Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Now, it looks as if the race for Prime Minister is up for grabs. What should not be up for grabs is the need to develop an integrated master plan for changing and dramatically improving India's environmental, economic and electoral climate. Pixabay

By: Frank F. Islam

India has a national election in April-May. This election is critically important because of the climate change consuming the country. Most people think of that change as being the sorry condition of Indias environment. And, it is. It also includes, however, several other important areas — most notably the economy and the electorate.


India’s current environmental, economic and electoral climates are extremely problematic. These three climate change areas must be addressed holistically and with an increasing sense of urgency over the next decade if India is to maintain the trajectory it has established to moving from being a developing country to be a developed country.

Environmental climate change is not unique to India.

To date, 196 world leaders have acknowledged that global warming is an international problem by signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the UN’s Framework Convention in December of 2015.

In October last year, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) warned that the environment is worsening at a faster pace than originally projected and that unless major changes are made by 2040 there will be disastrous consequences.

The compressed timeline for climate change is scary for the world. The timeline for India is even scarier. The World Bank observes that “India is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change”. It asserts that, “by 2020, pressure on India’s water, air, soil and forests is expected to become the highest in the world”.

This is a frightening picture. More frightening is the effect that pressure will have on the Indian people and its economy.


“The question which remains to be answered is whether there is enough political will to aggressively fight the health emergency India faces today and move away from polluting fuels and practices,” said Pujarini Sen, spokeswoman for Greenpeace in India. Pixabay

A World Bank Report released in June 2018 said that climate change could reduce India’s GDP by 2.5 per cent and lower living standards of nearly half the country’s people by 2050. The UNIPCC report states that a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in the global temperature would have the most serious impact on “disadvantaged and vulnerable populations” in areas such as food insecurity, lost livelihood opportunities, and adverse health impacts.

India’s disadvantaged and vulnerable population is huge in size. They and India in general are already experiencing serious consequences. As Dr. Arvind Kumar, a surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi notes: “Newborns in many of our cities become ‘smokers’ from their very first breath.”

Because of increasing floods and droughts, numerous poor farmers no longer have the small plots on which to toil and earn a living. Almost one-half of the Indian workforce is self-employed and over 80 per cent work in the informal sector which provides no security or benefits if income is lost or reduced due to climatic factors.

The indisputable fact is that the fate of India’s environment and economy going forward are inextricably intertwined. Up until just a few years ago, the Indian economy at the macro-level was growing steadily and successfully. This growth has slowed substantially but more importantly has never trickled down to the poor.

This, along with other factors, has caused India to rank 133 out of 156 countries on the UN’s 2018 World Happiness Index — 11 spots lower than 2017. The stagnant economic milieu and general unhappiness of so many in the rural and poor regions where almost two thirds of Indians live is also no doubt partially responsible for this year’s combative and competitive electoral climate.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to power in 2014, it appeared that he would be unbeatable in the future. This perspective was reinforced as Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) increased the number of Indian states that it ran from six to 21 out of 29 states between 2014 and early 2018. Then, in elections held in December, the Congress party won three key states.

Now, it looks as if the race for Prime Minister is up for grabs. What should not be up for grabs is the need to develop an integrated master plan for changing and dramatically improving India’s environmental, economic and electoral climate. This should and must be a top priority for whoever wins the elections. Because time is absolutely of the essence. The climate change master plan must be developed quickly. Fortunately, there are numerous ideas and individuals that can be called upon to create that plan.


After Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to power in 2014, it appeared that he would be unbeatable in the future. Pixabay

Among the best that I have seen is the following set of five opportunities for India’s growth and transformation put forward by the McKinsey Global Institute in 2016:
1. Acceptable living standards for all.
2. Sustainable urbanization.
3. Manufacturing for India, in India.
4. Riding the digital wave.
5. Unlocking the potential of Indian women.

Also Read: It Should Be The Responsibility of The BCCI To Unearth Cricketing Talent

Add to that a proposal to build a clean energy future from the bottom up and you have a good starting point for the race to change India’s climate in a meaningful and measurable way. It is a race that must be won for the future of India, its people and indeed the world.

“The question which remains to be answered is whether there is enough political will to aggressively fight the health emergency India faces today and move away from polluting fuels and practices,” said Pujarini Sen, spokeswoman for Greenpeace in India. (IANS)


Popular

getty pictures

Divorce proceedings

Divorce is a hard fact in someone's life because it can affect all aspects of life like social, economic, and living status. Conditions become tougher if you have children. Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions. The impact of divorce on finances can be life-lasting but taking precautions and thorough investigations of options can help a lot not only to save unnecessary costs but also some other hidden areas where you weren't aware. Following are some tips to save money during a divorce.

1.Avoid advice from everyone

Keep Reading Show less
ryunosuke kikuno/unsplash

Hosting the Olympics is an economic burden on host cities which mainly include construction delays, cost overruns, security issues, and environmental concerns.

By Saish

Gone are those days when people, sports enthusiasts, and governments lined up to host the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics, once seemed to be an immensely prideful event, but it has now transformed into an economic burden. Host cities grapple with a plethora of problems which mainly include construction delays, cost overruns, security issues, and environmental concerns.

Keep Reading Show less
ians

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar enter semi finals.

Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)