make endeavours for in-situ and ex-situ conservation[6]. Each contracting parties shall take all practical measures to promote and advance priority access of a fair and equitable basis by contracting parties, especially developing countries, to the results and benefits arising from biotechnologies based upon genetic resources provided by the contracting parties. Such access shall be on mutual agreed terms[7].

 

India is a party to the CBD has incorporated with the guidelines laid under it and in 2002 enacted the umbrella legislation called the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA)(No.18 of 2003) aimed at conservation of biological resources and associated knowledge as well as facilitating access to them in a sustainable manner and through a just process. The following are the thrust areas of BDA[8]:

  1. Access to biological resources and information.
  2. Benefit sharing with conservers of biological resources and holders of knowledge and information relating to use of biological resources.
  3. Notification of areas important relating to use of biological diversity as biological heritage sites.
  4. Protection of threatened species.
  5. Involvement of local bodies in sustainable management of biodiversity and the preparation of biodiversity registers.
  6. Establishment of biodiversity authority, state biodiversity boards and biodiversity committees at block/village level to implement the legislation.

 

BDA incorporates these ideas as well as broadly accepts the provision of the CBD.The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) is a statutory autonomous body, under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, established in 2003 to implement the provisions under the Act. State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) has been created in 28 States along with 31,574 Biological management committees (for each local body) across India. NBA advises the Central Government on conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilisation of bilogical resources[9]. The regulatory provisions in BDA are at par and in conformity with the provisions of CBD. The purpose of these committees is to promote conservation and facilitate sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity along with preservation and protection of habitats and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and micro-organisms and record of knowledge relating to biological diversity.

 

Initiatives by the government for protection and preservation of biological diversity and sustainable development has been taken, but apart from the BDA there is protection under the Indian Constitution for protechtion of environment. India is at developing stage when it comes to protection of the environment. We have the Environment Protection Act, 1986 but wholesome environment is a fundamental right under Art. 21 of the Constitution of India and there must be balance between development and ecosystem.” Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well being and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generation”[10] and the Stockholm Declaration can be retraced in the Fundamental Rights that are among the basic features of the Constitution of India under Art. 14 and Art. 21.

 

Right to life encompasses in it the right to healthy and clean environment. In the case of Rural litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of UP[11] the mining operation of limestone in the valley was causing ecological disturbance and the Supreme court established Committee of Experts which found that there was ecological balance which has been damaged and the notion of Art. 21 was accepted. The Supreme Court in M. C. Mehta v. Union of India[12], observed that ‘the development and the protection and preservation of the environment are the two side of the same coin. If without degrading the evnvironment or minimizing  the adverse effect thereupon by applying stringent safeguards and if it is possible to carry on development procedure by applying the principles of sustainable development and the balance need to be struck between development and environment. In case of Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India[13], the Hon’ble Court observed that, “Sustainable development” means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. The “Sustainable Development” has come to be accepted as a viable concept to eradicate poverty and improve the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the supporting eco-system. The “Precautionary Principle” and the “The Polluter Pays Principle” were the essential features of “Sustainable Development. “Adherence to sustainable development is a constitutional requirement the bench said in its order, which only seeks safeguards by which we are able to protect nature and subserve development. While the country needed to focus on its present development needs, it had to be done without compromising the needs of future generations, the court added[14].

 

The courts in the recent decades have become activist in environment issues and interpreted clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right under Art. 21 of the constitution. Courts extensively had address this right in variety of aspects relating to environment protection and improvement of the environment by laying down guidelines and measures to the concern authorities. In Hinch Lal Tiwari v. Kamala Devi[15] the court held that preservation of material resources of the community such as forests, tanks, ponds, hillocks is needed to maintain ecological balance so that people would enjoy a quality life, which is the essence of the right guaranteed under Art. 21. In K. M. Chinnappa v Union of India[16] the court explained the concept of right to life in Art. 21 of the constitution thus:

“Enjoyment of life and its atainment including their right to life with human dignity                        encompasses within its ambit, the protection and preservation of enviornment,       ecological balance free from pollution of air, water, sanitation without which life                              cannot be enjoyed. Any contra acts or action would cause environmental pollution[17]“.

 

The 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976, which was four years after the Stockholm Conference, incorporated two significant articles to protect the environment under the Indian constitution under the Directive Principle of State Policy under Art. 48-A[18] and Art. 51-A (g)[19]. In case of M/s. Ivory Traders and Manufacturers Association and Others v. Union of India and Others[20], the Delhi High Court held that “ no person can claim ivory trade as a fundamental right as per Art. 19(1)(g) and prohibition is imposed thereon on this fundamental right by the Amendment Act which is in the public interest with consonance with moral claims embodied under Art. 48-A of the Constitution. Futher it stated that right of an ivory dealer are subject to the paramount interest of the public at large who have right to healthy environment and balanced ecology, killing of elephants for procuring ivory should be stopped for balanced environment.

 

In Chandmari Tea Co v. State of Assam[21]the Gauhati High Court sought strength from the directive principles of state policy and the fundamental duties, when it needs to protect the habitat of the wild animals and justify depriving of the privileges of not only certain persons but also a corporate entity engaged in a plantation business. Right to life and protection of habitat is a corresponding duty within the domain of the human species which is universally limited. In Kenchappa v. State of Karnataka[22] the High Court referred to Art. 47, 48-A and 51-A (g) of the constitution to call attention of the State to protect the fundamental right of the villagers to have access to the land reserved for greenbelt around their residential village . Later the conversion of these lands to the industry sites were blocked.

 

Environmental justice could be achieved only if we drift away from the principle of anthropocentric to ecocentric[23]. Many of our principles like sustainable development, polluter-pays principle, intergenerational equity have their roots in anthropocentric principles. The National Wildlife Action Plan 2002-2012 and the Centrally Sponsored Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats Scheme, 2009 are centred on the principle of ecocentrism[24]. In Suo Moto v. The State of Karnataka[25] the court stated that, “We are inclined to see this overlap as a potential opportunity for new models of conservation rather than as a threat. Hence, we recommend that, in the present circumstances, the State and the adivasis jointly draw up management plans compatible with the goals of conservation, in consultation with experts, clarifying their respective rights, roles and responsiblities to further conservation through a democratic process, and to hold each other accountable to that commitment”.  The court was of the view that we should incorporate with the international declaration to which we are signatory and adhere to the provisions of various acts existing in India for preservation and protection of the environment and biodiversity. Steps should be taken to harmonize the human needs with that of ecosystem.

 

Deforestation causes ecological imbalance and leads to environmental deterioration[26]. Deforestation had been taking place on a large scale in the country and it had caused widespread concern. Therefore, this Court recognized the need to take all precautionary measures when forests land are sought to be diverted for non-forestry use, the Court took into consideration intergenerational equity. The State was required to undertake short term as well as long term measures for the protection of the environment[27]. The state and centeral government needs to take more initiatives for balancing the demands of the people but with that it needs to conserve and protect the environment and biodiversity.

 

Conclusion

 

The socio-economic development is undoubtedly a positive force for the nation, but with that protection of environment and biodiversity laws has change drastically and initiatives are been taken and guideilnes are been provided by the courts for protecting and preserving the endanger species. Development is important for socio-economic growth of the people, along with primary measures for conservation and protection of environment and biodiversity are needed. Various statutes concentrates on the importance of sustainable development, applying the precautionary principle and intergenerational equity are common  which cast a responsibility between and amongst countries. Resolving environmental issues and following the pathway of sustainable development if done judiciously could lead to acheiving sustainability by moving on or beyond the benchmark.

 

 

 

 

 

[1]Assistant Professor, Amity Law School, Amity University Mumbai.

[2]www.cbd.int/convention/articles accessed on 16/12/2014

[3] Ida Kubiszewski and Cutler J. Cleveland, Sustainable Development International Environment Issues, published 2007 and updated 2012

[4]Black Law Dictionary “A rule in environment management which states that if serious damage can be caused to the environment and/ or to the health of a human being, immediate steps should be taken in order to contain or to prevent such an event from happening. It is also known as the preventative principle”.

[5]Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, A/CONF.199/20, Chapter 1, Resolution 1, Johannesburg, September 2002

[6]P. Leelakrishnan, Environment Law in India, 2008, p 153-154.

[7]Ibid

[8]Ibid

[9]Biological Diversity Act, 2002

[10]Princliple 1 of  Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment  held at Stockholm 1972

[11]1985 AIR 652, 1985 SCR (3) 169

[12]1988 AIR 1115, 1988 SCR (2) 530

[13]AIR (1996) 5 SCC 647

[14]Ibid

[15]AIR (2001) 6 SCC 496

[16]AIR 2003 SC 724

[17]Supra

[18]Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life. The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.

[19]to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.

[20]AIR 1997 Delhi 267 b, ILR 1997 Delhi 22

[21]AIR 2000 Gau. 13

[22]AIR 2000 Kant. 73

[23]E.Seshan vs Union Of India on 25 September, 2013

[24]Ibid

[25]The  High Court of Karnataka, on 08 October, 2013.

 

[26]T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union Of India & Ors on 12 March, 2014

[27]Ibid

PARIS AGREEMENT AND ITS NORMATIVE VALUE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW by Aprajita Singh & Atul Khanna

PARIS AGREEMENT AND ITS NORMATIVE VALUE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW

                                                                                  * Aprajita Singh & Atul Khanna[1]

 

INTRODUCTION

The Paris Agreement is meant to signal the beginning of the end of more than 100 years of fossil fuels serving as the primary engine of economic growth and shows that the governments from all around the world take climate change seriously. The admittance of both developed and developing countries, including those which rely on revenue from oil and gas production, demonstrate a unity never seen before on this issue.

This pact requires any country that ratifies it to act to stem its greenhouse gas emissions in the coming century, with the goal of peaking greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible” and continuing the reductions as the century progresses. Countries will aim to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C (3.6°F) by 2100 with an ideal target of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C (2.7°F).[2]

The agreement will also encourage trillions of dollars of capital to be spent adapting to the effects of climate change including infrastructure like sea walls and programs to deal with poor soil and developing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. The agreement gives countries consideration in determining how to cut their emissions but mandates that they report transparently on those efforts. Every five years nations will be required to assess their progress towards meeting their climate commitments and submit new plans to strengthen them.

The text of the agreement includes a provision requiring developed countries to send $100 billion annually to their developing counterparts beginning in 2020.

The strong momentum towards the agreement that built over the preceding months was dramatically underscored on the opening day of the summit by the presence of 150 presidents and prime ministers, the largest ever single-day gathering of heads of state. The driving force of the summit was the vast number of “non-state actors,” including governors, mayors and CEOs, and the previous launches in Paris of major initiatives like the Breakthrough Energy Coalition announced by Bill Gates and other billionaires.

Negotiations on many issues were hard-fought and in typical COP fashion, progress through most of the conference was painstakingly slow.  But thanks to deft diplomacy by the French presidency, the summit was remarkably free of the kind of procedural showdowns that have marred previous COPs.  And though the conference ran 24 hours past the official deadline, the final deal was gaveled through one party after another declared that history had been made.[3]

As French President Francois Hollande summed it up, “In Paris, there have been many revolutions over the centuries. Today it is the most beautiful and the most peaceful revolution that has just been accomplished – a revolution for climate change.”

 

LEGAL NATURE OF AGREEMENT

The legal nature of the agreement whether or not it will be binding had been a hotly debated topic in the lead up to the negotiations.

