POPULATION GROWTH, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND INDIA
A study employing the energy economic growth model, which incorporates a variety of demographic trends, shows that a slowing of population growth can contribute 16-29% to the emissions reductions required by 2050 to prevent catastrophic climate changes. It is also evident that in the report of 2012 Revision of official United Nations population estimates and projections, the population of the world is expected to grow by nearly a billion over the next 12 years, to reach 8.1 billion by 2025, and then to increase to 9.6 billion in 2050. This figure, which will rise to 10.9 billion by the year 2100. This is vital to the understanding of the effects of climate change. This is particularly relevant in the Indian context since India is currently the second-largest nation on earth and is expected to become the biggest nation in the world within the next few years, surpassing China. According to estimates, the ecological footprint of mankind is currently 1.5 times bigger than the capacity of the planet's supply of essential resources and services. According to the projections, if the global population continues to grow, we will require three planets by 2050.
This goes over the physical capacity of the biosphere and leads to an increase in environmental risk associated with resource scarcity. It is imperative to take action to increase sustainable production and consumption. Therefore, slowing down the growth of the global population is not just desirable; it's vital. The slower global population growth in conjunction with more well-balanced consumption and production patterns can help ease planetary pressures through a slowing of the depletion of non-renewable sources, improve the number of renewable resources, and help in achieving several of the internationally agreed development goals. According to the World Bank Report, 2013 estimates that a scenario that would result in a 40 degrees C rising global temperature will increase extreme climate events like heat waves, rising sea levels, more droughts, more storm surges, and floods in areas of South Asian region including India. The deltaic and coastal zones of India are thought of as being particularly susceptible to flooding risks, as are two Indian cities, Mumbai and Kolkata. Three rivers -- Ganges, Indus, and Brahmaputra -- are at risk of the effects of climate change caused by the melting glaciers and the loss of snow cover, resulting in a significant risk of flooding.
THE POPULATION DILEMMA AND CLIMATE CHANGE
WORLD POPULATION GROWTH
The world's population has increased between 1 and 7 billion in the past two centuries. Based on United Nations' latest World Populations projections, even though fertility levels decrease in the future, the global population is projected to grow to 9.6 billion by 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100, according to estimates of the middle-variant forecast. The growth in the future population is highly dependent on the course that fertility levels in the future will follow. In the medium variation, the global fertility decreases between 2.53 babies per female during 2005 and then 2.24 women per child by 2045-2050. Then, it will be 1.99 women per child by 2095-2000. If fertility were to stay at an average of half of a child higher than those projected for moderate variants, the world population would rise to 10.9 billion as of 2050 and 16.6 billion in 2100. A fertility path that is half an infant below the medium version would result in a population of 8.3 billion by mid-century and 6.8 billion by close this century. Thus, the population growth up to 2050 is virtually inevitable regardless of whether the decline in fertility increases. In the regions with higher levels of development, there has been a slight increase in infertility in recent years, reaching an estimated figure at 1.66 women per child during 2005 and 2010. Because of the slightly higher fertility projected for the future and a steady net migration that averages 2.4 million each year between 2013 and 2050, the population of more developed regions is likely to grow by a small amount between 1.25 billion by 2013 up to 1.3 billion by 2050, and then drop to around 1.28 billion by the year 2100.
Less developed nations (LDCs) remain the fastest growing population worldwide, with 2.3 per cent annually. Even though this rate is predicted to slow down significantly in the coming years but the population of LDCs is expected to double by the mid-century mark, increasing growing from 898 million as of 2013 to 1.8 billion by 2050. It will then increase to 2.9 billion by 2100. Growth elsewhere in the developing world is predicted to be substantial. However, it will be slower, with the population increasing by a factor of 5.0 billion from 5.0 billion at the end of 2013 to 6.4 billion by 2050 and 6.6 billion by 2100, according to the medium-sized variant. 10 Between 1950 and 2010, the world witnessed drastic changes in the demographics. The world's population increased between 2.5 billion by 1950 and 6.9 billion by 2010 - which is an increase of nearly 4.5 billion. In the second, the difference in absolute numbers between developing and developed regions has increased. The ratio was around one-to-two in 1950 and now is one to eleven four and a quarter in 2010.
