Varun
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE & APPROACH OF INDIAN JUDICIARY & INDIAN CONSTITUTION TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT & TO PREVENT THE CLIMATE CHANGE
Varun Kumar 20 Mar 2018

IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE  & APPROACH OF INDIAN JUDICIARY & INDIAN CONSTITUTION TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT & TO PREVENT THE CLIMATE CHANGE

ABSTRACT

It must be noted that the climate change is the major challenge for the manhood in the current period. Somehow the world is fast-moving towards a climate disaster. Our base is trapped on the accelerator and we are heading towards a gulf.

Many environmentalists believe that climate change has far triumph effects, concerns and consequence for entire sphere in common and emerging countries in specific. It is also an admitted fact that if genuine determinations are not made on war equilibrium, then it will become difficult to live on this planet.

Nowadays, seasons are changing, temperature is increasing of both earth and seawater and there is no end to it. The sphere is entering in era wherein the environment would get tangled in a curved of weakening and deprivation touching the obtainability and admission to water, nutrition, and liveliness in a vast manner.

Conferring to a study, biosphere over people would consume 10 per cent more water per year than nature could refill. Upsurge in global warming has been melting glaciers and withdrawing snowlines. Therefore, seventy streams have immobile flowing into the sea and as a result, aquifers are reducing.

In Indian context there are numerous reasons behind this climate change. In India Environmental Departments of each State is bound to take required actions to protect the environment and to prevent the Climate change. Climate change is a serious threat to environment. Even the State Legislative Assemblies are bound to make more sufficient piece of legislations to safeguard the environment and to eradicate the problem of Climate change. In this article we will discuss about the problem of Climate change. What are the serious effects of Climate change on Environment? How to prevent Climate change? What necessary steps should be taken to prevent the Climate change?

KEYWORDS: Climate change, Environment, Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming, Temperature,

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs but not every man’s greed.[1]

The above fourteen words quoted by ‘Mahatma Gandhi’, clearly states that earth has enough resources and all essentials that are prerequisite to satisfy man’s needs and wants but however not every man’s greed. But I think us human beings are so egocentric that in order to adopt modernization we are harming our environment and climate conditions in numerous ways. Time has changed and Technology has amplified. This is eventually affecting the climate conditions. At present the “Climate change is the biggest problem of 21st century.” Many nations have taken various steps to preclude the climate change. “Climate is a typical configuration of weather over the long term. The earth’s climate has warmed and cooled for millions of years, since long before we appeared on the scene. Though climate transformation is not new, the study of how human movement affects the earth’s climate is.”[2] The author in his book has undoubtedly mentioned that climate modification isn’t a new concept, but however the study how climate change is happening and what are the reasons behind it, is new thing.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Now the question that arises is that what is the climate change? Climate change is a kind of modification in the climate due to human activities and other reasons. It has become major issues of 21st century and also affecting the economic growth of the countries. “It is an acknowledged fact that ‘Greenhouses effect’ is the major factor for climate change. It relates to the gages which keep the earth warm. These gases are also responsible for global warming.”[3] Climate change is influenced by many factors like, earth temperature and wind patterns. Earth temperature is changing day by day and affecting the environment and climate conditions. “Climate change is one of the multidimensional problems facing manhood today.

Climate change includes variety of challenges with wide-ranging effects. It is predictable to have substantial impacts on conditions affecting agriculture, including temperature. It is also admitted that a change in worldwide climate forms apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards, accredited largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. A study on climate change is vital from this standpoint because it is deliberated that if human activity that causes unfavorable climate change is not reduced, the existence of the entire human race is under risk.

·         GREENHOUSE EFFECT:

‘Greenhouse Effect’ is one of the major factors causing climate change. It is a mixture of toxic gases which keep the earth warm. These gases are harmful for human beings and for environmental conditions. When these gases enter into environment it changes the climate. Greenhouse effect has been a major concern since long time. “It has been admitted that the balance between energy absorbed by the earth and energy reflected back into space is fundamental in determining how warm or cool the planets becomes.”[4] Environmental scientists believed that ‘Greenhouse Gases’ have been accountable for the weakening of the ozone layer, which shields the earth from injurious direct rays of the sun. Reduction of stratospheric ozone results in higher disclosure to the ultra-violet rays of the sun, leading to an increase in the occurrences of skin cancer.