JOHN KERRY- “Any agreement in Paris is definitively not going to be a treaty and there were not going to be legally binding reduction targets like Kyoto.”

[4]BURGER “The main incentive here for compliance is not the threat of some civil penalty — non-compliance would mean environmental disaster.”

The rule of polluter pays can be seen in the statement of Burger. He wants to emphasize that the aim is not to threaten. The main purpose of compliance is not to threaten by civil liability and this would lead to a greater problem that is of environmental disaster if the rules are not complied in nature. The penalty will not lead the damage caused to the environment to be undone it will stay like that permanently and to undo such an effect takes a lot of time and energy which is much more than the amount of penalty paid thus the aim is not to harm the environment in the first place .

NEGOTIATIONS WORK PROCESS FOR PARIS AGREEMENT

The Paris Agreement marks the culmination of years groundwork laid in the aftermath of a failed attempt at achieving a previous global agreement at a 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen. Countries were settled on a bottom-up approach allowing each nation to submit its own plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than trying to agree on a one-size-fits-all strategy.

After several less-publicized meetings, negotiators from the nearly 200 countries gathered on November 30 at a conference center in Le Bourget airport just outside Paris. A week and a half of talks yielded a draft agreement. Delegates met in closed-door meetings through the night and presidents called their counterparts in other countries. The French leaders running the conference followed along, revising the text of the draft agreement as necessary. The final agreement ultimately required compromises from every party.

MAIN PARTICIPANTS

[5]France is the host country, has received near-universal praise for its handling of the conference. The leaders of host countries in climate negotiations write the actual text of agreement by listening to the concerns of all the countries present. By all accounts, France deftly accounted for all those concerns allowing for passage of the deal without objection.

Leadership from the U.S., China and India also played a key role in facilitating the agreement. All three countries have acted as road blocks in past attempts to achieve climate deals, but in the lead up to this conference each made strong commitments to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and contributed to a positive discussion in Paris

Unprotected small island countries, particularly the Marshall Islands, also emerged as the surprise power players of the conference. Representatives from these countries pushed hard for negotiators to set a more ambitious climate target and largely succeeded. [6]

A “high-ambition coalition” led by the Marshall Islands gained support from more than 100 countries, including the U.S., Brazil and members of the European Union, and their efforts resulted in the inclusion of long-term targets and a lower “ideal” warming target.

OBJECTIVES AND GOALS BEHIND THE AGREEMENT

The main objective is to Preventing 2° C warming would require countries around the world to take action to limit or to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The United Nation wants to agree a truly universal global state come ahead tackling climate change for the first time, as it is part of efforts to prevent global warming exceeding 2° C above pre-industrial levels this century. As scientists agree the after effect of this global warming is most severe effect on climate change likely to see heat waves, drought, avalanche and flooding.

The temperature goal

The final draft of the Paris deal includes a temperature limit of “well below 2° C”, and says there should be “efforts” to limit it to 1.5° C. This is stronger than what many countries had hoped just few months back, but it falls short of the desires of many island and vulnerable nations, which had pushed for 1.5° C as an absolute limit.

Long-term goal

To give practical relevance to the temperature limit, the deal also includes a long-term emissions goal. The draft wording aims to peak global greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible” and to achieve “balance” between emissions and sinks in the second half of the century.

This is similar to the “emissions neutrality” language, which appeared in the previous draft, but more specific and tightly defined. It effectively means reaching net-zero emissions after 2050, though the lack of a specific timeline is a blow to those that wanted the clearest possible message for investors.[7]

Finance

The agreement places a legal obligation on developed countries to continue to provide climate finance to developing countries. It also encourages other countries to provide support voluntarily — a compromise between the highly polarized positions that have taken centre stage at the negotiations.

Many of the details have been moved out of the legally binding agreement and into the more flexible decisions. This includes the provision that, prior to 2025, countries should agree a “new collective quantified goal” from the floor of $100bn per year, which is the current aspiration. The notion of short-term collective goals has been cut from the text.

Transparency

The deal would set out “flexible” rules on reporting for “those developing country parties that need it in the light of their capacities”. However, all countries would be bound to report “regularly” on their emissions and efforts to reduce them.

A “facilitative, non-intrusive, non-punitive” system of review will track countries’ progress. The rules on transparency are a top priority for the US and EU, which is keen to ensure China, faces equivalent scrutiny of its efforts.

 

 

 

WORLD WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS

Now, parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached a landmark agreement on December 12 in Paris, charting a fundamentally new course in the two-decade-old global climate effort.

Culminating a four-year negotiating round, the new treaty ends the strict differentiation between developed and developing countries that characterized earlier efforts, replacing it with a common framework that commits all countries to put forward their best efforts and to strengthen them in the years ahead. This includes, for the first time, requirements that all parties report regularly on their emissions and implementation efforts, and undergo international review.

The agreement and a companion decision by parties were the key outcomes of the conference, known as the 21st session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, or COP 21. Together, the Paris Agreement and the accompanying COP decision, reaffirm the goal of limiting global temperature increase well below 2° Celsius, while urging efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°. [8]

All countries are expected to submit new NDCs every five years, with the clear expectation that they will “represent a progression” beyond previous ones; Reaffirm the binding obligations of developed countries under the UNFCCC to support the efforts of developing countries, while for the first time encouraging voluntary contributions by developing countries too;

Extending the current goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in support by 2020 through 2025, with a new, higher goal to be set for the period after 2025 and a mechanism to address “loss and damage” resulting from climate change, which explicitly will not “involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation.”

 

 

 

 

NEED OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT

[9]As Scientists have warned that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we will pass the threshold beyond which global warming becomes catastrophic and irreversible. The threshold is estimated as a temperature rise of 2° C above pre-industrial levels, and on current emissions trajectories we are heading for a rise of about 5° C that may not sound like much, but the temperature difference between today’s world and the last ice age is about 5° C, so seemingly small changes in temperature can mean big differences for the Earth.

So it’s not possible to reduce emissions by side of one nation as we all are under one umbrella so this work can be done only when all countries come forward and take strict action to control this at their state level and if we do not take this issue seriously then the climate change conditions in future will be very drastic, hence this is the main reason why we need at national level.

WHY A GLOBAL AGREEMENT IS NEEDED

There is clear evidence that global co-operation will help to bolster individual countries’ efforts on carbon reduction, and increase overall ambition to tackle climate change. Above all, a global agreement provides more clarity and certainty, which will improve prospects for the global economy, for international development and for the natural environment.

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change published its Fifth Assessment in 2014, summarizing the work of thousands of scientists across the world. The message was, in the panel’s own words, “unequivocal”. Concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are now higher than they have been for nearly a million years, long before human society began. The burning of fossil fuels is the main reason behind this increase. Without strong action, temperatures are very likely to exceed the 2° C target that governments have committed to. This will result in serious consequences including sea level rises, heat waves, loss of snow and ice cover, disruptions to agriculture and food production, and greater extremes of drought and rainfall.

In its 2013 report, for the first time the IPCC put a number on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted, while keeping within the 2° C target.

Keeping within this limit would require the emission of no more than 880 giga tonnes of carbon. This is, in effect, a global carbon budget[10]

 

Economic Progress

There is consensus among business leaders that a strong global agreement will improve economic prosperity in the UK, the EU and elsewhere. Early action will help to avoid the economic cost of climate impacts, which could amount to between 5 and 20 per cent of GDP, depending on the level of warming. There are additional economic benefits in low carbon investment, but signals need to be clear and consistent. Spending on low carbon goods and services is strong and growing. However, in many parts of the world it remains a small proportion of overall investment. As the World Economic Forum states, “progress in green investment continues to be outpaced by investment in fossil fuel intensive, inefficient infrastructure”. While low carbon investment is encouraged, so too is fossil fuel investment, resulting in conflicting signals to business.

By making the wrong types of infrastructure investments now, we are condemning ourselves to more costly adjustments later. International Energy Agency research warns that delayed action would result in substantial additional costs, as high carbon investments made now would quickly lose their utility and value. In UK, the Committee on Climate Change has identified that  UK could save £100 billion from early action. Investment in clean energy and transport systems also brings other economic benefits. It reduces vulnerability to volatile fossil fuel prices and improves local air quality which improves quality of life, saves lives and reduces healthcare spending.

The best way to remove conflicting messages and set clear goals for investment would be to secure an agreement at the global level. A global agreement would allow national governments to introduce stronger policies to cut emissions, without risking impacts on international competitiveness. A clear international framework for carbon reduction would reward low carbon growth, and deter high carbon investment, wherever companies are located. Without a climate agreement, the outlook for business and the economic development of the poorest looks more challenging. Supply chains, particularly of agricultural products like wheat, rice and maize, will be affected, with consequent effects on price. Disruption from extreme weather events will result in significant losses. The World Economic Forum’s report on global risks estimates the total economic losses from Hurricane Katrina at $125 billion, and from Hurricane Sandy at $70 billion for the states of New York and New Jersey alone.[11]

 

UK plays a leading role in efforts to support international development and poverty eradication, linked to the Millennium Development Goals, and the new Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed through the UN in 2015. UK supports developing countries in their efforts to reduce poverty, improve health outcomes, and promote food security and access to energy. Action on climate change is essential to meeting all these outcomes. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) carried out a thorough review of the impacts of climate change on different development goals and found that climate change had an impact on all of the goals, directly or indirectly. Direct impacts include food security, availability of water, and health outcomes. These, in turn, affect other development goals, such as gender equality, education and human rights

The IPCC is clear that climate change will exacerbate poverty in most developing countries. This is due to a complex range of factors, but particularly food price increases. It notes that, in the years since its previous report in 2007, there have been rapid food price increases, following climate extremes in key producing systems. A similar picture emerges on health. A study, by The Lancet and University College London, stated that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. Climate change influences disease patterns, food, water, sanitation, extreme events, shelter and human settlements, which in turn affect health outcomes. Infant mortality is closely linked to under nutrition and food insecurity, both affected by climate change. Reducing carbon emissions will help to mitigate these effects; meanwhile, there are economic, health and social opportunities in low carbon development pathways. Decentralized low carbon energy, for example, such as solar and wind, can provide electricity for the 70 per cent of sub-Saharan Africans who currently have no access. Growth in off grid solar has given 2.5 million households in Kenya access to energy. 2015 provides a crucial opportunity to align development goals with action on climate change, given the discussions around the Sustainable[12]

Development Goals

The Paris agreement needs to acknowledge the importance of climate change mitigation to development and the necessity of finance, both to adapt to climate change and to invest in low carbon economic pathways.

 

Global security

Climate change is also likely to affect global security, with defense experts warning of increased conflict, humanitarian crises and refugee movements. The [13]Pentagon refers to climate change impacts as a “threat multiplier” which aggravates poverty, political instability and social tensions.

Ecosystems and biodiversity

A strong climate agreement is essential to protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, both in UK and elsewhere. Biodiversity is already in decline globally, and climate change will amplify this, significantly increasing the risk of extinctions. The speed of change is of particular concern, as it is unprecedented in geological history, and outpaces the ability of many species to adapt. Academic analysis suggests that for each additional degree of warming a further ten per cent level of extinction is likely With climate change of up to 2 C average warming, conservation strategies will be more challenging and expensive, but if temperatures rise further more major interventions will be required, such as deliberate relocation of species or major ecosystem engineering projects and in some cases they will be impossible.