INDIA'S POPULATION GROWTH
India is the biggest republic globally and is the second-most populous nation in the world, following China. At present, India possesses 16 per cent of the world's population, and it also has 15 per cent of the world's livestock and just 2.4 per cent of the total land area of the world. India was growing very slowly or remained static and then began to grow rapidly in the past 50 years. It is estimated that the Indian subcontinent's population in 300 B.C. was somewhere between 100 to 140 million.
The population was mostly stationary over the following 2000 years. In the year 1600 A.D., the subcontinent's population, which was united India, was approximately 100 to 130 million. The high birth rate was likely in tandem with high mortality rates. A variety of factors contributed to this, the wars that the European imperialist states engaged in against the Indian population of India, and the conflicts between Indian rulers over supremacy in the political arena. The eighteenth-century contributed to extreme political instability, disorganised economics, and epidemics and famines that resulted in high mortalities. In the first 50 years of India's century-old census, 1872-1921 (the first count was conducted in 1871 and 1872), India's population grew by around 60 million. However, in the second period of this century (1921-1971), the population grew to 296 million, almost five times that of the first century. The year 1921 was a turning point and proved to be the most significant division throughout the development of India's populace. From this decade, the government became more efficient and was able to deal effectively with the challenges of flooding, drought and food insecurity. In addition, with an economic boom and progress towards modernisation and an improvement in health facilities, mortality rates started to show a steady decrease. When most Western nations were gaining stability in their population, India began to embark on what proved to be extremely rapid growth. In a way, after 1921, India's population became stable, with a decreasing mortality rate, and a stagnant or slow decline in fertility, resulting in a growing widening of the gap in the population. At the time of India's independence at the time of 1947, the total population of India was at 342 million, with an annual rate of 1.3 per cent. After the passage of the Constitution 1950, as well as its welfare state goal and rapid growth with the manufacturing of foodstuffs and the subsequent reduction in famine, as well as the growth of health facilities, and the elimination of epidemics that were large-scale as well as a drastic decrease in mortality. In stark decline in mortality, the population doubled over 34 years, rising to 439 million by 1961, 548 million in 1971, and 683 million by 1981.
As per the 2011 Census, India's population as of March 1 of 2011 stood at 1210 million. India's population on India March 1 in 2001, was 10.27 million. Today, in the world, India is ranked second in terms of population figures, the leading one being China. The number of people living in India is growing by around 17 million annually, roughly equivalent to those living in Australia. Although China is currently the most populous nation globally, India is much more populous than China. India is set to attain the two billion mark in 2050 A.D. when the population in India is likely to stabilise. This figure could be greater in the years of stability could be further delayed if more strenuous efforts are not put into place than currently. The current estimate is that in 2050, India is likely to surpass China and become the biggest nation on earth, with 17.2 per cent of the population.
POPULATION DYNAMICS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The relation between population dynamics and climate change isn't easy and is a complicated one. Understanding the complexity of this relationship is essential in formulating policies and law-making. Many environmental issues, such as those caused by climate change, are likely to be made worse by the increase in population and population size. However, the effects of the increasing population aren't directly related, as different groups of people impact the environment in various ways. On the one hand, scale, the rapid growth of population combined with poverty and a lack of accessibility to natural resources within a variety of poor countries, causing issues caused by local pollution, depletion of resources and hindering sustainable development.
Environmental degradation, population growth, and poverty are linked to the pursuit of fuel-wood food, water, and other essential needs and make the poor people unaware of the environmental effects they cause. The countries on the low part of the scale but, in reality, contribute less to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental threats that are irreversible to the world. In contrast, they're likely to be among the worst affected by environmental changes. The slowing of growth in population nations could help them gain the time and resources needed to lessen their risk. On the other side of the spectrum are the rich industrialised nations whose expansion is responsible for much of the global environmental threats.
The rise in greenhouse gases that cause climate change is mostly caused by the insanity-based consumption patterns and patterns of production of these wealthier countries. As the rate of growth of demographics in this category of countries has been stagnant or even declined, reducing fertility is more relevant than reducing consumption per capita. It is also important to note that the more prosperous countries will be equipped to confront global climate change and, more generally, less impacted by it because of their geographical features and natural resources.
Between the two extremes and situated in the middle of the spectrum are numerous large and populous emerging countries whose efforts to develop contrary to popular belief are seen as the primary danger to the world's sustainability in the coming years. The current efforts to boost economic growth can lead to the cutting of environmental corners. These countries have largely accepted the model of development currently in the global context of economic competition, and at the same time, consume more resources at alarming rates. Adopting the lifestyles and lifestyles typical of the wealthy majority of the world's population would severely reduce the available resources and risk a dangerous environmental shift. The habits of consumption and lifestyles of the wealthy cannot be applied to the entire world population without creating severe environmental imbalances.
ENERGY PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
The production and consumption of energy have steadily increased in India from 1950 to meet the increasing demand of the growing population. Production of coal grew over nine times i.e. 32 million tons in 1950-51 up to 292 million tonnes in 1995-96. Meanwhile, the production of petroleum products has grown 23 times i.e. between 3.3 million tonnes to 74.7 million tonnes. The goal for annual coal production in 2014-15 is 630.25 mill metric tonnes. The raw coal production from April to December 2014, which was 426.7 MT was up 9.1 per cent, compared with 1.5 per cent growth during the 2013-14 timeframe. Although coal production has increased throughout the years, the overall imports of non-coking and coking coal are also rising due to increased demand from power stations that are starved of fuel. Extracting and processing these fossil fuels makeup one of the largest sources of natural resource materials. India is the world's sixth-largest energy consumption consumer and accounts for 3.4 per cent of the world's energy consumption. In light of the economic growth in India and increasing energy demand, India's energy consumption has increased at an average of 3.6 per annum over the last 30 years. As of the end of December 2012, the power generation capacity of India was 210951.72 mill watts, while the per capita consumption of energy was 733.54 kWh. The total electricity consumption in India is projected to exceed 950,000 MW by the year 2030. The majority of electric power used in India is produced through thermal power plants and 22% of hydroelectric power stations, 3 per cent from nuclear power stations and the remainder 10% comes from alternatives like wind, solar, biomass, and so on. 53.7 the country's enormous coal reserves fulfil most of India's energy needs for commercial purposes. India has also invested extensively in renewable energy sources like wind energy in recent years.
In March 2011, India's wind energy generation capacity was at 12000 MW.
The increasing population is more closely linked to the urban and industrial development process than the development of agriculture. The process of industrialisation and urbanisation is causing higher and more concentrated populations in bigger megacities and towns, which could be a source of danger of GHG. As per Census 2011, 377 million Indians, comprised of around 31 per cent of the population, reside in urban regions. It is a lesser proportion compared with other large emerging nations, such as 45 per cent of China and 54 per cent in Indonesia, as well as 78 per cent of Mexico and 87 per cent in Brazil. With the rapid development in the Indian economy over the past few times, which is likely to keep growing and accelerating, urbanisation will rise.
The projections suggest that by 2031 around 600 million Indians are expected to live in urban areas, which is an increase of more than 200 million within just two decades. The proportion of people who live in cities increased by 3.35 per cent in 2001-2011, but it was just 2.10 per cent in the decade from 1991 to 2001. The majority of urban residents in the largest cities and existing urban Agglomerations. As per the census of 2011, over 53 million people were living in cities that account for around 43 per cent of the population of India's urban areas. Cities of Class I with a population greater than 3 lakh accounted for 56 per cent of India's urban populace. Cities with a population of 1 to 3 lakh accounted for an additional 14 per cent 30. The metropolitization process in India has increased since the 1980s.
Additionally, metropolitization has been happening significantly in the last few years and is likely to increase in the next few years. Furthermore, the trend towards urbanisation is likely to increase the number of metabolites and metropolises, which could have significant environmental consequences for urban environments. These patterns of growth in population and the increase in urban populations have resulted in the rise and illegally occupied squatter colonies and urban slums lacking basic amenities, including sanitation, health care and drainage, sewage, and potable drinking water. In addition, unburned hydrocarbons resulting due to increased traffic, poor sanitation and hygiene conditions in crowded illegal squatter settlements and urban slums; improper treatment of toxic effluents from industrial processes, inadequate infrastructure facilities for sewers and water treatment facilities, etc. which can lead to serious urban pollution issues that have significant morbidity implications.