·         GLOBAL WARMING:

It can be pointed out that global warming is the reason behind the melting of glaciers and it is also responsible for climate change. “Global warming has caused in decline in mountain glaciers and snow cover in both hemispheres and this is predictable to fast-track throughout the 21st century. This will lead to dropping water availability, hydropower potential, and would change the periodic flow of rivers.”[5]

EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON INDIA:

·         IMPACT ON INDIA:

Climate change has great influence on India society. Climate change will make cloudbursts impulsive. It is also believed that the total agricultural production in India will go down. The crop harvest per hectare will also get affected desperately; will cause nutrition uncertainty and loss of means of support. The immense concern is the intensifying altitudes of the sea in the coastal areas which will undoubtedly damage nursery areas for fisheries, causing coastal destruction and flooding. Climate change in India has various impacts such as on environmental conditions, agricultural production including cereals production and on wind patterns also. Climate change has great impact on Indian Sand also. It destroys the essential ingredients of soil, which eventually lowers the agricultural production.

“In a recent global report, India has secured at a low 155th position in a global list. This global list places countries on the basis that how well they do on major environmental concerns. The cause India is so susceptible to climate change is because it is an outsized country with many living in poverty, poor arrangement, and lack of government preparation to deal with multifarious weather systems.”[6]

It becomes clear that India is badly affected by climate change. The Indian government also failed to bring proper steps to prevent climate change. India is so obsessed with technology advancement that it eventually destroying its environment. Indian Industrialization is also responsible for climate change. Industrialization has badly affected the climate in various ways. Due to Indian Industrialization air and water pollution has also increased, which has eventually affected the climate conditions. Smoke from industries made air polluted and harmful to inhale.

“India is exposed to unbalanced monsoons, flooding, rising sea levels, and higher temperatures. The monsoon period is vigorous to the Indian economy since many Indians are agrarian. Preparation for meteorological conditions abnormalities fetched about by climate change is therefore indispensable to protect the lives of the Indian people and the progression of the Indian economy.”[7]

DANGEROUS EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON ENVIRONMENT:

Climate change has numerous dangerous impacts on environment. Global warming, Greenhouse gases effect and Ozone layer depletion are all outcomes of climate change. Climate change also affects the agricultural production and also affects the soil. It also causes soil erosion. It also has various impacts on human health.

“A changing climate is probable to affect all these conditions and hence have an influential effect on human health and well-being.”[8]

We can summarize the impacts of climate change in following points namely,

·         Death and injury due to flooding.

·         Reduced obtainability of fresh water due to saltwater intrusion.

·         Adulteration of water supply through contaminants from submerged waste dumps.

·         Change in the distribution of disease-spreading insects.

·         Health effect on the diet due to a loss in agriculture land and changes in fish catch

·         Health impacts associated with population displacement.

“As the earth heats up, sea levels increase since warmer water takes up more space than colder water. This progression is known as thermal expansion. It must be noted that melting glaciers and ice sheets have worsen the problem of climate change by adding even more water into the oceans. It is predictable that increasing seas will result in salt water entering bodies of fresh water. It is pointed out that hundreds of millions of folks about the world live in seaside low-lying areas could effortlessly be flooded. Sea Level Rise (SLR) will also wear away beaches and will harm numerous seaside wetlands. Sturdier hurricanes are caused due to warmer oceans and these could completely sponge out beaches and islands.”[9]

It may have certain other impacts namely,

·         Impulsive climate patterns.

·         Amplified risk of heat weaves and drought.

·         Enlarged jeopardy of flooding.

·         Increased risk of unembellished weather.

·         Rising sea levels.

·         Financial damage.

·         Loss of life.

·         Impact on agriculture and food prices.

·         Impact on ecosystems.

·         Impact on marine life.

·         Impact on human health and disease.

·         Impact on soil.

·         Impact on agricultural production.

These are certain dangerous impacts of climate change on environment. Climate change is one of the biggest problems of this century and proper steps must be taken by the competent authorities to prevent the issue of climate change. Various Environmental laws must be enacted to prevent the climate change. Law is the only tool which can prevent the climate change. Strict laws relating to environmental protection must be passed to prevent the climate change.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PREVENTING CLIMATE CHANGE:

Various suggestions have been given by various persons of various fields namely,

·         Let people know that what the consequences of climate change are.

