Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

A call to action for a sustainable future  


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: World Environment Day 2024

Mains level: How COVID-19 Shows Us the Way Forward

Why in the news?

World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th is a global event where people come together to celebrate the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability, emphasizing the urgent need to tackle environmental challenges.

World Environment Day 2024 Theme

Theme: “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience”

  • Highlighting Critical Issues: Focuses on the significant threats posed by land degradation and desertification, which impact food security, biodiversity, and climate change. For example, the United Nations estimate that about 30% of land is degraded worldwide
  • The urgency for Action: Emphasizes the need for immediate actions in the face of the triple planetary crisis: Climate Change, Nature and Biodiversity Loss, and Pollution and Waste.
  • Shared Responsibility: Stresses collective action and individual responsibility in restoring ecosystems, urging everyone to contribute to solutions.
  • Empowering Youth: Encourages young people to lead the change towards a sustainable future with the #GenerationRestoration slogan.
  • Alignment with Global Goals: Supports the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) and the Sustainable Development Goals, promoting a comprehensive approach to environmental protection.

India’s Ambitious Renewable Targets

  • Renewable Energy Goals: India aims to achieve 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, emphasizing solar and wind energy.
  • Solar Energy Initiatives: Major solar projects, including the world’s largest solar park in Karnataka and the International Solar Alliance (ISA), aim to promote solar energy adoption.
  • Wind Energy: India is one of the world’s largest producers of wind energy, with significant wind farms in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
  • Policy Support: The government has introduced various policies and incentives to encourage investment in renewable energy, including subsidies, tax benefits, and easier land acquisition processes.
  • Sustainable Development: These initiatives align with India’s commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable development.

How COVID-19 Shows Us the Way Forward

  • Environmental Awareness: The pandemic has heightened awareness of the interconnectedness between human health and the environment, highlighting the importance of preserving natural habitats to prevent zoonotic diseases.
  • Reduction in Pollution: Lockdowns and reduced industrial activities during the pandemic led to significant decreases in air and water pollution, demonstrating the impact of human activities on the environment.
  • Green Recovery: The concept of building back better suggests incorporating green recovery strategies into post-pandemic economic plans, focusing on sustainable practices and renewable energy investments.
  • Resilient Systems: Emphasizes the need for resilient and adaptive systems that can withstand future shocks, including those caused by climate change and environmental degradation.
  • Global Cooperation: COVID-19 underscored the importance of international cooperation and collective action to tackle global challenges, a principle that is equally applicable to environmental issues.

Conclusion: By embracing the lessons from the pandemic, setting ambitious renewable energy targets, and focusing on land restoration and resilience, the global community can work towards a sustainable and resilient future. World Environment Day 2024 serves as a pivotal moment to reflect on these goals and renew our commitment to environmental stewardship.

Mains PYQ:

Q Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. (150 Words, 10 Marks) (UPSC IAS/2018)

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