Prevention, through emissions reduction, is cheaper and more effective than a cure. Ecosystem protection and restoration is of central importance to the economy. The landmark TEEB study (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) estimates the future annual costs of biodiversity loss at between £1.4 and £3.1 trillion. Consultants PwC say business is already being affected by declining biodiversity, through increased resource costs or reduced productivity in agriculture. Protecting and restoring ecosystems such as forests and peat lands also helps to reduce emissions. About one quarter of all human-induced emissions comes from agriculture, forestry and other land use, mainly tropical deforestation and peat land degradation. This is recognized in global climate talks. The REDD+ initiative has the dual aim of reducing greenhouse gases and protecting forests in developing countries. Negotiations are underway to provide a financing mechanism, rewarding developing countries for protecting forests.

CONSEQUENCES

What are countries expecting to agree in Paris?

155 countries  have put forward national climate plans as their contributions to the Paris deal. If the pledges are kept to, they would keep warming to perhaps 3°C – universally acknowledged to be way beyond any safe limits. So the idea is to continue meeting and [14]persuade countries to increase their levels of ambition in coming years. But by remembering that early action is much more effective and in the meantime, fossil fuel energy infrastructure will be built, locking in future emissions and making cuts harder.

If the commitments from the major countries are in the bag, does that mean the Paris agreement is settled?

Not at all – the other key question, apart from emissions reductions, is finance. Poorer countries want the rich world to provide them with financial help that will enable them to invest in clean technology to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, and to adapt their infrastructure to the likely damage from climate change. This is a hugely contentious issue.

At Copenhagen, where the finance part of the deal was only sorted out at the very last minute, rich countries agreed to supply $30bn ($20bn) of “fast-start” financial assistance to the poor nations and they said that by 2020, financial flows of at least $100bn a year would be provided.

As a cornerstone of any Paris agreement, poor countries want assurances that this pledge will be met that has now been given, in several forms; the OECD issued a report in October showing that two thirds of the finance required is already being supplied; and a report by the World Resources Institute showed that the remainder can be made up by increased finance from the World Bank and other development banks, and from the private sector. The World Bank and several governments have already committed to upping their financial assistance, meaning that a clear path towards the 2020 target can now be discerned.

There is more, however poor nations also want a similar provision in place beyond 2020, but there is strong disagreement over how this should be done. Some want all the money to come from rich country governments, but those governments are adamant that they will not provide such funding solely from the public purse. They want international development banks, such as the World Bank, to play a role, and they want most of the funding to come from the private sector.

An agreement on this is still possible, but it will be one of the main obstacles to a Paris deal.

UNDER DEVELOPED NATION and DEVELOPED NATION

Climate Change Summit: Developed Nations Resist India’s Stand

Countries are trying hard to reach a legally binding agreement in Paris meet at the COP21.
In a surprise move, the European Union, that had otherwise kept a low profile, made a joint declaration with the group of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States stressing their “shared commitment” for a climate deal. The announcement is being seen by many as an attempt by developed nations to weaken the unity of G77+ China nations of which India is a part.

The [15]declaration excludes the two key issues that India has been stressing on a clear commitment from developed nations to stick to their promise to contribute to the Green Climate Fund (as part of their historical responsibility for the emissions that they added when they were developing) and also a sharing of technology by rich nations (to help developing nations move to clean energy).

Echoing the stand of the US and developed nations, the statement also says that the Paris agreement must include a transparency and accountability system to track progress of national commitments.
Countries like India have been firm on the position that it developed countries who should contribute to the Green Climate Fund. India’s position is that it will make contribution to its neighboring countries but under “south-south solidarity” and nothing should serve as an excuse for developed nations to avoid their own responsibility to add to the fund.

US and China

US and China have shifted their positions. In the past five years there have been significant shifts in position from the most influential countries, notably China and the US. Despite a divided Congress, President Obama has committed to reducing emissions, making climate change a defining issue of his second term. China has an ambitious strategy to grow its renewable sector, with tough new laws on air pollution and strong action on limiting coal consumption. Last year, the two countries signed an agreement to work together on carbon reduction in crucial sectors including transport and energy efficiency.

The US insists that all countries which are “in a position to” make contributions should do so. But, the US itself is finding it hard to find support at home to make the contributions that it had committed to. Many say it is, therefore, trying to shift the burden to the developing nations
The US is resisting entering a legally binding agreement. But such an agreement is the only way the rest of the world can make sure the developed nations act on their commitments.

 

 

Here is what India and the other developing nations had to compromise on:

[16]The original UN convention had a stronger language on developed world providing climate finance. Experts say current text is weaker. It also leaves room for confusion on what can be counted as climate funding – for example, developmental aid or loans can be counted as climate finance. Mr Javadekar, too, said the agreement could have been more ambitious as the actions of developed nations are “far below” than their historical responsibilities and fair shares. Most civil society experts say the dilution was made following tremendous pressure from US – which is facing issues with domestic politics and an umbrella group of developed nations.

Paris agreement says all parties including developing nations must take action to cut emissions. This means makes developing nations must take on additional obligations.

For developing countries, intellectual property rights barriers to transfer technology from rich countries were important. But the Paris text is more about cooperation in technology.

In terms of loss and damage, the text says these will not be seen in terms for liability and compensation, so developed countries will not have no real obligation.

This is what India and the developing nations achieved [17]Managed to put back the important principle of equity and “common but differentiated responsibilities” in text, which India has been pushing for. The US and developed nations wanted to dilute this plank. Though developed countries use fossil fuel coal and gas they wanted developing countries to cut emissions.

The big challenge met was ensuring the agreement established the idea of climate justice acknowledging that industrialized nations have been the major emitters since 1850.India also wanted a mention of sustainable lifestyle and consumption, which is there in the text.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

The stage is set for all countries to move to a low carbon pathway with the Paris Agreement on climate change adopting a goal of “well below 2° C” for temperature rise, and instituting a regime of financing of developing economies to help make the transition. Nations are to pursue efforts to aim at the more difficult objective of pegging temperature rise under 1.5° C.

Under pinning the Agreement, which is scheduled to go into effect from 2020, is the system of voluntary pledges, or nationally determined contributions made by individual countries to peak their greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the atmosphere and changing the climate. The reference in the text for the need to achieve an equalisation between emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) and their removal by ‘sinks’ by the second half of the present century has been welcomed widely since it turns attention to renewable energy, and away from fossil fuels. Governments is now put words into actions, in particular by implementing policies that make effective progress on the mitigation pledges they have made. That is why the key message is to price carbon right and to do it now at the need of all level. We called this agreement is strong ambition, for remarkable partnerships, for mobilization of finance, and for implementation of national climate plans. Now the job becomes our shared responsibility. The Paris Agreement has its normative value at their global or international level. The agreement make people together to forge a deal that finally reflects the aspiration, and the seriousness, to preserve our planet for future generations. The result of this is an unequivocal signal to the business and financial communities, one that will drive real change. The Paris Agreement at international level  marks a tipping point. Going forward and the world has a shared vision that will lead inexorably to investors moving away from fossil fuels and towards a future powered by low carbon energy. Investors will encourage every country keen to build a sustainable economy to develop a long-term low-emissions development strategy, including carbon pricing schemes, so that investors know ambition levels over the short, medium- and long-term.

The diplomats have done their job very well. They points the Paris Agreement  to world in the right direction, and with sophistication and clarity.

 

It does not, however, ensure implementation, which necessarily remains the domain of politicians, businessmen, scientists, engineers, and civil society. Thus these were all the factor responsible to making the Paris Agreement to its normative value at international standard .The famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi  “The world is for everyone’s needs, but not for anyone’s greed.”

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Amity Law School, Centre-II, Amity University ,Noida (AUUP)

[2] “19th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC”. International Institute for Sustainable Development. Retrieved 20 February 2013.

[3] “Adoption of the Paris agreement—Proposal by the President—Draft decision -/CP.21” (PDF). UNFCCC. 2015-12-12. Archived from the original on 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2015-12-12.

[4] http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/14/3731715/paris-agreement-is-an-actual-agreement/

[5] http://time.com/4146764/paris-agreement-climate-cop-21/

[6] Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of the EU and its Member States, 6 March 2015

[7] “Issues and reasons behind the French offer to host the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change 2015”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.

[8] “France confirmed as host of 2015 Climate Conference”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.

[9]http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/02/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-paris-climate summit-and-un-talks

 

[10] “World Mayors and Municipal Leaders Declaration on Climate Change” (PDF). Archive.iclei.org. Retrieved 15 November 2015.

 

[11] “Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee”. IPACC. Retrieved 15 November 2015.

[12] “Indigenous Peoples Seek Presence in Post-2015 Development Agenda | Inter Press Service”. Ipsnews.net. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2015.

 

[13] Milman, Oliver (12 December 2015). “James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks ‘a fraud'”. The Guardian (London, England). Retrieved 14 December 2015

[14] Birnie P, Boyle A and Redgwell C (2009). International Law and the Environment.

[15] “Issues and reasons behind the French offer to host the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change 2015”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.

 

 

[16] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/02/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-paris-climate-summit-and-un-talks

 

[17]http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indias-star-shines-bright-in-global-gloom-imf-chief-christine-lagarde 1286388?ndtv_nextstory

 

Juvenile Justice in India by Neeti Rana

Juvenile Justice in India

* Neeti Rana[1]

Juvenile is a child under age of 18 years violates any law or is incorrigible, or knowingly associates with thieves, vicious or immoral persons; without the consent of its parents, guardian or custodian absents itself from its home or place of abode, or is growing up in idleness or crime, or knowingly frequents a house of ill repute; or knowingly frequents any policy shop or place where gambling device is operated; or frequents any saloon or dram- shop where intoxicating liquors are solid; or patronizes or visits any public pool room or bucket shop, or wanders about the streets in the night time without being on any lawful business or lawful occupation; or habitually wanders about any railroad yards or tracks or jumps or attempts to jump on to any moving train, or enters any car or engine without lawful authority, or uses vile, obscene, vulgar, or indecent language in any public place or about any school house, or is guilty of indecent or lascivious conduct.[2]A Juvenile court is a special court or department of a trial court which deals with under age defendants charged with crimes or who are neglected or out of the control of their parents. The normal age of these defendants is under 18, but juvenile court does not have jurisdiction in cases in which minors are charged as adults. It can be an attempt to involve parents or social workers and probation officers in the process to achieve positive results and save the minor from involvement in further crimes. Where parental neglect or loss of control is a problem, the juvenile court may seek out foster homes for the juvenile, treating the child as a ward of the child.[3]Juvenile is used when reference is made to a young criminal offenders and minor relates to legal capacity or majority. Juvenile Laws provides blanket immunity to juveniles below the age of eighteen years from any punishment irrespective of the circumstances and nature of the crime.

 

Juvenile Justice is the legal system that aspires to protect all children, bringing within its ambit the children in need of, proper care, and reintegration besides those in conflict with law. It is to provide a special approach to the treatment of juveniles, to outline the machinery and infrastructure requires for the care, development and rehabilitation of juvenile, to establish norms, standards for administration, linkages and co-ordination between the formal system of juvenile, safeguarding the rights of children and voluntary efforts in the welfare and to constitute special offences in relation to juveniles and provide punishment.

 

 

 

NEED TO TREAT JUVENILE DIFFERENTLY

 

Crime, when committed by a Juvenile, takes a different dimension all together. The issue is much more delicate to handle and the tapes of society are much larger and deeper .It not only reflects on the present state of the society but also gives an indication about future of that society. Since a nation’s future depends upon the young generations, the children deserve compassion and bestowal of the best care to protect human resource. A child is born innocent and if nourished with tender care and attention, he or she will blossom with facilities physical, mental, moral and spiritual into person of stature and excellence. The criminal tendency of youngsters must be timely curbed so that they do not turn into habitual criminals in their future life.