·         Must invest in flood defences authorities.

·         Make proper planning to prevent the climate change.

·         Conduct proper research on climate change.

·         Increase and connect green space.

·         Improve home water and energy efficiency.

·         Use technology to communicate about disaster diseases.

·         Proper educational awareness to the students.

·         Environmental legislations.

·         Climate departments must be instituted in each State.

“Stopping climate change in the future is down to the activities and an opinion of future generations - significance now is the time to start teaching our children about climate change and its sound effects. The same can be done at school, by parents and every just through leading by example. Suppose if you are have children, get them involved in making your lives greener. Give them the obligation to make sure lights and plugs are turned off in their rooms each time, get them involved in reprocessing and other green initiatives, pleasing them for their good work.”[10]

Climate change is also a very serious threat to human health and also effects the economic growth of a country. There have been numerous conventions at International level, which are specifically aimed at preventing Climate change. Even the General Assembly warned that it is a high time to prevent the Climate change and each country should work together to prevent this problem. United Sates of America is also working hard to prevent climate change and has enforced environmental legislation to deal with this issue of climate change.

It is also important suggestion that we can educate people about the results of climate change and can also educate the upcoming generation about climate change. Parents also play very important role in order to educate their children about climate change. Educational institutes can also educates the students about the climate change and can also educate them that how to prevent the climate change.

As we know that climate change is not a new concept it exists since long, but however the proper education to prevent it is the new thing. Competent authorities should take the suggestions and opinions of the people that how to prevent the climate change. International institutes have also provided certain guidelines that how to control the climate change and the same must by followed by the nations.

PREVENTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE BY IMPLEMENTING ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION:

As stated earlier that law is the only tool that can prevent the climate change. Thus various nations have en acted various environmental protection law to prevent the climate change. In India there are various laws to protect the environment and to prevent the climate change namely,

·         Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

·         Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

·         Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

·         Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

·         Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

These are certain environmental legislation passed by the Indian legislature to prevent the climate change and to protect the environment. These legislations are very helpful in order to prevent the climate change.

It means that environmental law is a body that implements a number of multifaceted and interconnecting acts, common law, agreements, settlements, regulations and policies which are aimed at regulating the laws to accomplish environmental objectives. We know that environmental Law is a complex body of law which is made up of worldwide agreements, contracts, laws, guidelines and strategies which try to protect the environment and natural resources and also try to prevent the climate change, caused and endangered by human activities.

“International law has also played a significant amount in shielding the general environment. Thus, to deal with these major complications of climate change, global warming and all other environmental difficulties so many international treaties, protocols and conventions have been enacted by the competent authorities. But however this problem of continuing environmental deprivation is so worse that international law has proved to be an uncreative device for defending the universal environment.”[11]

Thus, it becomes clear that international law does not play that much important role to protect the environment and to prevent the climate change as played by the environmental legislations. Environmental legislations provide vital protection.

“It is pointed out that from the period of 1970’s a substantial amount of officialdoms which are contending to make a dissimilarity and renovate the course we are going in abolishing our natural environment.”[12]

Emerging strategies and laws regarding human society has become authoritative in the progress of environmental concerns. But however the damage that is caused to the environment is so ample that all the strategies that are cumulative well-suited monetary and environmental strategies remain undeveloped. The international law of shielding the human-environment seems of no importance to the mainstream of persons when associated with the prominence of protecting financial health. Environmental legislations are aimed at preventing the global issue of climate change.

APPROACH OF INDIAN JUDICIARY AND INDIAN CONSTITUTION TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND TO PREVENT THE CLIMATE CHANGE:

If we have a look at Indian context, we can notice that the Indian Government and also the Indian Parliament and State Legislative Councils and Assemblies are progressively helpful of stringent the environmental legislations or laws and Regulations. It has been noticed that numerous legislations and laws have been enacted by the Indian Parliament and State Legislative Councils and Assemblies in about the last 45 years to handle the problems and issues related with environmental protection and climate change. It must also be noticed that Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in various landmark cases has marked a number of judgments, decisions and orders and also issued numerous directions in various cases in which the motive was to secure the protection and preservation of environment and enforcement of human rights of citizens.

Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India[13], the Hon’ble Supreme Court has realized the right to wholesome environment as part of the Right to Life enshrined in Article 21.

From the above given case it becomes clear that Right to Life also include right to secure environment and government should take proper steps to prevent the climate change. It means that Right to Life visualized in the Article 21 of the constitution is something more than persistence of animal existence. It contains right of healthy living also.

Article 21 of Constitution of India: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.’’[14]

It means this Article imposes a duty on the States to take proper care of environment and to prevent climate change. This Article also empowers the States to make legislation to protect the environment.

It means that the State's accountability with respect to environmental protection has been laid down under Article 48-A of our Constitution, which reads as follows: "The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country"[15]

On the other hand, Article 51-A (g) of our Constitution which reads as follows: "It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures."[16]

“The United Nations Charter of 1945 marked the beginning of modern international human rights law, whereas the Stockholm Declaration of 1972 is generally seen as the starting point of a rights based approach to environmental protection. This declaration formulated several principles, including that “ Man have the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations.”[17]

In Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of UP[18], the Court for the first time in this case dealt with the issue of environmental protection and held that these are the everlasting possessions of manhood and or not proposed to be exhausted in one generation.

In Sachidanand Pandey v. State of West Bengal[19], the Apex Court observed “whenever a problem of ecology is brought before the court, the court is bound to bear in mind Article 48A and Article 51A (g).

In Damodhar Rao v. Special Officer Municipal Corporation Hyderabad[20], The Court resorted to the Constitutional mandates under Articles 48A and 51A(g) to support this reasoning and went to the extent of stating that environmental pollution would be a violation of the fundamental right to life and personal liberty as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.

In Charan Lal Sahu Case v. Union of India[21], The Supreme Court in this case said, the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution includes the right to a wholesome environment.

In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India[22], The right to life and liberty also includes the right to healthy environment free from hazardous pollutants. The right to life and liberty, it was submitted, is inseparable from the remedy to judicial vindication of the violation of that right the right of access to justice must be deemed to be part of that right. Therefore, the importance is given to the right to file a suit for an actionable wrong.

In Saghir Ahmad J in M.C. Mehta V. Kamal Nath[23], In order to protect “life”, in order to protect “environment” and in order to protect “air, water and soil” from pollution, this Court, through its various judgments has given effect to the rights available, to the citizens and persons alike, under Article 21 of the Constitution.

In Dehradun Quarying Case[24], It means clear, hygienic, unpolluted environment which leads to a life of dignity. Environmental degradation has disastrous impact on right to livelihood which is a part of the right to life. The first indication of the right to a wholesome environment may be traced to the Dehradun Quarying Case.

In Chhretriya Pradushan Mukti Sangarsh Samiti v. State of U.P[25], The Chief Justice Sabyasachi Mukherji observed: “Every citizen has a fundamental right to have the enjoyment of quality of life and living as contemplate in Art.21 of the Constitution.”

In Subhas Kumar v. State of Bihar[26], Justice K.N. Singh observed in a more vivid manner, “Right to live includes the right to enjoyment of pollution free water and air for full enjoyment of life.”

In Fundepublico v. Mayor of Bugalagrande[27], the Constitution Court of Columbia (17-6-1992) treated the right to healthy environment as part of customary international law.

In Wildlife Society of Southern Africa v. Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism of the Republic of South Africa[28], the right to healthy environment was further recognized. Lee has reported at the end of the last century that since 1990 some 60 nations have specifically recognized in their constitution the right to healthy environment.

The Indian Judiciary has taken many steps to deal with the problem of Climate change. Even the Apex Court has many a times warned the Environmental Department of India to take needed actions to prevent the problem of Climate change. There is much environmental legislation drafted by the Indian Parliament to solve the problem of Climate change.

CONCLUSION:

In the nutshell we can conclude that, global environmental change and climate change is not only a problem of apprehension among established states but it is a trouble of apprehension to the whole international community. International mechanisms integrate this acknowledgment in exact fields of environmental fortification. There is an overall recognition that civilization has shared interests in shielding and handling the climate system, the ozone layer, the rain forests, and biological diversity for both present and future generations.

