Author : Dr Arvind Kumar
The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is 'Green Economy', which is construed as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. Broadly speaking, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes.
In the Indian context, the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ GOI proposed move to make it mandatory for PSUs and private companies to put in place and implement a concrete corporate environmental policy for protection of environment is welcome. However, there is dire need of inter-sectoral convergence between different ministries dealing with formulation and implementation of different kinds of manufacturing, mining and related projects. Water and environment in tandem with each other lie at the root of every project. Hence, the corporate environmental guidelines should be formulated in consultations with all concerned ministries, including Ministry of Environment & Forests, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Mines etc. In order to ward off adverse impacts of climate change and keeping in view the close nexus between water, energy, food and environment, emphasis should be on ‘Nexus Approach’, which seeks to find solutions based on the interconnections between various sectors or disciplines and is being widely regarded along with resilience to attain sustainable development. It can serve as a bridge that could close the gap between the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development.