 

HISTORY OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS

 

The early penology did not recognize any discrimination between adult and juvenile offenders so far punishment was concerned. The movement for special treatment of juvenile offenders started towards the end of eighteenth century. Prior to this, juvenile offenders were dealt with exactly like those of adults. They were prosecuted in criminal courts and were subjected to same penalties as adults. That apart, they served their sentence in the same prison in which other hardened criminals were lodged. The obvious result of lodging juveniles and habitual offenders in the same prison was that these institutions virtually turned into breeding centres of vices and criminality

 

CAUSES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY

 

Juvenile delinquency takes place in various forms and very in degree, frequency, duration and seriousness and involves different forms of specialization like drug addiction, sex offences, predatory acts etc. Delinquency like other social behaviour has complex roots. The child because of his being future of the nation should be given atmosphere conducive to his being a responsible and sensible citizen. If the child is brought up in an unwholesome environment, he assimilates wrong norms and values and at later stage of life it becomes difficult to bring him to the right path.  It is now matter of common knowledge that a good number adult criminals committed first offence in their childhood, long before their first conviction as adult offender. Delinquency as a social disease cannot be treated without knowing about its causes. The subject of crime unlocks such powerful emotions that it is most difficult to obtain objective or scientific data on the incidence of crime and on the circumstances under which the crime rate rises and falls.

Types of Juvenile delinquencies

  • Biological
  • Socio-Environmental
  • Psychological

 

BIOLOGICAL- Emotional disturbance and discomfort may cause weakness and discomfort and may result in school truancy or dislike for work. Efficiency is generally weak and adversely affects his ability to work and he depends on others which may lead to antisocial behaviour. A person with speech problem is pitted or laughed at in the society. Due to this, feeling of inferiority may be developed which may lead to a desire to make up in criminal acts. A person who is possessed excessive physical strength and his mental trait being uncultured and not properly channelized, probability of his committing an act of offence becomes higher.

 

SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL- Migration of persons to new places where they are strangers offers them opportunity for crime as chances of detection are minimized considerably. In a dynamic society, social change is an inevitable phenomenon. The impact of modernization urbanization and industrialization in a rapidly changing society may sometimes result in social disorganization and this may led to culture conflicts between different values of different sections of society. The immigration affects the crime rate of a place. Culture conflict between inhabitants and immigrants results in deviant behaviour.

A child who is brought up in a broken family is likely to face an easy prey to criminality. The lack of parental control over children due to death, divorce, or desertion of parent or their ignorance or illness may furnish soothing ground for children to resort to criminal acts. The frequent quarrels amongst parents, undue domination of one over the other, step-motherly treatment with children, frequent births in the family, immorality of parents, misery, poverty of unwholesome family atmosphere unemployment, low income or parent’s continued long absence from home may led to the child to do commit the offence in the society. Some are the same factor which emanates from the family background.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL-The offender’s mental traits, peculiarities to abilities play a very important role in the determination of delinquency. It is the mind that controls it; the mind is designed, defective or feeble. Bad schooling which includes cruel treatment by teachers creates hatred and frustration among the school going children which forces them to leave the school and take the path of delinquency. Use of drugs by the youngsters in these days is very common. Due to drug- addiction the children starts committing small offences. Intoxication results in assault on other family members particularly females and children which disturbs family discipline. The lack of discipline in family is highly hazardous to the child. The child should be checked whenever it is necessary otherwise they may indulge commission of offence. Bad Company ,adolescent instability , early sex experiences, mental conflicts, excessive social suggestibility, love of adventure ,motion pictures ,school dissatisfaction, poor recreation, street life ,vocational dissatisfaction ,sudden impulse, physical condition are also factors which turns a child into a juvenile offenders.

 

In India, under section 82 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 nothing is an offence which is done by a child up to seven years of age and under section 83 nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge the nature and consequence of his conduct on that occasion. Section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, provides that any offence, other than one punishable with death or imprisonment for life, committed by any person who at the date when he appears or is brought before the court is under the age of sixteen years may be tried by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate or any Court specially empowered under the Children Act, 1960 or any other law for the time being in force providing for the treatment, training and rehabilitation of youthful offenders, The Reformatory Schools Act defined  a youthful offender as any male child who is below 15 years. The majority of the Children Acts passed in the various States fixed the upper age limits of protection at sixteen years. The more recent Acts of West Bengal and Saurashtra have raised this age limit to 18 years. The Central Children Act, 1960 retained the age of sixteen in case of boys but has extended it to eighteen for girls. The higher age limit in case of girls was considered to be essential in view of the social setting of our country where girls need protection for a longer period.  The Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, imposes a restriction on the imprisonment of a person below 21 years. Thus, ordinarily a boy or a girl below 21 is not to be imprisoned. Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 treated a boy under16 years of age to be a juvenile. But in case of a girl this age limit was 18 years. Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 however, provided a uniform age of 18 years for boys and girls. Article 15(3) enables the State to make special provisions for children. Entitlement to free and compulsory education to free and compulsory education up to 14 years has been read into Article21. Article 23 and 24 further entire fundamental protections and Article 45 is supplementary to Article 24. Article 39(e) and (f) ensures distributive justice to children in the matter of education.

 

In Sheela Barse V. Union of India,[4] The Supreme Court of India speaking through Honbl’e Ranganath Mishra J.observed; “If a child is a national asset, it is the duty of the State to look after the child with a view to ensuring full development of its personality. That is why all the statutes dealing with children provide that a child shall not be kept in jail. Even apart from this statutory prescription, it is elementary that a jail is hardly a place where a child should be kept. There can be no doubt that incarceration in jail would have the effect of dwarfing the development of the child, exposing him to baneful influences, coarsening his conscience and alienating him from the society. It is the atmosphere of the jail which has highly injurious effects on the mind of the child, estranging him from the society and breeding in him aversion bordering on hatred against a system which keeps him in jail.”[5]

 

In Gaurav Jain V. Union of India[6], the Supreme Court of India rightly observed: “An institution established or certified by a State Government under Section 9 of the Juvenile Justice Act[7] is a juvenile Home. The object of the Act is not to punish the juvenile but to rehabilitate him or her, be it a delinquent juvenile[8] or a neglected juvenile. In the latter case, it is one of the obligations of the State to provide for care and concern and to establish a juvenile home under Section 9 of the Juvenile Justice Act”[9]

 

JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT 2000

 

The Juvenile Justice Act 2000 has various provisions that indicate the positive approach towards child rather than punitive approach. Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 was passed replacing the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 in order to update with international development such as adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations in 1989[10], the United Nations standard Minimum rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 the Beijing Rules, and the United Nation Rules for the protection of Juvenile deprived of their liberty (1990). The convention on the Rights of the Child[11] emphasizes social reintegration of child victims, to the extent possible, without resorting to judicial proceedings. Through the Beijing Rules, The member states are, inter alia urged to develop on custodial measures to deal with the Juvenile offenders both at the pre –trial stage and the post-conviction stage. This is because, it is generally accepted that at this stage of their lives, juveniles are most susceptible to a number of influences and that given necessary support and encouragement, they will grow out of crimes and become normal law-abiding citizens[12].

Section 2(1) of the Act defines “juvenile in conflict with law” as a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence. In the 1986 Act, the corresponding term used was “child delinquent’’. In the 2000 Act, it is for the first time that the term “child in conflict with law” has been used. It is a positive way of describing the child and aims at bringing an attitudinal change amongst the functionaries of the Juvenile Justice System in particular and the whole society in general. Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice Act deals with orders that pass regarding juvenile. It gives list of the orders that may be passed and where there is no scope for imprisonment. The juvenile is sent home after the advice or admonition inquiry and counselling to the parent or the guardian and the juvenile.[13] The juvenile may also be directed to participate in group counselling and similar activities. Others orders that may be passed against the juvenile include performance of community service, payment of fine by the parent of the juvenile or the juvenile himself, if he is over fourteen years of age and earns money and release on probation of good conduct. Juvenile may also sent to a special home.[14] Section 16 of the Act deals with orders passes against juvenile. The section specifies that no juvenile in conflict with law shall be sentences to death or life imprisonment, or committed to prison in default of payment of fine or in default of furnishing security. Section 21 specifies the bars disclosure of the name, address or school or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile in conflict with law in any newspaper, magazine, newssheet or visual media. The publication may only be allowed if such disclosure is in the interest of the child. This provision includes the save child in conflict with law from the stigma attached with the proceedings. [15]Section 22 of the act makes a departure from the conventional criminal law position and mandates that no proceeding shall be instituted in respect of the juvenile for reason of escape from a special home or an observation home or from the care of a person under whom he was placed under the Act.

The Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 takes a very positive view towards juveniles in conflict with law and follows a policy which is non punitive but is reformative in nature. The proceeding is in respect of a juvenile in conflict with law is non-criminal in nature. The proceedings are done in very informal. Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 is a progressive piece of legislation and is made for the best interest of child.

CONCLUSION

It is the duties of the society to look upon the children, child constitute the most vulnerable section of the society and are considered supremely important assets of our nation. All intervention must try and ensure that the physical, social, emotional and educational needs of the child are met in a secure, nurturing family environment. Society has a special responsibility towards children, whose vulnerability and dependence makes it mandatory for parents, adult authority figures and society as a whole to make a special response in law and practice. Family is the core unit of society and the major source of development of children. It provides nurturance, emotional bonding and socialisation to the child. Child personality also depend on the institution, the institution like school should make some efforts for the development of society and to protect child from crime. It is the duty of the institution to provide and ensure free and compulsory universal elementary education for all children until the age of 14 years. The institution must focus on the development of equity and social justice. They are dependent, have the least power, and have less control over their own lives. Among children there are some who are more marginalised and neglected than others because of their socio economic cultural circumstance. These children are considered as children in need of care and protection.

In order to prevent Juvenile Delinquents we have to deal not only with maladjusted children and youths whose difficulties bring them before law, but also with those who while not violating laws, are disturbing others in school and in the street. Prevention is necessary for the street. If they are not prevented then they would become the habitual offenders so their prevention is necessary. They make mistakes and become excited and fail to behave according to legitimate expectations. Over –crowding in the cities, coming up of slums, cinema, smuggling, gambling and drinking are some of the contributory factors responsible.

