Friday, November 20, 2009

New Pollution Control Norms

India has taken a big step to arrest climate change just before the Copenhagen summit and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's US visit. The federal government has issued strict norms against growing pollution on the lines of Western countries. However, there are no appropriate laws at the moment to implement them.

Amending Kyoto Protocol
It was being hoped at first that in the Copenhagen summit, developing countries including India would increase pressure on industrialized countries to implement the Kyoto protocol. But conditions have rapidly changed after the initiative taken by US President Barack Obama. Now, they are not only talking of amending the Kyoto Protocol, but countries like India and China are also getting ready to discharge their responsibility of reducing carbon emission without any condition.
In the next Five-Year-Plan from 2012 to 2017, India is getting ready for durable economic development with less carbon emission. The Planning Commission has already started working in that direction. The norms released on 18 November are a step in that direction only. The biggest challenge before this step is to implement it. Out of the 110 cities surveyed by the Indian Pollution Control Board in 2008, pollution level in 88-percent of them is much beyond even the old norms. When six new types of pollutants are added to these criteria, the situation in these cities would be found much worse.

Reduction in Pollution
It is true that the level of pollution had fallen quite a bit in Delhi after commercial diesel vehicles were banned and the use of CNG started. But this ban proved inadequate, when they continued to manufacture diesel vehicles and bring them on roads. The little reduction in pollution that had been achieved through this effort is again coming back to the old level. People's health-related problems are increasing.
If the new standards were implemented properly, it would help a great deal in cleaning air. But along with implementing the new standards, we would also have to get local bodies, small-scale automobile industry, and small-scale industries ready for the change. We would also have to help them keeping their loss in view, and would have to provide them with proper equipment, so that they could pass tough European norms for preventing pollution.

Biggest Offender
It is worth noting that the country that is the biggest offender wants to exploit poor countries to pay for its crimes, even though development is still a mirage for them. Our country is acting in its usual way. First refuse, and then make excuses only to acquiesce when it becomes a compulsion. It is god that we have finally decided to cut down greenhouse gas emission voluntarily.
The two biggest offenders -- the United States and China--have joined hands on this issue. Therefore, we have learned the lesson in time. In order to stop destruction, we have to adopt sophisticated technology. We must also participate in the bargaining in Copenhagen cautiously.

Primary Cause of Crisis
The dangerous consequences of toying with the world on the pretext of development are being constantly noticed. Changes in weather, untimely rain, severe heat, and fast melting of glaciers that are source of rivers prove this to the world. The earth's normal temperature continues to go up. It is being feared that seawaters will gradually swallow the world because of this trend. If this does take place, coastal cities will be wiped out. Our neighbor Maldives has already started preparations to meet this threat. The primary cause of this crisis is reckless use of fossil fuel like coal and petroleum products to promote civilization and industrialization.
Factories and electricity powerhouses are providing immediate facilities for today's civilization. But they are also posing questions for the future. The ozone layer, which serves as the defense shield of our atmosphere and checks the Sun's dangerous radiation, is itself under threat today. It is not that the world is ignoring these threats. Meetings of all countries had been held in Barcelona and Kyoto. The next meeting will now be held in Copenhagen. At the Kyoto meeting, developed countries were held responsible for this situation. The onus of solving the problem should, therefore, rest largely on them. The logic was correct but the United States managed to wriggle out. Along with European countries it is trying to enforce equal contribution from all countries in this regard.

No comments: