It is the sum of the total of the elements, factors and conditions in the surroundings which may have an impact on the development, action or survival of an organism or group of organisms, such as, we human beings.
Humans have had the ability to change their environment for thousands of years. Today this ability is greater than ever. This is because there are more people living now than ever before and human activity is concentrated in huge cities.
Science and technology allow us to interfere with natural processes in more direct ways. (Ex.China)
Industrialization, urbanization and population explosion are some of the phenomena which have had a drastic effect on the environment.
Any undesirable change in physical , chemical or biological characteristics of air , land , water or soil, that is likely to have an adverse effect on the natural environment or life, is termed as environment pollution. The different types of pollutions are:
Land (soil) Pollution
The Underlying Causes of Environmental Degradation in India
Land Pollution is the degradation of Earth's land surfaces often caused by human activities and their misuse of land resources. It occurs when waste is not disposed properly. Health hazard disposal of urban and industrial wastes, exploitation of minerals, and improper use of soil by inadequate agricultural practices are a few factors.
Over a long period of time, landfills start to emit landfill gases. Landfill gas is produced due to the anaerobic conditions that organic wastes decomposed in.
Most waste buried in landfills give rise to hazardous and toxic liquids known as leachates. These leachates contaminate water sources, like the ground water below the landfills, leading to water pollution.
Besides the points mentioned above, it is also important to note that these over-crowded dumps, contaminated sites and careless disposal of waste also contributes to air and water pollution, as well as, acid rain.
The primary concerns of the Ministry of Environment & Forests under the Government structure are implementation of policies and programs relating to conservation of the country’s natural resources including lakes and rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals and prevention and abatement of pollution.
The broad objectives of the Ministry are:
Conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife,
It is responsible for planning and executing comprehensive nationwide programs for the prevention and control of water and air pollution.
Coordinating activities of State Pollution Control Board for prevention and control of pollution.
Development of industry specific national minimal effluent and emission standards
Development of industry specific environmental guidelines and comprehensive documents
Development of charter/requirements for Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection (CREP) for seventeen major polluting industrial sectors and monitoring its implementation through eight task forces and steering committees
Action plans for improvement of environment in eighty eight critically polluted areas and monitoring progress
Action plans for improvement of air quality in sixteen polluted cities and monitoring progress
National water quality monitoring and publishing annual water quality reports
National ambient air quality monitoring and publishing annual water quality reports Carrying out and sponsoring research activities relevant to environment protection
The solutions offered to tackle the problem comprise adoption of both, science-based and traditional land-use practices, pilot-scale demonstrations, large scale dissemination, adoption of Multi-stakeholder partnerships, promotion of agro-forestry, organic farming, environmentally sustainable cropping patterns and adoption of efficient irrigation techniques.
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
Atomic Energy Act of 1982
Motor Vehicles Act ,1988
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EPA)
The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997
Public Liability Insurance Act (PLIA), 1991
National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) There are two types of EIA models- the statutory model which makes the assessment of impact compulsory under an enacted law, or a delegated legislation, and the administrative model under which an administration exercises its discretion to find out whether an impact study is necessary. Till 1992, India was following the administrative model of EIA. On 27th January, 1994 a notification was issued dealing with mandatory EIA. The notification requires project proponent to submit an EIA report, and environment management plan, details of the public hearing and a project report to the impact assessment agency for clearance, further review by a committee of experts in certain cases. By the amendment in the year 1997, public hearing was made compulsory before impact assessment was finalized.
Role of Judiciary in Imparting Environmental Justice
Disputes relating to environment are treated as cases related to violation of fundamental rights, rather than claims under law of torts.
It has been held that the Supreme Court and the High Courts can be directly approached under Article 32 and Article 226 of the Constitution of India in case of matters relating to environment.
Global business leadership to combat climate change
Copenhagen Climate Council :
Business leaders representing global companies and innovative entrepreneurs, who, through their actions, reveal that sustainable, climate-responsible business is both necessary and profitable;
Scientists will ensure that the work of the Council is underpinned by rigorous analysis;
Policy makers with experience in public policy will ensure that the work is informed by knowledge of what is required to assist high-level, complex policy negotiations.
The Kyoto Protocol :The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.
The key principles of an effective global response
Reasons for increasing in carbon dioxide in atmosphere:
by rotting vegetation
Modern time reasons
burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas
Vegetation, largely forest is already absorbing about one-third of human-induced emissions, planting more forests could increase absorption.
It include intensified droughts and floods, changed weather patterns, agricultural breakdown, ecosystem disruption, rising sea levels, epidemics, and social breakdowns that ultimately threaten the lives or livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.
As global economies grow, use more natural resources, and emit more Carbon Dioxide (CO2), more solutions will be needed to reduce global warming. People have become increasingly concerned about the possible effects of global warming.
Need for it:
It is the unique way of limiting CO2 emissions through the creation of a carbon credit market.
Its goal is to stop the increase of carbon dioxide emissions.
It encourages compliance and financial managers to pursue cost effective emission reduction strategies and provide incentives to emitters to develop the means by which emissions can inexpensively be reduced.
Carbon credits create a market for reducing greenhouse emissions by giving a monetary value to the cost of polluting the air such as carbon emitted by burning of fossil fuels. This means that carbon becomes a cost of business and is seen like other inputs such as raw materials or labor.
Carbon credits are measured in tons of carbon dioxide. 1 credit = 1 ton of CO2
Each carbon credit represents one metric ton of C02 either removed from the atmosphere or saved from being emitted.
For each ton of carbon dioxide that is saved or sequester carbon credit producers may sell one carbon credit.
Bombay HC stays Env Min's direction to Lavasa to stop construction: On November 25, MOEF issued a show-cause notice to Lavasa, demanding an explanation as to why it did not obtain clearances BT Brinjal stopped by Environment Ministry
Adani was fined for polluting and land degradation In Mundra
Almost 85% of a state’s power goes to agriculture Uncontrolled supply of electricity = large wastage of electricity and water + large public costs + severe ground water extraction.
Not Power for Irrigation, but ‘Power + Irrigation’ Reform
Separate Domestic/ Industrial and Agricultural Feeders
Jyotigram: Power and Irrigation Reform
Jyotigram: Power and Irrigation Reform Work executed under Jyotigram 1 New High Tension Lines 56,307 Kms New Low Tension Lines 22,146 Kms New Transformers 18,724 Nos. Poles erected 17,00,000 Nos. Government Grant Rs. 1115 Crores No. of Days 1000
“… after the implementation of Jyotigram Yojna the electricity expense has notably increased for 95% of the households. Expenses on education, healthcare and consumer durables have gone up by 50%, 35% and 22% respectively”. Jyotigram: Power and Irrigation Reform
“ Rationing of farm power supply post-Jyotigram brought about a certain order and discipline in the extraction of groundwater, but the improved quality and reliability of farm power supply also made it possible for farmers to make ambitious plans to grow Bt cotton and wheat on a large scale.” Agricultural Growth Rates: 9.6 %- the highest in India Jyotigram: Power and Irrigation Reform
Source: ‘Secret of Gujarat's Agrarian Miracle after 2000',Tushaar et. al. Economic & Political Weekly, December 26th 2009. Jyotigram: Power and Irrigation Reform
Compressed Natural Gas What exactly is CNG? CNG or compressed natural gas is a domestically available, economical, clean burning, alternative fuel source for vehicles. CNG is Compressed Natural Gas which has been used as an alternative clean burning fuel since the 1990s It is essentially the same natural gas that is delivered to most homes to use for cooking, heating water, and forced air heat
1.Economic benefit: The cost of CNG is almost a third of the cost of Petrol in terms of calorific value resulting in substantial saving in fuel cost, and investment on the CNG kit is paid back in a short period 2. Environment friendly: The use of CNG as a fuel reduces vehicular exhaust emissions significantly. Carbon Monoxide emissions are reduced by 70 to 90% and Hydrocarbon emissions by 40 to 60% as compared to vehicles that use the conventional fuel - Petrol. Carbon Dioxide emissions, a cause for global warming, are also reduced significantly by 10% 3. 100% Income Tax Depreciation: Corporate Organisations, firms, etc. can claim 100% depreciation on a CNG Conversion Kit as this is a pollution controlling equipment. Organisations that buy CNG Conversion Kits should consult their Income Tax Consultants and avail of the depreciation benefits 4 . Flexibility and ease of use: The basic engine characteristics of a vehicle are retained while converting it to run on CNG. The vehicle therefore is capable of running either on Petrol or CNG at the flick of a switch on its dashboard. Reasons for switching over to this alternate fuel
In addition, owning a Clean Burning Fuel Vehicle has many other upsides & advantages including: increased longevity on the car (oil changes every 5,000 to 9,000 miles) Engine components remain a lot cleaner with a clean burning fuel less wear on critical engine components, bringin the cost of maintenance down drastically. Better fuel efficiency in comparison to standard gasoline vehicles; and much more. Why CNG Now? You can save money and reduce greenhouse grass in one move ..