The most effective way to prevent juvenile delinquency has indisputably been to assist children and their families early on. Delinquency Prevention is the board term for all efforts aimed at preventing youth from becoming involved in criminal or other antisocial, activity. Increasingly, governments are recognizing the importance of allocating resources for the prevention of delinquency. Prevention services include activities such as substance abuse education and treatment, family counselling, youth mentoring, parenting education, educational support, and youth sheltering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1]  B.A.LL.B 10th SemesterLaw College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University

[2] lll. Rev, Stat. C. 23; see also Cavan, Juvenile Delinquency,15

[3] Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

[4] AIR 1986 SC 1773
[5] Ibid, p-1777, para-10

[6] (1997) 8 SCC 114
[7] The decision was given under Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 which is the Act preceding the present Juvenile Justice Act of 2000

[8] The concept of ‘delinquent juvenile’ as found under 1986 Act has been replaced with the concept of    child in conflict with law’ in the present Act following a positive approach.
[9] See Supra 7 at p-122, para-9

[10] The Government of India has ratified the Convention on the 11.12.1992
[11] After the Declaration, 113 nations, by consensus, promulgated the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action where the rights of child in general and girl child in particular, received worldwide recognition. It was resolved that the member States should integrate the Convention on Rights of the Child into their national action plan.
[12] See, Mishra R.C. crime Trends and Criminal Justice, 1st ed, p-244

[13]See Section 15(1)(a), the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000

[14] “Special home” is defined under Section 2(v) of the Act as an institution established by a State Government or by a voluntary organization and certified by that Government.
[15] See Section 21(2), The Juvenile Justice Act, 2000

 

Paris Agreement and Environmental destruction debate by Harneel Aujla & Shweta Sharma

Paris Agreement and Environmental destruction debate

                                                                                  * Harneel Aujla & Shweta Sharma[1]

Introduction:

In recent years, the primary focus of the global environment has been on climate change and the related policy responses. Human-induced climate change has been related to the use of fossil fuels as the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important of the greenhouse gases (GHGs), is a direct result of the combustion of such fuels. Increased greenhouse gas concentrations are raising the earth’s average temperature, influencing precipitation and some storm patterns as well as raising the sea level (World Nuclear Association. 2014).[2]It has become commonplace to worry about the conflict between international agreements to promote free trade and attempts to preserve the global environment.  Environmentalists question the value of trade rules that prohibit efforts to encourage environmental protection through trade restrictions, and those committed to free trade fear barriers to trade cloaked in environmental concern.[3]The division of world opinion on the certainty of climate change further adds to the woes of developing countries. Scientists all over the world have been acknowledging a temperature increase of the earth and attribute this aspect of global warming to fossil fuel burning by humans. However, what scientists debateover is the magnitude and speed of future climate change and hence its response pattern. One school of thought urges ‘rapid action’, whereas the other advocates the ‘wait and watch’ policy.[4]The uncertainties revolve around the following facts: whether greenhouse gases and aerosol concentrations increase, stay the same or decrease; how strongly the features of the climate (e.g. temperature, precipitation and sea level) respond to changes in GHG and aerosol concentrations, and how much the climate varies as a result of natural influences (e.g. from volcanic activity and changes in the intensity of the sun) and its internal variability (referring to random changes in the circulation of the atmosphere and oceans).”[5]The uncertainty of the exact nature or timing of the impacts means that a flexible and responsive approach to climate preparation will be needed.Although environment protection will benefit the future generations, and us, there are various arguments against the implementation of environment protection policies.[6]

Is it fair for the developing world?

The trade sanctions for environment protection certainly protect the environment to an immeasurable extent. However, the harm that the sanctions impose on some countries, especially in the developing world, cannot be ignored. The expected growth in basic industries foreshadows rapid increases in pollution and resource degradation unless developing countries take great care to control pollution and waste, to increase recycling and reuse, and to minimize hazardous wastes. These countries do not have the resources to industrialize now and then repair the damage later.Also, given the rapid pace of technological progress, chances of these countries having the time to do so seem rare. They can profit from the improvements in resource and environmental management being achieved in industrialized countries, and so avoid the need for expensive cleanups. Such technologies can also help them reduce ultimate costs and stretch scarce resources. And they can learn from the mistakes of developed countries.[7]

Most of the environmental sanctions are said to be holding back developing countries. Since this is seen as interference in their affairs, it also contributes to a greater divide between the first and third worlds. One school of thought also believes it could deliberate the attempt to stop possible economic competitors. After all, the USA and EU already put high tariffs (import taxes) on products made cheaply in developing countries (e.g. canned tomatoes, shoes), which could be sold in America or Europe. By limiting the development with sanctionsof profitable but polluting industries like steel or oil refineries, we are forcing nations to remain economically backward (U.N. document)

Human life or the environment?

Another argument presented against the imposition of sanctions is that taking care of millions of people who are starving is more important than saving natural resources, some of which are also renewable.It cannot be expected of developing nations to share the green concerns of developed countries when they are faced with dire poverty and a constant battle for survival.Obviously the world would be better if all nations stuck to strict environmental rules. The reality is that for many nations such rules are not in their interests. For example, closing China’s huge Capital Iron and Steelworks, a major source of pollution, would cost 40 000 jobs. The equal application of strict environmental policies would create huge barriers to economic progress, at a risk to political stability.[8]

 

Unemployment: Save a Logger, Kill an Owl.

The net impact of environmental protection on the economy and employment market is a highly controversial issue. The standard argument that environmental policies have negative economic effects can be summarized as follows; Businesses invest capital and create jobs to produce goods and services for a profit. Each firm seeks to minimize capital and operating expenses and to maximize sales and profits. As more environmental restrictions on production are enacted, the cost of production increases. This increase raises the price of the product and, depending on the product’s price elasticity, reduces its sales. Reduced sales decrease employment. When regional or international considerations are taken into account, it is argued, economic activities, pollution, and jobs are exported to those regions and nations with relatively lax environmental standards. Thus, environmental regulations and standards impose nonproductive expenses on the economy that reduce economic growth and eliminate jobs.[9]

Below are a few examples major regulations and a few sanctions have negatively impacted lives:

  • Protection of the northern spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest has purportedly cost anywhere from 20,000 to 140,000 jobs Phillips Petroleum Company announced 1,350 layoffs in April 1992 and blamed environmental regulations.
  • The Chemical Council of New Jersey claimed in August 1992 that environmental regulations had cost the state 12,000 jobs in the chemical industry over the previous 10 years.
  • Local sugar growers in Florida claim that measures to protect the Everglades will cost 15,000 jobs.
  • The American Petroleum Institute blames environmental restrictions for the loss of 400,000 jobs during the 1980s.
  • The Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association claims that increasing fuel economy standards will cost 300,000 jobs.
  • The 1992 closing of a polluting oil refinery in Wyoming cost 200 jobs. (Bezdek, R. H. (1993).

As developing countries, the most important task for these states will still be to develop rapidly under the guidance of the Scientific Outlook on Development, for some time. The difficulties of the country’s environmental protection lie in balancing the relationship between reform of regulation governing resources and the environment with the international competitiveness of the country’s industrial sector, in particular, the balance of the relationship between environmental protection and economic growth.However, another school of thought believes that sanctions are important if we need to protect and save the environment from further destruction. Also, there is no shortage of evidence that these sanctions can play an important role in an environmental protection strategy.  In some cases, domestic environmental protection is enabled by the assurance to domestic industries that they will not be disadvantaged by competition from those who do not have to undertake costly environmental regulation (DeSombre, 1995).  In other cases, states have been persuaded to join international environmental agreements by the prohibition of trade advantages to those outside of the agreement. [10]

Is cost benefit analysis for environment worth it?

Cost-benefit analysis involves the creation of artificial markets forthings like good health, long life,and clean air that is not bought and sold. It also involves the devaluation of future events through discounting.So described, the mindset of the cost-benefit analysisis likely to seem extremelyforeign.The translation of all good things in to monetary values and the devaluation of the environment and future are in consistent with the way many people view the Earth (Ackerman, F., & Heinzerling, L. 2002).

The costs of protecting human health and the environment through the use of pollution control devices and other approaches are, by their very nature, measured in dollars.Thus, at least in theory, the cost side of cost-benefit analysis is relatively straightforward in practices, we shall see, it is not quite that simple.[11]

The consideration of the costs of environmental protection is not unique to cost-benefit analysis. Development of environmental regulations has almost always involved consideration of economic costs, with or without formal cost-benefit techniques. What is unique to cost-benefit analysis but far more problematic is the other side of the balance, the monetary evaluation of the benefits of life, health, and nature itself.Consideringthat there are no natural prices for a healthy environment, cost-benefit analysis requires the creation of artificial ones. This is the hardest part of the process. Economists have been creating artificial prices for health and environment table benefits by studying what people would be actually willing to pay for them.[12]

Environmental Kuznets curve

Environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) proposes that there is an inverted U-shape relation between environmental degradation and income per capita, so that, eventually, growth reduces the environmental impact of economic activity. This concept is dependent on a model of the economy in which there is no feedback from the quality of the environment to production possibilities, and in which trade has a neutral effect on environmental degradation.[13]

The actual violation of these assumptions gives rise to fundamental problems in estimating the parameters of an EKC. There are several other econometric problems with estimates of the EKC, and reviews a number of empirical studies. The inference from some such EKC estimates that further development will reduce environmental degradation is dependent on the assumption that world per capita income is normally distributed when in fact median income is far below mean income. Stimulations combining EKC estimates from the literature with World Bank forecasts for economic growth for individual countries, aggregating over countries to derive the global impact. Within the horizon of the Bank’s forecast (2025) global emissions of SOI continue to increase. Forest loss stabilizes before the end of the period but tropical deforestation continues at a constant rate throughout the period.[14]

Major policy adjustments will be required to move the global economy toward a sustainable development path. It does not appear to us that the EKC approach has much to offer in the way of informing the choices arising for policy makers.

 

 

The Price of Destruction

Globally, forests are the most severely endangered lands, with special reference to our tropical forests and their abundant species. The near dissipation of our forests has exacerbated a crisis for both the timber industry and the various species, which rely on these forests. Also, the appropriation and management of reserve areas is of perennial interest, with a variety of interests and opportunities for citizen involvement.

Land is susceptible to various forms of pollution or chemical insults, some of which last a lot longer than other. Irrigational available land, either arable, pastoral or forest, is said to have been damaged by gradual toxin accumulation including pollution from non-point sources. Certain sources of land pollution that require control are the intensive and excessive fertilizer and pesticide application, run-off from intensive beef or dairy units, and effluents from mining and industrial activities.[15]

The global focus has been on pollution problems and in several countries the response has been rectification of pollution damage. Numerous instances, however, thrive of major pollution thatis causes of concern involving air, land, aquifers, seas and cities. A major air pollution problem, especially in urban environments, originates from vehicle emissions. Lead, hydrocarbons and other toxic chemicals are generated by heavy traffic in significant amounts that endangerthe flora and fauna along major highways .[16]

Migration

Another valid reason to impose sanctions is the large-scale migration due to environmental destruction and pollution. The UNHCR in the 1993 state of the world’s refugees identified four root causes of refugee flows. These were: political instability; economic tensions; ethnic conflict; and environmental degradation. The claim that environmental degradation was a root cause of refugee flows was a direct response to a growing number of researches positing a link between environmental degradation and population movement, and a recognition that the numbers of displaced persons internationally was much larger than indicated by the statistics on refugee flows.[17]

According to many researches, the number of people who have been displaced by environmental degradation is immense. Jacobson (1988) notes that, “environmental refugees have become the single largest class of dis- placed persons in the world.” Homer-Dixon further notes that environmental degradation is likely to produce “waves of environmental refugees that spill across borders with destabilizing effects” on domestic order and international relations. Speaking of displaced persons unaccounted for in official refugee figures, the Executive Director of UNEP at the time, Mustafa Tolba (1985), stated “these people are the millions fleeing the droughts of northern Africa, the victims of Bhopal and the thousands made homeless by the Mexico earth- quake. They are environmental refugees”[18]

Paris Climate Conference, 2015

In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, was held in Paris. France played the leading international role in hosting this seminal conference, and COP21 was one of the largest international conferences ever held in the country.

The conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, the text of which represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties attending it.  According to the organizing committee at the outset of the talks, the expected key result was an agreement to set a goal of limiting global to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. The agreement calls for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century. In the adopted version of the Paris Agreement, the parties will also “pursue efforts to” limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. The 1.5 °C goal will require zero emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, according to some scientists.[19] Prior to the conference, 146 national climate panels publicly presented draft national climate contributions (called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions“, INDCs). These suggested commitments were estimated to limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100. For example, the EU suggested INDC is a commitment to a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. The agreement establishes a “global stock take” which revisits the national goals to “update and enhance” them every five years beginning 2023. However, no detailed timetable or country-specific goals for emissions were incorporated into the Paris Agreement – as opposed to the previous Kyoto Protocol.A number of meetings took place in preparation for COP21, including the Bonn Climate Change Conference, 19 to 23 October 2015, which produced a draft agreement. [20]          

Conclusion

Thus, trade sanctions are favored to the extent that helps clean and protect the atmosphere along with helping countries develop. Trade sanctions are a lot more effective considering they cripple the economy and no country desires that. Also, military sanctions would not be preferred considering this issue is resolvable using trade sanctions and regulations. Furthermore, using military forces for environmental protection would only add on to the already existing crisis in the world. Military sanctions tend to only produce short-term impacts.  By using military forces, we in a way are forcing a society to change something they are not ready for, again using Jihad vs. McWorld.

Faced with the challenges of climate change, economic development and sustainability, the future of energy and environmental policies in of the world, especially developing countries has been an emerging issue. COP 21 can be considered a decent example of a move for sustainable development. Finally, 196 countries have come to an agreement regarding environment protection and climate change. The developing countries such as, India and China expressed their desire to contribute as much a possible; the amount that will help protect the environment and also not hinder their development progress. Thus, the most promising policy approaches would be those that capitalize on natural synergies between development priorities and climate protection, which simultaneously advance both these efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Student, State University of New York, Genesseo.

*University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh.

[2] Climate Change- The Science, retrieved from http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/climate-change-the-science.aspx, accessed on 1st  March, 2016

[3] Elizabeth R. DeSombre,  The international journal of peace studies, environmental harm as economic subsidy: new perspectives on the feasibility of trade sanctions for environmental protection ,http://www.gmu.edu/programs/icar/ijps/vol4_1/desombre.htm, accessed on 1st March, 2016

[4] B. Sudhakara Reddy and Gaudenz B. Assenza, Climate change – a developing country  perspective, www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/, accessed on 3rd March, 2016

[5] ID

[6] Economic Development vs the Environment. (2014). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://debatewise.org/debates/2918-economic-development-vs-the-environment/

[7]UN Documents Gathering a body of global agreements , retrieved fromhttp://www.un-documents.net/ocf-08.htm, accessed on 4th March, 2016

[8] Global Policy Forum on Climate Change, retrieved fromhttps://www.globalpolicy.org/social-and-economic-policy/the-environment/climate-change.html, accessed on 4th March, 2016

[9] Bunyan Brant, Environmental Justice: Issues, Policies, and Solutions, Island Press, Washington D.C., 1995

[10] U.S.-China Relations: Current Tensions, Policy Choices, http://www.cfr.org/world/us-china-relations-current-tensions-policy-choices/p5041, accessed on 4th March, 2016.

[11] Frank Ackerman, Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution, Island Press, 2008

[12] Id

[13]David I. Stern, Michael s. Common and Edward b. Barbier , Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: The Environmental Kuznets Curve and Sustainable Development,https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4979089_’Economic_Growth_and_Environmental_Degradation_The_Environmental_Kuznets_Curve_and_Sustainable_Development‘, accessed on 5th March, 2016

[14]Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation,http://www.polarhestar.is/715583/economic_g__rowth_and_environmental_degradation_the_environmental_kuznets_curve_and_sustainable_development/a5qd14qhp7ts, Accessed on 5th March, 2016

[15] Stanley Johnson, UNEP: The First 40 Years, www.unep.org/pdf/40thbook.pdf, Accessed on 5th March, 2016.

[16] Wagner, J. L. (2013). The Forest for the Trees: The Benefits of the Trees of Forest Park. Confluence (2150-2633), 38-49.

[17] Susan F. Martin, Global migration trends and asylum, www.unhcr.org/3af66ccc4.pdf, Accessed on 6th March, 2016.

[18] Lonergan Steve.The Role of Environmental Degradation in Population Displacement. Environmental Change and Security Project Report, Issue 4 (Spring 1998): 5-15

[19]http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/, retrieved on 23rd feb, 2016.

[20] “Bonn Climate Change Conference – October 2015”. unfccc.int. Retrieved on 23rd feb, 2016.

Degradation and Global Warming by Parul Sharma

Degradation and Global Warming

                                                                                 * Parul Sharma[1]

                                                       Abstract

The ‘Environment’ is perhaps the biggest gift that the humans have ever got. It is the utmost duty of each and every living being to protect and preserve environment for themselves and the generations to come. This research paper focuses on major issues of Environmental degradation which is the disintegration of the earth or deterioration of the environment through consumption of assets, for example, air, water and soil; the destruction of environments and the eradication of wildlife. It is characterized as any change or aggravation to nature’s turf seen to be pernicious or undesirable and Global warming which is the increase of Earth’s average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth. The paper also discusses Climate change and it’s repercussions. The paper analyses the causes of these issues alongside its impact and remedies. The overuse of natural resources including land or water are the major causes of degradation and deterioration of Environment. Industrialization is also one of the prominent causes for global warming. Due to advances in science and technology, the growth rate of industrialization has gained momentum in both developed and developing countries.  The paper also discusses some major conventions including the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 which was held in Paris, Copenhagen and Cancun, 2009, Kyoto summit on global warming 1997 with a view to make an in-depth study of the issue. The basic aim of this paper is to suggest some remedies at the personal as well as general level in order to preserve our Environment. The decision as to what car one drives,
Upgrading one’s refrigerator and air conditioner, especially if they are more than five years , spreading the word about environmental conservation are some of the basic steps that can be taken by an individual to protect and preserve the environment. Now is the time to act and solve this catastrophic issues. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation – if, admittedly, a daunting one. Key words: Environmental Degradation, Global warming, COP 21 or CMP 11, Climate change

 

When the last tree has been cut down, the last river poisoned, the last fish caught, only then will we realize, we can’t eat money.

                                                                                                            -Source unknown

Introduction

The ‘Environment’ is perhaps the biggest gift that the humans have ever got. Of course, they are a part of it and the very world they live in is their environment, their surroundings. Regardless of it being such an essential element of life, humans are persistent on making it abominable place to live on for themselves and for the future generations[2].

Living in a village one would come across the disheartening site of trees being cut for using the land to grow crops or to construct houses. The small water bodies that existed some time ago are no longer seen now. The plight of Cities is no different, every day one can come across the barbaric act of trees being severed to fulfil the greed of humans for constructing houses, multiplexes and roads to lead a comfortable life. In hilly areas, forests are being cut to meet the fast growing needs of the people.

Even after being aware that all these are adversely affecting our environment owing to the media and articles all over the internet, one chooses to stay silent. Every week, one can see new and undeniable climate events. The evidence presents itself in the form of droughts intensifying, oceans warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor. Extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets are melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections can be seen. None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is a fact.Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems’’ at a rate unseen in past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gasses and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment. The scientific community knows it, Industry and governments know it too.[3]

Needless to say that environmental degradation and global warming are the major global issues that need immediate and extensive attention. This research paper presents an overall in-detail analysis of these issues alongside their causes and antidotes. The aim of the research paper is to spread awareness of this growing menace and how to curb it.

 

Environmental Degradation

Meaning

Environmental degradation is the disintegration of the earth or deterioration of the environment through consumption of assets, for example, air, water and soil; the destruction of environments and the eradication of wildlife. It is characterized as any change or aggravation to nature’s turf seen to be pernicious or undesirable.[4]

This is the result of the consolidation of an effective and substantial increase in human population, and constant expansion of monetary development or per capita fortune and the application of asset exhausting and polluting technology. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction characterizes environmental degradation as the lessening of the limit of the earth to meet social and environmental destinations, and needs. [5]

Causesof Environmental Degradation

  • Inappropriate land use:

These phenomena can lead to soil degradation. Further, it may take place due to bad farming techniques. Leaving fields bare or ploughing those up and down the sides of a hill can cause severe soil erosion when it rains heavily as the soil has nothing keeping it in place. When the left over parts of crops and animal manure are ploughed back into the soil they serve to replenish and fertilize it. However, if the crops are cut to be fed to animals and the manure is burnt as a fuel, the soil will have no way of replenishing itself, and decreases in fertility. Sometimes landowners make changes in the way they use the land in an attempt to make the land more productive, but often these changes damage the land and actually make it less productive.

  • Over cultivation: This happens when a farmer does not allow a piece of land to recover in between plantings, exhausting the soil. Left unchecked this can eventually lead to land degradation as the land is being used in a way which is unsustainable.
  • Overgrazing: It is caused when more animals than a piece of land can support are allowed to graze in that area. It can cause and accelerate soil erosion and with it there is a loss of soil fertility. When large herds are concentrated around one particular area the animals compact the soil by trampling on it resulting in the soil being unable to retain as much moisture as it needs. Once the animals have overgrazed an area it is often left barren with no protection and the wind blows away the topsoil.[6]
  • Pollution: Pollution is also an important factor in causing environmental degradation. Soil can be damaged as a result of waste products and pollutants being deposited and left in it. When garbage from factories, mines and households is dumped in the natural environment, it pollutes the land and leaves its toxins within the soil. The soil therefore becomes unfit to support any plant growth or animal life. The increase in the global population has caused a massive increase in levels of waste and pollution, adding to increasing environmental degradation. It is often the people living in degraded environments are responsible for the occurred, but this is often as a result of and economic problems.
  • Poverty

Poverty is a major contributing factor to land degradation as is forces millions of people to destroy the resources within their surroundings in order to survive. Poor people often do not have access to the best land, leaving them to depend on the most fragile areas and resources. This means that they have no other choice than to use what resources are available to them. even if these result in the degradation of the land. Foreign debt often forces governments in door countries to pursue policies and practices which are harmful to the environment in order to keep up with their debt payments, such as intensive farming for export. These are important for ne national economies of these countries but may take the place of traditional land uses -which may have been more eco-friendly and provide food for people to eat. Besides population growth, natural disasters such as floods and droughts and national emergencies like war and political tensions can also add to the pressures which are placed on file land. [7]

  • Deforestation: It is basically conversion of forest land into agricultural land and pastures.[8]It not only affects the climate by increasing the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide but also affects the environment by inhibiting water recycling, triggering severe flooding, aquifer depletion, soil degradation and the extinction of plant and animal species. Cutting of trees deprive the atmosphere of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis which further causes a decline in photosynthetic activity which results in the atmosphere retaining higher levels of carbon dioxide. Forests also store an enormous amount of organic carbon which is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide when forests are cleared by burning. [9]
  • Overpopulation: Overpopulation is caused by number of factors. Reduced mortality rate, better medical facilities, depletion of precious resources etc.[10]this rapid population growth puts strain on natural resources which results in degradation of our environment. With the increase in number of people, there is also a hike in the demand for food, clothes and shelter. One need more space to grow food and provide homes to millions of people. This results in deforestation which is another factor of environmental degradation. This is a vicious cycle which continues and there is no end to it.
  • Transport: As a consequence of population increase, the number of vehicles on the road increases. The amount has grown exponentially in countries like India, Brazil and China and this is a point form of pollution which directly affects humans. Air pollution is one of the repercussions that is created because of vehicular pollution, and Hydro-Carbons released from engines are the cause of creation of lower level ozone that is harmful to humans.