Producing the principal crops, namely cereals and pulses and oilseeds, has grown throughout the years. The growth was greater than the growth in population for all other crops, excluding pulses, which has led to an increasing per capita supply of all food grains. The rise in land productivity to 2.89 times is largely due to the increase in agricultural intensity. In addition, the area of pasture is growing steadily, indicating the important importance for livestock and products from livestock. The evidence suggests that, despite the higher amounts of agricultural prosperity and intensities of irrigation within Haryana and Punjab, which is also known as being the "breadbasket" of India, however, the degree of landholding fragmentation are relatively low in comparison to other states in India. Human behaviour about food consumption across the period and space reveals that people living in urban areas with more money consume fewer cereals than those who live in rural areas. The growth in per capita availability has been observed as declining, and the possibilities of the increasing availability of food have been deemed dim. However, food needs are expected for 2020 to be 284 million tons, which is equivalent to 1.8 per cent annual growth in the next years’ time until 2020. The estimated population in 2020 will be 1360 million, with 40% of the population living in urban areas.
The model of food projection accounts for changes in food consumption patterns and changing urban-rural populations, income levels and livestock needs, feed, seed, and wastage rates, etc. Research suggests that the northern region, which has contributed over 50% to the average annual growth in grain output for food between 1962-65 and 1990-93, will not keep up its current level of performance. The study suggested that Western, Southern and Central regions aren't very promising, and India could be dependent on the Eastern region for its major contribution. Only on the Eastern region, only.
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLICY
In 1947, the initial meeting of the United Nations Population Commission (now the Commission on Population and Development) examined the relationship between the trends in population growth and the environment. The majority of discussions focused on the effect of development on trends in population. The reverse effect--the influence of development on population was more difficult to determine and led to the conclusion that whether the increase was economically beneficial or not was addressed with a generalisation. The 1950s were when statistics on socio-economic and demographic developments in the developing world were not available. Therefore, the initial studies about the connection between the population and the environment focused on the experiences of developed nations and tended to examine how socio-economic growth influenced demographic trends through improving health and changing norms about what number of kids wanted.
In the 1960s, there was a growing awareness that global population growth was unprecedented, which numerous studies deemed to be an issue of great worry. With Resolution 2398 (XXIII) on December 3, 1968, The General Assembly decided to convene a United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. In the resolution, it was stated that the Assembly stated the fact that "rapidly increasing population and accelerating urbanisation" have exacerbated environmental degradation "continuing and accelerating impairment of the quality of the human environment". A report by the Secretary-General of the human environment, prepared in response to that resolution, noted the "explosive growth of human populations" as the first indicators of a global crisis magnitude about the relationship to the environment and man". In June 1972, The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE), held in Stockholm, adopted the Stockholm Declaration. Declaration called the Stockholm Declaration. It is a Stockholm Declaration with a Preamble comprising seven paragraphs and 26 principles. Para 5 in the Preamble is pertinent. It is the first to acknowledge that "the natural growth of population continuously presents problems for the preservation of the environment, and adequate policies and measures should be adopted, as appropriate, to face these problems".
Principle 16 in the Declaration states that the policies of demographics that are not in violation of basic human rights and are approved by the governments responsible should be implemented in the areas in which the rate of growth in population or high concentrations of the population could have negative impacts on the environmental conditions of the human ecosystem and hinder growth. It was also decided that the Stockholm Conference also adopted the Plan of Action for the Human Environment that contained specific suggestions for actions. In the Action Plan stated in recommendation 11 that the Secretary-General make sure that, in preparing for the 1974 World Population Conference, special attention is paid to the issues of the population about the environment and, specifically, the natural environment surrounding human settlements.
The symposium, held in 1973 entitled "Population, Resources and Environment", took place in Stockholm as part of the preparatory activities for the United Nations World Population Conference in 1974, held in Bucharest. The discussions at the symposium covered a range of "far and wide" because of three reasons that included the interconnectedness of factors that were discussed and the fact that population was just one of the variables--and not always the most significant one--that caused environmental and resource issues and inconsistency of key concepts, further complicated by the absence of evidence that could be used to conduct an analysis of the future or to comprehend the historical process. The 1974 debate at the World Population Conference at Bucharest revealed a wide range of divergences in the interaction between population and environment. It included a majority of the essential aspects of the debate regarding the subject. No consensus on these issues was reached, and population-environment links were not thoroughly treated in the World Population Plan of Action adopted at the conference. In 1984, the International Conference on Population was held in Mexico in 1084.
The preparation in preparation for Mexico City Conference was a lengthy process. Mexico City Conference included an Expert Group Meeting on Population, Resources, Environment and Development in Geneva between 25 and 29 April 1983. The central focus of the discussions were issues such as poverty and food insecurity, the feed versus food debate, the issue of food self-sufficiency, and in particular, the importance of increasing population. The discussion about the environment and resources included the base of resources and environmental degradation and non-renewable resources. The focus was on numerous mechanisms that can increase the supply of resources and the actions that have caused environmental degradation. While environmental issues were not at the forefront of the general agenda of this conference, however, the recommendations for further implementation of the World Population Plan of Action acknowledged the significance of environmental issues, soliciting the development of national policies and international development strategies that are based upon an integrative approach that will be aware of the interrelationships among the environment, population, resources and development.
Additionally, the document, employing the language that would become the foundation of the new paradigm of development for the 1990s, stated that national goals for population and policies should sustain long-term sustainable ecological and economic growth. These Mexico City recommendations were an important step in the direction used in the World Population Plan of Action that had only mentioned resource depletion as a result of consumption and policies for population and economic development in developed nations.
The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development used the notion that sustainable development could be an alternative to the conflict between economic growth and protecting the environment. The Declaration also emphasised the importance of the policies of the population as an essential aspect of sustainable development. Principle 8 from the Rio Declaration stated that "to achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable production and consumption patterns and promote appropriate demographic policies". Another result of the conference called Agenda 21 provided a comprehensive global action plan that outlined sustainable development on the global level with specific actions. Chapter 5 in Agenda 21 covered demographic dynamics as well as sustainability. It stated that "the increase in world production and population, combined in unsustainable patterns of consumption put increasing pressure on the capacity of life-sustaining resources that our earth has. These dynamic processes impact the utilisation of water, land as well as air, energy, as well as other natural resources". It also clearly defined the issue of the population as being linked to the development of major environmental issues. It also included explicit policy guidelines that included dealing with the impacts of the increase in population the momentum of population growth, and simultaneously incorporating measures to facilitate a transition of demographics"; "Full integration of issues related to population into national planning, policy, and making " and " correlation of sustainable development plans that integrate population trends and related factors with actions to manage resources and development objectives that satisfy the needs of the population affected".
The year 1994 was when these questions were discussed during The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which was held in Cairo. The main focus of the meeting was to create a balance between population growth, sustainable economic growth, and sustainable development. The Programme of Action adopted by the conference acknowledged "that population, poverty, patterns of production and consumption and the environment are so closely interconnected that none of them can be considered in isolation" and recognised that the effects of the population could hinder sustainable development: "Demographic factors, combined with poverty and lack of access to resources in some areas, and excessive consumption and wasteful production patterns in others, cause or exacerbate problems of environmental degradation and resource depletion and thus inhibit sustainable development". Importantly in the Programme of Action noted that "slower increase in the population of several countries given the ability to prepare for the future growth in population. This has increased these countries' ability to combat the issue of poverty, protect and restore their environment and create the foundation for sustainable growth. The difference of just one decade between the transitions to stable levels of fertility could significantly improve on the quality of living".
In June 1997, when the General Assembly conducted the first five-year evaluation of the application of Agenda 21, it concluded that, while several of the global factors that impact sustainable development had gotten more extreme since 1992, increasing rates of population growth had declined at a global scale, and if these trends continue in the future, a stabilisation of the global population could happen in this century. It also stated that there "is the need to be aware of the crucial connections between demographic trends and the factors that affect sustainable development. The current decrease in the rate of population growth should be further accelerated by international and national policies that encourage economic growth and social development, family planning, and sexual health, in line with the International Conference on Population and Development conclusions.
