Sustainable Measures for Revamping Urbanisation and Environmental Policies

We organized a one-day public policy Symposium on Urbanisation and Environmental Policies for students and young professionals in New Delhi. It was aimed at reflecting on environmental policies and analyzing their impact on the contemporary urban growth landscape of our country. The discussions and presentations were focused on the need to improve the present legal and policy frameworks and to fill the prevalent gaps therein. (more…)

FAME India – Phase 2: Lack of Success in the Face of Policy Deficiencies

 By Keerthana Chavaly, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi.

Phase 2 of FAME India, which is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020, aims to reinvigorate the push for clean energy and address the drawbacks of Phase 1 by increasing the use of environmentally friendly electric vehicles through investing Rs. 10,000 crores for a period of three years (2019-2022). In June 2015, the government kick started a scheme called Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India). The scheme aimed to increase the use of electric vehicles in the country by implementing a policy that would raise the demand for environmentally friendly vehicles. The policy focused on the auto sector, with Phase 1 of the scheme intending to develop infrastructure and promote technologies that would be required for increased and sustained production of electric vehicles (EVs). However, the results of Phase 1 have not been entirely positive – reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel targets have not been met.

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The Feat of Ecologically Sensitive Urbanisation: What India can learn from its Asian peers

By Riya Mathur, SRCC, New Delhi.

Given that the purpose of urbanization for any developing country is to produce highly efficient urban areas for better consumption and efficient management of resources and ensuring public welfare, India needs a concrete structure to embark on this journey. In a time when rural to urban migration is high and the consequential environmental degradation concerns the policy makers, the aim of a truly urbanized country seems difficult to achieve. With all that it faces today, it is only apt to not just consider where India’s urban planning went wrong but also how these mistakes can be addressed in a way to strategize as to what the country can do to better its policies in the face of ecological challenges that accompany massive urbanization. The best way to do this would be to compare India’s practices with those of its peers which consist of similar assets and face similar challenges. 

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Ethanol Production in India: Green Fuel Policy for a Cleaner Future

By Prachi Mishra, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore & Riya Mathur, SRCC, Delhi.

The growing global consciousness in regard to the impending doom of climate change, has finally managed to startle governments and policy makers to endorse sustainable legislation. In most developing countries, fuel for industry, commute and domestic usage alike makes up the largest part of emissions, making fuel policy an area of targeted attention. Bio-Fuels and subsequent techniques like ethanol blending of petroleum are avenues of great potential for achieving greater fuel efficiency and environment sustainability.

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Ecologically Sensitive Urbanization in India: Lessons from Europe

By Ishita Puri, St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Urbanization spurs a unique set of issues for both human and ecological well being, blemished by economic disparity and environmental degradation. In developing countries like India, urban spaces are the motors of the economy and generators of wealth. While it is difficult for a resource-rich and densely populated India to sustainably fulfill the loft demands of urbanization for food, energy and water and accommodation of increasing waste and emissions, certain efficacious models adopted by European countries can highlight the way forward.

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Assessing India’s ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ Procedure 

     By Riya Mathur, SRCC, Delhi.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) refers to the formal process undertaken to understand the environmental consequences of any development project or business plan upon its implementation. It is thus an efficient tool to identify projects which can be executed with the best possible combination of economic and environmental considerations. The need for environmental clearance in India arose when the Planning Commission required a comprehensive examination of several upcoming river valley projects around 1976-77. Later the Environmental Protection Act of 1986 made EIA mandatory in the year 1994.

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Clean and Affordable Energy-The Way Forward for India

Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in the UN Sustainable Development Summit, 2015 by all member countries of the United Nations. Countries agreed upon The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, known as ‘Transforming Our World’, which is a shared blueprint for the development and prosperity of people and the planet. It comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are to be achieved by all countries by 2030. These goals provide a holistic approach to move towards sustainable development covering poverty alleviation, health, education, growth, clean energy, and other areas. Certain targets and indicators have been agreed upon to quantify the progress towards these goals.  (more…)

Climate Change & Food Policies in the age of Social Media

 

 

If the current policies of India are to be critically examined, the response aims to focus on short-term and ad-hoc goals rather than long term sustainable solutions. Current social protection programmes are deemed expensive in nature and are based on a narrow understanding of people’s need. An important factor in the adaptation process is to measure the concrete effects of climate change on food production and agriculture. A deep understanding of how these effects play out on different aspects of food policy is what is essential for the country to avoid a national level food crisis. (more…)

Sea Level Rise: The Silent Disaster

Sea-level rise is one of the major challenges identified in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special ReportGlobal Warming of 1.5°C’. It is almost certain that we will experience at least one meter of sea-level rise, with some models estimating this will happen within the next 80 years, inducing serious implications in the form of damage to infrastructure, loss of land and displacement of communities. Even if we succeed in limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, sea levels will continue to rise for centuries to come, owing to the emissions we have already locked in. While living on the coast has always come with a certain level of flooding and erosion risks, climate change will alter our coastlines and we must prepare for this new reality.

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The Himalayan Urgency: Ecological Consequences of Progress

By Nitika Grover, Amity Law School, Noida.

Extending from the Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east, the Himalayas stretch across six countries of which India triumphs in terms of area. It is spread across ten administrative States namely Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and two hill regions of Assam and West Bengal. In India the strategic position of entire northern boundary of the Himalayas cover up a total of 95 districts. (more…)