 

 

Impact of Environmental Degradation:

 

  • Impact on Crop yields:

Environmental degradation and a loss of ecosystem has a direct impact on pests (weeds, insects and pathogens), soil erosion and nutrient depletion, growing conditions through climate and weather, as well as available water for irrigation through impacts on rainfall and ground and surface water. These are factors that individually could account for over 50% in loss of the yield in a given “bad” year. The interactions among these variables, compounded by management systems and society, are highly complex. Unsustainable practices in irrigation and production may lead to increased salinization of soil, nutrient depletion and erosion.

  • Impact on Human Health:

Human health is very badly affected due to environmental degradation. Areas exposed to toxic air pollutants can cause respiratory problems like pneumonia and asthma. Lung cancer can also be caused due to the toxic gases in air. Millions of people are known to have died as a consequence of air pollution.

  • Economic Impact:

The country will be forced to bore huge costs due to environmental degradation. These phenomena results in big economic impact in terms of restoration of green cover, cleaning up of landfills and protection of endangered species and loss of tourism industry.  Environmental damage in the form of loss of green cover, loss of biodiversity, huge landfills, increased air and water pollution can be a big turn off for most of the tourists.

  • Climatic Change:

There has been a tremendous climatic change due to the environmental degradation. Climate change is a long-term shift in the statistics of the weather (including its averages). We know that the global climate is currently changing. The last decade of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st have been the warmest period in the entire global instrumental temperature record, starting in the mid-19th century. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes. Certain naturally occurring gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2 O), trap heat in the atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect. Burning of fossil fuels, like oil, coal, and natural gas is adding CO2 to the atmosphere. The current level is the highest in the past 650,000 years.[11]

 

 

GLOBAL WARMING

 

Global warming is for real. Every scientist knows that now, and we are on our way to the destruction of every species on earth, if we don’t pay attention and reverse our course.                       

 

                                                                                                        Theodore C. Sorensen

 

Today all the countries in the world are confronted with the severe duo impediments of global warming and climate change that are the most crucial phenomena. Along-with the advancement of technology and cultural transformation, the race for economic development was enormous during the last centuries. Global warming is a process by which the average temperature of the atmosphere, oceans and landmasses of the earth is increasing. It is a burning issue in the present era of globalization and it gives a sense of increasing temperature over the surface of the earth and in the atmosphere. The planet earth has warmed and cooled many times during the 4.65 billion years of its history. At present, it appears to be facing a rapid warming, which most scientists believe is the result, at least in part, of human-induced developmental activities.

As early as 1896, scientists suggested that burning fossil fuels might change the composition of the atmosphere and that an increase in global average temperature might result. The first part of this hypothesis was confirmed in 1957, when researchers working in the global research programme called the International, Geophysical Year sampled the atmosphere from the top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa. Their instruments indicated that carbon dioxide concentration was indeed rising. Since then, the composition of the atmosphere has been carefully tracked. The data collected show undeniably that the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are increasing. [12]

In 1988, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization established a panel of 200 leading scientists to consider the evidence. The panel concluded that global air temperature had increased 0.6°C since 1861. The panel agreed that the warming was caused primarily by human-induced developmental activities that add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The summers are now extremely hot; winters excessively cold, and floods and droughts are also severe.

 

Meaning and definition

Before embarking on a detailed analysis of Global warming and its impacts on Indian climate, we should first know what climate, greenhouse effect and global warming actually mean.

CLIMATE– The climate is defined as’ the general or average weather conditions of a certain region, including temperature, rainfall, and wind’. The earth’s climate is most affected by latitude, the tilt of the Earth’s axis, the movements of the Earth’s wind belts, and the difference in temperatures of land and sea, and topography. The climate system is a complex, interactive system consisting of the atmosphere, land surface, snow and ice, oceans and other bodies of water, and living things.

GREEN HOUSE EFFECT– Green House effect is the phenomenon whereby the earth’s atmosphere traps solar radiation, and is mediated by the presence in the atmosphere of gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through, but absorb the heat radiated back from the earth’s surface. Thus the Greenhousegases provide a blanketing effect in the lower strata of the earth’s atmosphere, and this blanketing effect is being enhanced because of the human activities like burning of fossil fuels etc.

GLOBAL WARMING– ‘Global warming is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, especially a sustained increase great enough to cause changes in the global climate’. The term global warming is synonymous with Enhanced greenhouse effect, implying an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, leading to entrapment of more and more solar radiations, and thus increasing the overall temperature of the earth.[13]

 

Causes of Global Warming

The major causes of global warming and consequent climate change are El Nino process. The issues that causes the global warming is divided into two categories include natural and human influence of global warming[14].

  1. Natural Causes:
    There are several natural causes that result in global warming. The climate has continuously changing for centuries. The global warming happens because the natural rotation of the sun that changes the intensity of sunlight and moving closer to the earth. Another cause of global warming is greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide it trap the solar heats rays and prevent it from escaping from the surface of the earth. This has because the temperature of the earth increases. Volcanic eruptions also play a major role in global warming. For instance, a single volcanic eruption will release amount of carbon dioxide and ash to the atmosphere. Once carbon dioxide increase, the temperature of earth increase and greenhouse trap the solar radiations in the earth.
  2. Human Influences:
  3. Industrialization

It is one of the prominent causes for global warming. Due to advances in science and technology, the growth rate of industrialization has gained momentum in both developed and developing countries. The smog releases from the industries is very harmful for the structured atmosphere. Also increasing numbers of vehicles also release toxic smog in the atmosphere and, the increasing rate of carbon dioxide, CFCs and carbon monoxide is causing great harm to life.[15]

 

  1. Population Explosion

Increasing human population is the prime concern of the environmentalists because of this environment is deteriorating at a large scale. For fulfilling daily needs and increasing development activities, the human population is heavily dependent on natural resources. Overutilization of natural resources has thus led to the degradation of environment.

  1. Pollution

This has raises a question on the longevity of human race. In India, according to a survey made by the Central Board of Water Pollution Control (CBWPC), 13 cities are fully affected by water pollution. These are all industrial cities. The river water in these cities is neither usable for drinking nor for irrigation. About 190 billion cubic metres water is available for drinking purposes in the form of rivers, lakes, ponds and glaciers. Out of that, about 70 per cent of water has fully been polluted, according to an estimate by the scientists of National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI). Dry regions are being dryer and if this trend continues in the future too, most of these regions will be converted into deserts. [16]

  1. Depletion of Forestland

Tropical rainforest of the world are depleting due to mass cutting of these forests. A report by the FAO reveals that the tropical rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 15.4 million hectares, because forestland is converting into agricultural land. It is also due to population growth and increasing need for timber for industrial and other development purposes. Depletion of forest areas has severe implications on climate change and global warming. According to the researchers, the impact of forest depletion also falls on the wildlife.[17]

Impact of Global Warming

  1. Killer heat waves

Due to global warming the chance of “killer” heat waves like the one that hit Europe in July and August of 2003 is almost certain. That summer was very likely the continent’s hottest in 500 years. The relentless heat killed at least 27,000 people, breaking all records worldwide for heat-induced human fatalities[18].

  1. Torrential rains and flooding

Increasing temperature is likely to lead to increasing precipitation and it has increased over recent decades. In December 1999, for instance, Venezuela saw its highest monthly rainfall in 100 years, with massive landslides and flooding that killed approximately 30,000 people[19].

  1. Drought, forest pests, and wildfires

Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of other extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and tornadoes.The worldwide drought has been linked to unusually warm waters in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific, which many scientists believe to be caused in part by global warming. Insect pests are spreading to forests previously too cold for their survival; Alaska, for instance, had in the 1990s the world’s largest recorded outbreak of spruce bark beetles. Drought, heat, and insect attacks promote severe forest fires[20].

  1. Rising sea level

Sea-level rise is one of the major repercussions of global warming. During the 20th century, sea levels around the world rose by an average of 4 to 8 inches, ten times the average rate over the last 3,000 years. That rise is projected to continue or accelerate further, with possible catastrophic increases of many meters if the ice sheets on Greenland and/or Antarctica collapse. If sea level continues to rise, thousands of square miles of land in densely populated areas such as the eastern U.S. and Bangladesh may be lost, and flooding during storm surges will worsen. Construction of physical barriers such as seawalls would be expensive and in some cases unfeasible[21].

  1. Vanishing glaciers

In almost every mountainous region across the world, glaciers are retreating in response to the warming climate. The shrinkage of glaciers is already creating water shortages, and threatening tourism in scenic parks. In one basin in Glacier National Park in Montana, for instance, two-thirds of the ice has disappeared since 1850; with uncontrolled warming, the remaining glaciers could disappear by 2030. In Asia, glaciers are retreating at a record pace in the Indian Himalaya, and two glaciers in New Guinea will be gone in a decade[22].

  1. Disintegrating polar ice and melting permafrost

In 2003 the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, the largest in the Arctic, broke in two, draining a unique freshwater lake that was home to a rare microbial ecosystem. At present rates of shrinkage, Arctic sea ice could soon pass a point of no return, disappearing completely each summer by the end of this century and pushing polar bears to the brink of extinction everywhere. Shrinking and thinning ice has also made hunting of seals and other food sources more challenging and accident filled for humans. Continued warming could destroy traditional societies. The 4,000 year-old Eskimo village of Shishmaref has been so severely eroded by ocean waves that the entire community was forced to relocate.[23]

  1. Damage to coral reefs

The past 25 years have witnessed a higher incidence around the world of large-scale coral “bleaching” events, which can lead to coral death. In 1997–98 alone, the largest bleaching event on record seriously damaged 16% of the reefs in the world and killed 1,000-yearold corals. Mass bleaching are usually caused by excessively high temperatures. Within the next few decades, continued warming could cause mass bleaching to become an annual event, wiping out some reef species and ecosystems along with the food, tourism income, and coastline protection they provide[24].

  1. Disease outbreaks

Human beings are exposed to climate change through changing weather patterns and indirectly through changes in water, air and food quality and changes in ecosystems, agriculture, industry and settlements and the economy[25]. It is concluded that climate change had altered the seasonal distribution of some allergenic pollen species. It has also been found out that climate change had altered the distribution of some infectious disease vectors and increased heat wave related deaths.[26]

 

Law relating to Global Warming

The law relating to climate change has been discussed over and over throughout the history. However, this is has taken an eminent position only in the nearer times that have passed.

 

  1. International

The United States, although a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the protocol. In 1997, the US Senate voted unanimously under the Byrd-Hagel Resolution that it was not the sense of the Senate that the United States should be a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. New Energy for America is a plan to invest in renewable energy, reduce reliance on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis, and make a coal a less competitive energy source[27].

The IPCC, established jointly in 1988 by the WMO and the UNEP, has been mandated to ‘assess on a comprehensive, objective, open, and transparent basis the scientific, technical, and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impact, and options for adaptation and mitigation.’ The IPCC meets in plenary sessions approximately once a year and is constituted of three working groups and a task force of National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.[28]

The three working groups aim at reporting on scientific basis of climate change; vulnerability of social, economic, and ecological systems to climate change and their positive and negative aspects; ways to reduce greenhouse gases.

In the United Kingdom, wind farm development was quickly identified as a means of achieving reductions in the production of greenhouse gases.[29]

 

  1. India

In India, though there is no legislation on climatic change as such, the Environment Protection Act, 1986 deals with the cause of environment as a whole. Also the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government for planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of India’s environmental and forestry policies and programmes. This Ministry also serves as the nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme[30], South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and for the follow up of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.