We can admit this fact that climate change is the important matter of present time. Climate change is a general issue and must be spoken by all nations with a shared perception, which must be free from constricted and prejudiced considerations. It also seems that we immediately need a new economic standard, which must be universal, inclusive, cooperative, environmentally sensitive and, above all, scientific. Maintainable development must be based on talking the requirements of the deprived and optimal connecting of rare means of water, air, energy, land, and bio-diversity will have to be sustained through more cooperative endeavors. Only then unaccompanied we could make some progression in redeemable our unique planet from the edge of climate disasters.

The panorama of living in a world where pollution has steadied, forests are intensifying and carbon emissions are dropping is an exciting one. We must accept this point that the time necessitates that emerging and developed countries should unite to eliminate the thoughtful problem of global warming, climate change or environment change. Somehow the international environmental laws are to be construed in such a way that they should not work as tool in the favor of any nations but will fetch all countries collected to acquire responsibility in the direction of the environmental security.

The climate change is a very important issue and if we don’t sojourn the variations almost immediately, more and more shrubberies and trees are going to die, we won’t have sufficient nourishment and then not only will the third world countries suffer from hunger but so will the whole world. I personally believe that it is reasonable that to first stop the ups and downs in climate and then progressively decrease the deprivation in the poor countries. The reason behind it is that if we sojourn the changes, we are going to be better and everything around us will be cleaner.

If we want protect the environment and want to prevent the Climate change then in that case also we need to understand our social responsibilities. States should take proper steps to prevent the Climate change. States should also try to organize various awareness campaigns at National and International level to prevent the Climate change. In every State there should be a separate governmental department to deal with the issues of Climate change and that department should submit its annual report to the Environmental Department India. Even in educational institutions proper awareness must be given to the students about the concept of Climate change and how they contribute in preventing the Climate change.



[1] Balakrishna Pisupati, Environment, biodiversity and Gandhiji, (September. 13, 2017, 10:00 AM), http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/environment-biodiversity-and-gandhiji/article2504124.ece.

[2] Manoj Tiwari, Environmental Studies 167 (1st ed. 2012).

[3] Id. at 168.

[4] supra note 2, at 169.

[5] supra note 4.

[6] supra note 7.

[7] supra note 4.

[8] A Damodaran, India  Climate change and the Global Commons: Encircling the Seamless 21 (2d ed. 2010).

[9] Pavitra Sriprakash, Effect of climate change on Chennai, (September. 13, 2017, 11:00 AM), http://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/2016/nov/05/effect-of-climate-change-on-chennai-1535032--1.html.

[10] Kelly Fenn, How can we Prevent Climate change, (September. 14, 2017, 11:00 PM), http://www.preventclimatechange.co.uk/prevent-climate-change.html.

[11] The Mechanisms for Preventing Climate change International Law Essay, (September. 14, 2017, 10:00 AM), https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/international-law/the-mechanisms-for-preventing-climate-change-international-law-essay.php.

[12] Ibid.

[13] (1996) 3 S.C.C. 212 (India).

[14] INDIA CONST. art. 21.

[15] INDIA CONST. art. 48A.

[16] INDIA CONST. art. 51A.

[17] Charter of the United Nations, (September. 14, 2017, 12:00 PM), http://www.un.org/en/charter-united-nations.

[18] A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 1037 (India).

[19] A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 1109 (India).

[20] A.I.R. 1987 A.P. 171 (India).

[21] (1990) A.I.R. 1480 (India).

[22] (1978) 2 S.C.R. 621 (India).

[23] A.I.R. 1990 S.C. 630 (India).

[24] A.I.R. 1988 S.C. 2187 (India).

[25]  A.I.R. 1990 S.C. 2060 (India).

[26] A.I.R. 1991 S.C. 420 (India).

[27] (1996) 9 B.C.L.R.V. 1221 (T.K.).

[28] 25 C.o.l. J. E.n.v. I.L. 283 (2000).

Authored By: Varun Kumar, Founder & Editor-In-Chief & Publisher, The Journal for Indian Researchers. 

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User Comments
Anuj
Very good article. But seems more like a research paper. Should I not be also in the research section in the Resource Center on SoOLEGAL?
Anuj 31 Mar 2018
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