In 2000 in 2000, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration that included a variety of important development goals, including, inter among them, the elimination of hunger and poverty as well as the universalisation of elementary education, the decrease of maternal and child mortality, and the promotion in gender equity. It also included gender equality. Millennium Declaration also contained a section that focused on the security from "our common environment," but the topics discussed in 73 did not mention the increase in population. In 2002 there was a World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg. Johannesburg was the venue. Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted by the Summit highlighted the vital importance of agriculture when it comes to "addressing the needs of a growing population" and called for the strengthening of health systems to "address effectively, for all individuals of appropriate age, the promotion of healthy living, including their reproductive and sexual health, consistent with the commitments and outcomes of recent United Nations conferences and summits". The population growth wasn't mentioned in the outcome document from the conference.
POPULATION AND UNFCCC, COPS AND IPCC
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was signed on March 21, 1994. It acknowledges the importance of industrial and economic growth as the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The Convention places the responsibility on developed countries because they are the main source of the most current and past Green House Gas emissions; industrialised countries must take the greatest measures to reduce carbon emissions within their homes.
They are referred to as Annex I countries and belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Twelve countries with "economies in transition" from Central and Eastern Europe. The industrialised nations have agreed in the Convention to assist Climate Change activities in developing nations by providing financial assistance for actions regarding Climate Change. The Convention is a consideration by acknowledging that the proportion of Green House Gas emissions produced by countries in the developing world will increase over the next few years. To achieve its ultimate objective, the Convention aims to assist these countries in limiting emissions in a manner that does not hamper their economic growth. Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is a binding agreement between its parties by establishing legally binding targets for reducing emissions. Recognising that developed nations are the main contributors to the present excessive levels of GHG emissions to the atmosphere due to the more than 150-year span of industrialisation and development, the Protocol places a higher responsibility on nations that are not developed following the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities." The Protocol provides them with an alternative way to achieve their goals through three market-based strategies:
- International Emissions Trading (IET);
- Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); and
- Joint implementation (JI).
The mechanisms can help stimulate green investment and aid Parties achieve their emission targets effectively and at a lower cost. An examination of the UNFCCC frameworks reveals that the issue of population isn't addressed in the plan of action, and the connection between the dynamics of population and climate change, which is essential and inevitable, hasn't been acknowledged. The framework does not mention the connection between population growth and carbon emissions from fossil fuels. It doesn't endorse the well-established mathematical and scientific connections between population increase in carbon emissions and climate change.
The discussion on GHG management was a slack approach to views related to population growth and its effect on the demand for fossil fuels, deforestation, and carbon emissions. The climate conference did not pay attention to the link between humanely cutting down population numbers and reducing GHG emissions. It does not take into account the need to educate all peoples all over the world, specifically via schools and massive advertising campaigns, on the effects of population growth on the environment overall and the climate particularly, and also the information for couples about family planning, as well as the various options to improve the support and counselling for families planning and support, which includes the provision of contraceptives and sterilisation services.
INDIAN LAW AND POLICY
In 1972, after the UN General Assembly decided to hold a conference on Human Development, and requested an annual report from each of the member countries regarding the State of the Environment, the Committee on the Human Environment was created to draft India's report. Three reports had been completed: "some aspects of Environmental Degradation and control in India', 'Some aspects of the Problems of Human Settlement in India and Some aspects of the Rational Management of the Natural Resource'. Through those reports, both the effect of the population explosion upon the environment and the current conditions of environmental degradation were assessed. The main goal of India's participation in the Twenty-Third Session of the COP to UNFCCC 2014 at Lima, Peru, was to safeguard its long-term interest and highlight the necessity of expansion and space for development to tackle the issue of ending poverty, providing access to energy for all and addressing other development priorities.
India's position in negotiations was determined by the principle that of Equity as well as Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). The Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-79) insists that the achievement of development goals will not have the potential to cause an improvement in the quality of life if a connection and equilibrium between environmental and development management was preserved. In this sense, the Minimum Needs Program for elementary and rural education, health in rural areas and sanitation and nutrition and drinking water, construction of housing sites and improvement of slums received very high priority. It was anticipated to reduce pollution and degradation of the environment in rural areas and reduce poverty levels. The Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-90) adopted the fundamental approach was to promote sustainable development that is following the environment since the plan recognised the negative impact that development programs were having on the environment. In the latter half of the 1980s, it was clear that underdevelopment and poverty, instead of development actions, had caused numerous environmental issues, and these issues could not be ignored.