 

India has experienced a dramatic growth in fossil fuel CO2 emissions, and the data compiled by various agencies shows an increase of nearly 5.9 per cent since 1950. India is rated as the sixth largest contributor of CO2 emissions, and in 2003 contributed to 4.43 per cent of the world’s GHG emissions. In India the main contributor to the emissions is coal burning. India ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 26 August 2002, and thus committed to the furtherance of the objectives of the Convention, which came into force on 16 February 2005. The Gazette of India, on 19 July, 2000, notified rules for regulation of ODS phase-out called the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules. 2000.

 

International Treaties and Conventions

~ Kyoto Summit on Global Warming, 1997 ~

 

A conference on ‘climate change’ was held at Kyoto (Japan). The conference achieved some success as it took certain solid decisions, viz. that the emission of greenhouse gases from the 1990 level would be reduced by 8%, 7% and 6% by European Union, America and Japan, respectively. Similarly, targets of 21 other industrial countries were fixed for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases viz. an average of five percent relative to their 1990 levels. These targets are to be achieved in between 2008 and 2012. The Kyoto process envisages that poor or developing countries will take on targets at a later stage[31].

 

The developing countries expressed the view that their economic conditions do not permit them to accept such commitments. Developing nations only agreed at the last minute to allow emissions trading among all countries as part of ‘clean development mechanism’.

The Kyoto Protocol has been criticized on the ground that it calls for sharp reduction in emissions over a relatively short period of time. There are ambitious targets but no limits on compliance costs (which could be very high). The U.S.A. argues that “the Kyoto Protocol is unfair to the United States and to other Industrialized nations because it exempts 80% of the world from compliance.”

The Protocol has been approved (signed) by 120 countries. At least 55 countries need to concur (ratify) to grant the Kyoto Protocol legal status. Very recently (Oct. 2004), Russia, responsible for 17% of the world’s greenhouse gas emission, signed the Protocol. With Russia’s participation the threshold for enactment under the treaty’s complicated terms has been reached. In other words, the Protocol can become operational now.

 

 

 

Copenhagen and Cancún

 

As part of the 2009 Copenhagen negotiations, a number of countries produced the Copenhagen Accord. The Accord states that global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F). This may be strengthened in 2015 with a target to limit warming to below 1.5 °C. The Accord does not specify what the baseline is for these temperature targets (e.g., relative to pre-industrial or 1990 temperatures). According to the UNFCCC, these targets are relative to pre-industrial temperatures.

114 countries have agreed to the Accord. As part of the Accord, 17 developed country Parties and the EU-27 have submitted mitigation targets, as have 45 developing country Parties. Some developing country Parties have noted the need for international support in their plans. Many aspects of the Copenhagen Accord were brought into the formal UNFCCC process as part of the Cancún agreements[32]. The Cancún agreements were adopted by the COP in 2010. The agreement states that global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level. This target may be strengthened “on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge, including in relation to a global average temperature rise of 1.5 °C”.

 

As part of the Cancún agreements, developed and developing countries have submitted mitigation plans to the UNFCCC.

 

Paris Climate Conference, 2015

 

In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, was held in Paris. France played the leading international role in hosting this seminal conference, and COP21 was one of the largest international conferences ever held in the country.

The conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, the text of which represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties attending it.  According to the organizing committee at the outset of the talks, the expected key result was an agreement to set a goal of limiting global to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. The agreement calls for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century. In the adopted version of the Paris Agreement, the parties will also “pursue efforts to” limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. The 1.5 °C goal will require zero emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, according to some scientists.[33]

Prior to the conference, 146 national climate panels publicly presented draft national climate contributions (called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions“, INDCs). These suggested commitments were estimated to limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100. For example, the EU suggested INDC is a commitment to a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. The agreement establishes a “global stock take” which revisits the national goals to “update and enhance” them every five years beginning 2023. However, no detailed timetable or country-specific goals for emissions were incorporated into the Paris Agreement – as opposed to the previous Kyoto Protocol.

A number of meetings took place in preparation for COP21, including the Bonn Climate Change Conference, 19 to 23 October 2015, which produced a draft agreement. [34]

.

 Remedies for Global Warming

 

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:

Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn’t a recycling programme at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.[35]

  1. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning:

Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home.[36] Turn down the heat while you’re sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

  1. Change a light bulb:

Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat. If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.

  1. Drive less and drive smart:

Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school. When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tries properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3%. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget; it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere[37].

  1. Buy Energy-Efficient Products:

When it’s time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good gas mileage. Home appliances now come in a range of energy efficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs. Avoid products thatcome with excess packaging, especially moulded plastic and other packaging that can’t be recycled. If you reduce your household garbage by 10 %, you can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

  1. Use less Hot Water:

Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 5 years old. Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most households. Use the energy-saving settings on your dishwasher and let the dishes air-dry.

  1. Use the “Off” Switch:

Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as lighter as you need. And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you’re not using them. It’s also a good idea to turn off the water when you’re not using it.[38] While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing. You’ll reduce your water bill and help to conserve a vital resource.

  1. Plant a tree:

If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.

  1. Get a report card from your utility company:

Many utility companies provide free home energy audits to help consumers identify areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades.

  1. Encourage Others to Conserve:

Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment. These 10 steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and your monthly budget. And less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.

Conclusion

When trying to determine if global warming is fact or fiction, we must take into account evidence from all sides. Plenty of evidence exists within the science community. While the evidence points to the existence of global warming, the cause is still widely disputed. The climate change would increase the number of people suffering from death, disease and injury from heat waves, floods, storms and droughts.[39] Floods are low-probability, high-impact events that can overwhelm physical infrastructure and human communities. Major storm and flood disasters have occurred in the last two decades. Vulnerability to weather disasters depends on the attributes of the person at risk, including where they live and their age, as well as other social and environmental factors. High-density populations in low-lying coastal regions experience a high health burden from weather disasters. Hot days, hot nights and heat waves have become more frequent. Heat waves are associated with marked short-term increases in mortality. In some regions, changes in temperature and precipitation are projected to increase the frequency and severity of fire events. Forest and bush fires cause burns, damage from smoke inhalation and other injuries. Background levels of ground-level ozone have risen since pre-industrial times because of increasing emissions of methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. However, armed with the proper knowledge and efforts, we can reduce this and fight this monster from destroying any more of our mother nature or bringing about our doom.

[1] Student, University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh

 

[2]Sahasranaman P.B., OXFORD HANDBOOK OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, 2nd Edition, 2012, p 1

[3]‘Climate change is not hysteria – it’s a fact’ http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/23/leonarodo-dicaprio-un-climate-change-speech-new-york, retrived on 14thfeb, 2016.

[4]What is Environmental Degradation?http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-and-effects-of-environmental-degradation.php, reterived on 14thfeb, 2016.

[5] ID

[6] Malik Sumeet, ENVIRONMENT LAW, Eastern Book Company, p 4 4 T.N.GodavarmanThirumalpad v. Union of India, (2002) 10 SCC 606

[7] Sati Prasad Vishwambhar, Än introduction to Environment”, RawatPunlications, 2012, p:168-9

[8] Supra 5, p:158

[9] Nature and Environment, http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/the-effect-of-deforestation-on-the-climate-and-environment.aspx, retrieved on 16th Feb, 2016.

[10]Overpopulation, http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-overpopulation.php, retrived on 16th Feb, 2016.

[11]http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/climate/Climatechange.pdfNOAA National Weather Service climate change, retrieved on 2oth feb, 2016.

[12] Energy Bulletin <http://energybulletin.net >., retrieved on 20thfeb, 2016

[13] Matthews John A., THE SAGE HANDBOOK OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE, SAGE, Volume 2, 2012, pp 114- 257

[14]The Causes of Global Warming. (n.d.). The Causes of Global Warming. Retrieved Feb 18, 2016 , fromhttp://causesofglobalwarming.net/the_causes.html

[15]History of Fossil Fuel Usage since the Industrial Revolution. (n.d.). . Retrieved , from https://www.mhi-global.com/discover/earth/issue/history/history.html

[16]Doabia T.S., ENVIRONMENT AND POLLUTION LAWS IN INDIA, Wadhwa and Company, Nagpur, Volume 1, 2005, p 503

[17] Sunder I., PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY, Sarup Book Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1st edition, 2012, p 558

[18] Stott, P.A., D.A. Stone, and M.R. Allen, Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003, Nature, 432, 610–614, 2004.

[19]Wieczorek, G.F., M.C. Larsen, L.S. Eaton, B.A. Morgan, and J.L. Blair, 2001. Debrisflow and flooding hazards associated with the December 1999 storm in coastal Venezuela and strategies for mitigation. USGS Open-File Report 01-0144. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2001/ofr-01-0144/

[20] 4 Stocks, B.J., et al. 1998. Climate change and forest fire potential in Russian and Canadian boreal forests. Climatic Change, 38, 1–13;

[21]Meehl, G.A., W.M. Washington, W.D. Collins, J.M. Arblaster, A. Hu, L.E. Buja, W.G. Strand, and H. Teng. 2005. How much more global warming and sea level rise? Science, 307, 1769-1772.

[22] Meier, Mark F., Mark B. Dyurgerov, Gregory J. McCabe, 2003. The Health of Glaciers: Recent Changes in Glacier Regime, Climatic Change, 59(1-2), 123–135.

[23] Meier, W., J. Stroeve, F. Fetterer, and K. Knowles. 2005. Reductions in Arctic sea ice cover no longer limited to summer. Eos Transactions AGU, 86(36), 326.

[24]Hoegh-Guldberg, O. 1999. Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs. Marine and Freshwater Res., 50, 839–866.

[25] Patz, J.A., P.R. Epstein, T.A. Burke, and J.M. Balbus. 1996. Global climate change and emerging infectious diseases. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 275, 217–223.

[26] Sati Vishwambhar Prasad, AN INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENT, Rawat Publications, 2012, pp 193 – 203

[27] Lal, ENCYCLOPAEDIA ON ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND POLLUTION LAWS, Delhi Law House, Volume 2, 5th  Edition, p 85

[28] Ibid at p 280

[29] Holder Jane, Lee Maria, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION LAW AND POLICY, Cambridge, 2nd Edition, 2007 at p 699

[30] UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, ‘CDM Project Activity Cycle’ http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/pac/index.html (last visited 13 February, 2016)

[31]Mike Lockwood, “Solar Change and Climate: an update in the light of the current exceptional solar minimum,” Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 21 Feb 2016

[32]Judith Lean, “Cycles and trends in solar irradiance and climate,” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, vol. 1, January/February 2010, 111-122.

[33]http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/, retrieved on 23rdfeb, 2016.

[34] “Bonn Climate Change Conference – October 2015”. unfccc.int. Retrieved on 23rdfeb, 2016.

[35]Bedi R.S., Bedi A.S., ENCYCLOPAEDIA ON ENVIRONMENT AND POLLUTION LAWS, Volume 1, 2nd Edition, p 1427

[36] P. K. Bhattacharjee, “Environmental Pollution Free System in All Over the World”, International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, Singapore, vol. 1, no. 1, pp 57-59, April 2010.

[37]http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/global-warming.pdf Global Warming The Hottest Debate of the Decade

[38] N. K. Uberoi, Environmental Management, Revised Edition, Excel Books, 2002.

[39] N. K. Uberoi, Environmental Management, Revised Edition, Excel Books, 2002.