Understanding the change
The way we have handled the phase of development and got here.. covid 19 that
has effected more than millions of people and killed exodus population globally
is absolutely appalling. Global crises like Locust plague, Australian bush
fires, Hurricane Harvey, Antarctic melting at alarming rate, Coral bleaching,
Kerala Floods are to name few which indicate towards the negligence in respect
to climate change.
Temperature of our planet is substantially influenced by the amount of
greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Adding Greenhouse gases is warming the planet
and this fact is not a new scientific finding. In late 19th century, Svante
Arrhenius, a Nobel Prize winning Swedish Scientist wrote a paper in which he
stated that the release of Carbon dioxide would substantially warm the
Stand of National Green Tribunal
National Green Tribunal in India in its expect to accomplish condition equity to
address environment issues have been alluding to climate change
a lot sooner than the worry picked up the national and
universal significance. Tribunal since its functioning begun has dealt with that
judicial commitment with climate concerns.
In the matter of Rohtang pass where Tribunal discussed various negative
environmental impacts of black carbon on glaciers. Considerable increase in
vehicular traffic in Himachal Pradesh, particularly, in this part, has resulted
in blackening/browning of snow cover in mountains, especially emissions of burnt
hydrocarbon and carbon soot. India emits 534 kilotons of Black Carbon annually
with major contributions from domestic usage, burning of crop residues, sugar
industry, dung cake burning, vehicles, brick kilns, steel industry and power
plants. Dust and Black Carbon from forest fire also accelerate melting of snow
and glaciers in the Himalayas.
This is because black color absorbs all colors of light. The light absorbed by
the black material interacts with atoms and molecules and converts the light
energy into heat energy.
This heat energy accelerates melting of glaciers. The increasing congestion in
the form of mass tourism in and around Rohtang Pass affects the topographic
fragility and ecological delicacy of this area. Tribunal on considering the
impact of excess human activities direct to the state government to control
pollution, regulate the number of vehicles permitted to ply in the area, keep
close tabs on effect of tourism by imposing a pollution tax on tourists and
prohibit crop residue burning.
Another landmark case in relation to the emission HCFC-22 (Chlorodifluoromethane)
and climate change.
The National Green held that It is indisputable that the greenhouse gases have
impact on global warming and global warming has affect on several facets of
human life i.e., air, ecology, agriculture and the whole socio economic life in
every part of the globe. It will be the obligation of statutory authorities and
the Central Government to take steps which would help in improving the
environment on the one hand while protecting it from being polluted or being
adversely affected on the other.
Judgments, orders and many decisions of National Green Tribunal signal their
readiness to deal with the issue of climate change factor. The tribunal has
acknowledged climate change as a reality and there is its causality and risk.
All the more essentially, the tribunal also accepts that the judiciary as well
as government bodies have an obligation to prevent ill effects of climate
Hon'ble Mt. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court,
in international Conference on global environment issues organized by NGT
addressed the gathering by drawing attention toward sinking states: His address
aimed at emphasizing on the proactive role played by the tribunal and Indian
judiciary at large in reminding the people of their fundamental duties and
commitments towards protection of the environment.
The discussion further orbit around the phenomenon of sinking Islands, which is
a result of rapid global warming, and climate change caused by emission of the
greenhouse gases and rapid industrialization. There were other esteemed speakers
who spoke and expressed their concern toward the issue of climate change and the
broadminded approach of tribunal in dealing with matters concerning to emission
of greenhouse gases.
India's stand on climate change
India as a developing country doesn't purchase the contention of the developed
nations that the worry for the planet's present atmosphere must override the
authentic blame that the developing nations do not contribute a single step
towards climate change. India has taken numerous measures domestically.
Reforming Energy Markets (Electricity Act 2005, Tariff Policy 2003, Biodiesel
Purchase Policy, Energy Conservation Act, 2001,other steps taken includes
launching and promotion of biomass gasifies, biogas and excrement, advancement
of solar water radiators, solar PVs, energy generation from rural waste, etc
Government launched its National Climate Change Action Plan in 2008 bringing
together existing and proposed efforts at decarburization under eight national
missions: solar energy; enhanced energy efficiency; sustainable habitats; water;
the Himalayan ecosystem; sustainable agriculture; and strategic knowledge for
The Hon'ble Supreme court of India, High courts and The National Green Tribunal
despite of the absence of any laws pertaining to climate change as of now finds
its existing domestic environmental laws and constitution to be the source of
duty in combating climate change.
In India too, many hooks exist for climate litigation in public and private law.
There are a wide range of rights available in constitution pertaining to
environment and conservation which can be directly associated with climate
Climate considerations are already being voiced in Nation Green tribunal and it
is only a matter of time before claims for clear mitigation and adaptation
measures are argued before Tribunal or Indian courts. If it is an important
environmental issue in India or is a matter of environment concern- Indian
Judiciary courts and The National Green Tribunal will never be far behind.
Countries like Australia, Mexico, U.K, and New Zealand have already have their
own laws specially focusing on climate change. Enactment of legislation
exclusively for climate change is now the need of an hour for country like
- Svante Arrhenius, XXXI.On the influence of carbonic acid in the air upon
the temperature of the ground, 41 The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin
Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 237-276 (1896).
- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar (Chairperson) & Hon'ble Mr. U.D.
Salvi (Judicial Member) & Hon'ble Dr. D.K. Agrawal (Expert Member) & Hon'ble
Mr. Bikram Singh Sajwan (Expert Member) Court On Its Own Motion vs State Of
Hp Ors, greentribunal.gov.in, (n.d), http://greentribunal.gov.in/Writereaddata/Downloads/237_2013(THC)(App)6Feb2014_final_order.pdf
- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar (Chairperson) & Hon'ble Mr. Justice
M.S. Nambiar (Judicial Member) & Hon'ble Dr. D.K. Agrawal (Expert Member) &
Hon'ble Mr. Bikram Singh Sajwan (Expert Member) & Indian Council for Enviro-legal
Action v MoEFCC and Ors , Greentribunal.gov.in, (n.d), http://www.greentribunal.gov.in/Writereaddata/Downloads/170-2014(PB-I-Judg)OA-10-12-2015.pdf