This is why the Seventh Plan emphasised that 'the national planning process for growth in economics and well-being of all sectors must be aware of the importance of protecting natural resources, and should strive to ensure improvement in the quality of our environment. In the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17), The Government has a national goal for mitigation to reduce the intensity of emissions from the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 20-25 per cent by 2020 compared to the level of 2005. It is a Twelfth Five Year Plan that is split into three volumes. Volume 1 is devoted to "Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth", Volume 2 is devoted to "Economic Sectors", and the 3rd volume is about "Social Sectors". Climate Change and Sustainable Development are in the second volume, titled "Economic Sector". It outlines various measures implemented at the national and international levels to tackle climate change. These include a range of policies regarding climate change that the government has announced.
The reduction in the growth of population has been identified as one of the primary goals for socio-economic development starting from the First Five Year Plan to Twelfth Five Year Plan. Stabilisation of the population has also been identified as a fundamental requirement to the promotion of sustainable development in the National Population Policy, 2000. While there is a nationwide consensus that the rapid growth in the country's population should be controlled, there isn't a particular law or regulation in India that directly regulates the huge growth in the number of people.
There is no specific framework law at the national level about Climate Change. However, this doesn't mean that India has a law and policy framework that isn't adequate to tackle climate change-related issues. India has a strong environmental law foundation, and this body of law affects the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to an extent.
Legislations that are of major importance include
- Air Act;
- The Motor Vehicles Act;
- Indian Forest Act;
- Environment Act;
- And Energy Act, etc.
The Air Act lays down the institution-wide and regulatory framework that can limit the emission of greenhouse gases by industries. The restriction on emissions will affect GHG emissions. According to the Motor Act, Central Government is empowered to set rules to regulate the emissions of automobiles. Standards for emission have been put in place like Euro I, Euro II Etc. In addition, the Environment Act also empowers Central Government to establish standards for the emission or discharge of pollution into the environment from different sources and adopt measures to protect and improve the environmental condition.
The Forest Laws contain provisions that ensure the protection of the existing laws on forests as well as they also have the National Forest Policy 1988, which seeks to afforestation as well as coverage by one-third of the land that is covered by forest (or tree cover) is crucial in the context of reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and REDD-plus approach that focuses conservation, sustainable forest management, and an increasing the forest cover. Energy Law provides a framework for efficient utilisation of energy and its conservation, which will influence the emissions of greenhouse gases in India. The law gives the government to set standards for energy consumption and creates the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) as an institution-wide mechanism.
It is also worth noting that the Indian government is also released National Environment Policy (NEP). In the Preamble, the policy states that the current national environmental policies are included within the National Forest Policy, 1988; National Conservation Strategy and Policy, National Forest Policy, 1988 National Conservation Strategy and Policy and the Statement on Environment and Development, 1992 Policy Statement. Then, it states that certain sectorial policies like National Agriculture Policy, 2000's National Population Policy, National Agriculture Policy, 2000 National Population Policy, 2000 and the National Water Policy, 2002 have also contributed to environmental management. In addressing the causes and consequences of environmental issues, the policy incorporates the growth of population and ineffective technology and consumption patterns, poverty and activities of development such as intensive agriculture, pollution-producing industries and unplanned urbanisation as the primary drivers of environmental degradation. It acknowledges that environmental degradation and poverty are also exacerbated by and influenced by, population growth which, in turn, is influenced by an intricate interplay between various causes and developmental stages. The NEP also states that the economic and social environment of population growth has been outlined by the National Population Policy 2000, which acknowledges the stabilisation of the population as an essential condition to sustainably develop. Economic growth, in its way, comes with a variety of complexities and contradictory NEP responses to climate change include the need to determine areas of vulnerability and determine the need for adaptation via coastal zone management and regulation, forest management, agricultural technology and practices, and health programs and the mechanism to allow Indian Industry to benefit from Clean Development Mechanism. The NEP only vaguely addresses the climate change issue without a specific plan for how emissions from different industries, such as transportation, energy, and transport. Furthermore, there is no prioritisation of mitigation or adaptation to climate change.
