Environment Protection Acts
Due to rapid industrialization, urbanization, and increasing population, there has been a constant increase in the loss of biodiversity, depletion of resources and increase of pollution (air, water, waste etc.). To combat the deteriorating environmental conditions, various convention/ conferences are being conducted not only at national but also at the international level. These conventions and conference have helped a lot in mitigation of the deteriorating environmental conditions all over the world. Few of them are mentioned below:
1. Environment Protection Act (1986)
- Environment Protection Act (1986) was enacted in 1989 to implement the decision of the United Nations Conference on Human Environment, held at Stockholm 1972.
- The main objective of this act was to address the protection and improvement of the Environment. This act brings legislations like Water (Prevention and control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and control Pollution, 1981 under one umbrella to establish proper coordination between various state and central authorities.
- According to the Article 48A and 51A of the Constitution of India, it is the duty of not only the state but also the duty of every citizen to protect and improve the environment, wildlife and forest.
2. National Action Plan on Climate Change
- To combat climate change, India’s National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) was released on June 30th 2008 to bring various existing plans on water, renewable energy, energy efficiency, agriculture and others to set it into eight missions.
- It aims to achieve national growth objectives, along with enhancing ecological sustainability that leads to further mitigation of greenhouse emission.
- NAPCC endeavours to deploy appropriate technologies, for both adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases and to promote sustainable development.
- NAPCC also plans to extend international cooperation for research, development, sharing and transfer of technology by additional funding.
3. Montreal Protocol
- Montreal Protocol, an international treaty, initially signed by 46 countries and now nearly 200 countries, to abate the problem of ozone depletion was adopted on Sept. 19, 1987.
- The treaty aimed to address the reduction of the production and use of those chemicals that contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer that envelops earth atmosphere, to protect it from the harmful solar radiation. As per the research was done by Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland in 1970, compounds like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the presence of solar radiation produces free chlorine radicals. This free radical then further reacts with the ozone layer, leading to its depletion.
4. Rio Summit
- In 1992, the Earth Summit was held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where 150 countries agreed and participated to confront the problem of greenhouse gases.
- It was the biggest conference ever held that addressed a global environmental problem. During the Summit, major treaties were signed on biodiversity, climate change and forest protection and management.
- In this summit, the participating countries agreed to commit to sustainable development. The systematic scrutiny of toxic component production, promotion of the use of non-renewable resources by limiting the use of fossil fuels, improvisation of public transport to reduce vehicular emission and the growing scarcity of water, were the major issues that were disused in Earth Summit. In Earth Summit, it was concluded that to have long-term economic progress, we have to link it with environmental protection.
5. Convention on Biodiversity
- Convention on Biodiversity came into force in December 1993 and its foundation was laid in June 1992 at Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
- The Secretariat office of Convention on Biodiversity is located in Montreal, Canada. The main objective of this treaty was to attain sustainable development by achieving conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity, its resources and equitable sharing of benefits.
- The convention addressed to take effective and urgent steps to abate the loss of biodiversity to facilitate resilient ecosystem to secure various forms of life and human welfare by eradication of poverty. This could be achieved by addressing the basic underlying causes of biodiversity loss and sustainable use of these resources. This would also enhance the benefit to all forms of the ecosystem by proper planning and management.
6. Kyoto Protocol
- Kyoto protocol was adopted in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, which was signed by 150 countries.
- The main target of the protocol was to reduce the Green House Gas emission. As per the protocol, 37 industrialized nations along with the European Union agreed to cut down their greenhouse gas emission and developing nations were asked to cooperate voluntarily to achieve the target. Reduction of greenhouses gases like Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbon, perfluorocarbon and sulfur hexafluoride were focused primarily. To achieve objectives, the protocol proposed international emission trading, allowing participating countries to trade emission reduction credits by investing in emission reduction in other countries. Besides that, it also proposed a clean development mechanism and joint implementation to successfully achieve its proposed objectives.
7. Paris Agreement
- Paris agreement was commenced in December 2015 at Paris, France. With this agreement, all the countries of the world joined their hands together to combat global climate change and adapting to its effect.
- Assistance to enhance support to developing nation in achieving its goal was also proposed during this agreement. Paris agreement aims to save climate change by limiting global warming to 1.5 or below 2 degree Celsius. During this agreement, participating countries were invited to enhance their effort in lowering down emission responsible for global climate change, and to build resilience and adaptability to the adverse effect caused by climate change.
8. International Solar Alliance
- Initiative for International Solar Alliance was launched by India and France during Climate Conference in Paris in December 2015.
- Its first summit was held at New Delhi on March 11, 2018.
- The Main objectives of the alliance were to reduce the cost of solar energy to meet energy demand in developing countries, in order to keep a check on greenhouse gases that are held responsible for global climate change.
- ISA is the first International body to have its secretariat office in India. India, being founder and host for the alliance has committed to producing 175GW of electricity from renewable resources, out of which 100 GW would be from solar energy by 2022.
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