India - Environment & Climate Change overview
- According to the Environmental Performance Index 2022, India ranks 180th out of 180 countries for environmental health and ecosystem performance.
- The CAT 2021 rates India’s NDC 2030 target as “highly insufficient”. This indicates that India’s climate commitment to 2030 is not within the range of what is considered to be a fair share of the global effort, based on responsibility and capability.
- The Government of India allocated a budget of approximately INR 2870 crores (AUD 503.2 Million) to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for 2021-22.
Policies and Initiatives
- The National Environment Policy 2006 is a response to India’s national commitment to a clean environment. The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) provides a sustainable development course of action that meets both economic and environmental goals at the same time.
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 regulates the protection and improvement of the environment. The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 led to the establishment of the National Green Tribunal, a specialised body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
- A new Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), released in March 2020, aims to evaluate the possible environmental impacts of a proposed project or development. It takes into account the inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human health impacts. Environment Impact Assessment in India falls under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 regulates the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in the country, so as to preserve and improve the quality of air. The National Clean Air Programme ensures fast implementation of mitigation measures to monitor and reduce air pollution.
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 regulates the prevention and control of water pollution.
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a country-wide campaign launched by the Government of India in 2014 to eliminate open defecation sites and improve solid waste management.
- The PARIVESH portal aims to monitor the proposals submitted by proponents seeking Environment, Forest, Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone Clearances from Central, State and District level authorities.
- To spread awareness amongst youth and encourage their engagement in environmental programs, the Government launched various initiatives including the National Green Corps Eco-Club at the school level, as well as the Green Skill Development Programme and the Himalayan Research Fellowships at the tertiary level, to increase youth employment in environmentally-friendly occupations.
- Apart from the above, further legislation and policies are in place to address Pollution, mitigate Climate Change, conserve Biodiversity, Forest & Wildlife, and ensure better Waste Management.
In India, the Environment sector falls under the jurisdiction of both Central and State governments. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the agency responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programs. There are 3 Divisions within the Ministry, namely the Establishment Division, Environment Division and the Forest & Wildlife Division. Other federal agencies involved in environmental issues are the Forest Survey of India, Central Pollution Control Board, National Green Tribunal, National Biodiversity Authority, and Animal Welfare Board of India.