The Vice President Mohammad Ansari has defended India’s “Common but Differentiated Responsibility” approach to global environmental issues in his inaugural speech at the International Conference on “Global Environment Issues” jointly organised by the National Green Tribunal in association with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Indian Law Institute and FICCI.
“Globally, India’s policy goal of achieving sustainable development and addressing emerging global environmental concerns, such as, climate change, ozone depletion and bio-diversity loss, is guided by the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility,” he said stressing the voluntary goals than mandatory proescriptive goals vouched by developed nations.
Since enviornment is for the public good, it is not any individual-centric step, he noted. Several human-centric initiatives affect the environment and cause climate change impacting other species, ecosystems and ecological processes. Seeking integration of ecological components, he said they provide the bio-physical base necessary for human life, such as water, land, air, forests, biodiversity.
The Vice President, who has also released the International Journal of the National Green Tribunal on the occasion, said that sustainability of economic development should go hand-in-hand with the protection of environment. “For us in India, challenges of arresting the pace of degradation of environment are formidable due to the imperatives of maintaining high economic growth, increasing trends of urbanisation, population growth, industrialisation, unmet basic needs, life style changes and biotic pressures,” he said.
He has also sought to spread environmental awareness among the stakeholders of natural resources with appropriate eco-friendly policies, rules and pricing which tend to making pollution costlier for the polluter.
Justice H L Dattu, Chief Justice of India, pointed out that the global community is united on the issue of protection of environment and the constant fight against issues such as global warming and disposal of nuclear waste bring them together. To prtoect every individual’s right to live with dignity, the judiciary is becoming pro-active to provide this fundamental right to all its citizens, he said.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javedekar said that the government has proposed to launch a campaign ‘Fresh Air is a Birthright’ in PPP mode in view of recent concerns on increased air pollution in the capital and other metros in the country.
Justice Swatanter Kumar, Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal, said that climate change, global warming and natural disasters are a wake-up call to humanity to stop polluting the earth further and advocate a symbiotic relationship with the environment through sensitive and researched environmental management, adaptation, mitigation and risk reduction.