The year 2008 was when India published its initial National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which outlines existing and planned policies and programs dealing with climate adaptation and mitigation. The plan attempts to address the climate change issues mitigation and adaptation with the help of eight goals that include pursuing solar energy; promoting energy efficiency; and establishing sustainable habitats; conserving water; preserving the Himalayan ecosystem; establishing green India and creating sustainable agriculture and creating an information platform to help address climate change. In reality, the law or policy structure is largely scattered and needs to be put in place to efficiently tackle the issue of mitigation of climate change. It is worth noting that the most important environmental laws regulate the industry, and they have been mindful of only industrialisation as the main cause of environmental degradation and pollution. The issue of excessive population growth as a source of environmental degradation and pollution does not appear in these statutes. Similar to that, NAPCC does not mention the issue of population. National Environment Policy casually mentions the increase in population along with urbanisation as a method of development that is responsible for the degradation of environmental conditions in the context of community rights as follows: "Traditionally, village commons water sources, grazing ground and local forests, as well as fisheries and so on were secured by communities in the local area against overexploitation by establishing various rules, which can include sanctions for non-acceptable behaviour.
These norms could be altered by the process of development, which includes the process of urbanisation and growth in population due to a sharp decrease in mortality. It can also be degraded through actions of the state that could result in the strengthening of rights of the individual over those of the community and, in the process, permit market forces to push for changes with negative impacts on the environment".
We've seen that the population issue has been important in the discussion about global environmental change, both in research and policy circles. Over the past two decades, climate change has attracted much attention at the international level on environmental issues. However, the connections between population issues and climate change are frequently ignored, which leads to poor assessments regarding the causes and effects that climate changes bring. To understand the path in global emissions of greenhouse gases and the development of adaptation plans, it is essential to incorporate the issue of the population into policy-making, and law-making is crucial. The magnitude and scope of global climate change risks demand positive interventions that can turn things around swiftly. Intervention in the process of population growth is a possible initiative. Every discussion or the resulting action of UNFCCC is likely to be unsuccessful if global population growth isn't an integral element of the process. While improving the effectiveness of energy usage and pursuing new energy alternatives are essential to a sustainable energy future. However, these advancements on their own will be constantly neutralised by an increase in the number of humans who are stabilised in their population. In other words, in the natural world, supply alternatives are limited. Demand has to be controlled by addressing both the size of the population and the per person demand. If we don't take action, the extreme scenarios are virtually likely. It is no longer acceptable to continue business as usual, with unrestricted population growth, is no longer an alternative.
Therefore, there is a need to formalise the acknowledgement of the official recognition of the human connection between climate change and population in the climate debate, since the argument for the official recognition of the human link between climate change and the population within the UNFCCC framework is very strong as we have discussed previously. Once it is acknowledged that population growth is a problem related to rising climate change, the international plan will make a valid claim to a larger amount of funds. Recognition could also spur other government departments to acknowledge that it impacts all of them, including Finance, Planning, Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Industry, Education, and Defence and health. This would allow the UNFCCC to partner with other UN agencies working to reduce the population growth as swiftly and as humanely as possible. Although many of these organisations are primarily concerned with humanitarian issues, they also have to be valid environmental motives to limit the population. The argument for the official recognition of the connection between climate change and the population within the UNFCCC framework will also lead to increased funding for sexual and reproductive health programs. However, no group aside from Population Matters (PM) and its partner Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) have ever put forward the draft text for consideration during the UNFCCC talks. Unless any Government Party tables a text and it is discussed and debated, the population issue will remain the problem on the table' in the present, but not recognised. At the National level, even though concerns about the population in India acknowledge that the efforts of the country to protect the endowment of resources and the environment are being harmed due to the increase in population, Indian environmental concerns do not fully recognise that the population is the most important aspect in reducing and adapting of climate changes in India. The population issue is likely to be the tensest and divisive of all environmental concerns in India.
There is an instinct to avoid the population issues due to the fear of losing the vote bank. If the stabilisation of the population is left unanswered, it will eventually render all efforts to address climate change futile and could have disastrous results. The Environmental law, both statutory and case law, which is currently being developed in India, is also unable to not be able to link the issue of adaptation and mitigation to the growing population of the country.