CHANDIGARH: Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu, requested ‘collective action’ from citizens, along with enabling policies, to limit the impact of climate change.
In an inaugurating at International Conference on Environmental Diversity and Environmental Jurisprudence at Chandigarh University, Ghruan in Mohali.
Mr. Venkaiah said – “To be able to achieve the 1.5-degree Celsius global warming limit, we must aim at both macro-level systemic changes as well as micro-level lifestyle choices. We need a people’s movement for environmental protection,” .
Later, added – “lower courts too must uphold an eco-centric view and keep the best interests of the local populations and biodiversity in their judgments”.
He called for stringent action against violators of pollution laws and strict enforcement of the ‘Polluter Must Pay’ principle.
Naidu stressed the need for honest implementation of laws, suggesting that “only passing laws is not sufficient, strict action against violators is equally important”.
During a conversation, he also suggested empowering Pollution Control Boards and local civic bodies with resources, technical expertise, and punitive powers to implement environmental laws effectively. Noting that the Constitution empowers Gram Panchayats in matters of water management, soil conservation, and forestry, he called for better fund allocation for this purpose. “Effective functioning of grassroot level bodies is critical in handling the climatic challenges of today and the future”,
Calling for serious introspection and bold actions to mitigate the reality of increasing extreme events and diminishing biodiversity, Naidu said, “it is not only the duty of the government to deliberate, but it is the duty of every citizen and human being on earth to save this planet”.
Addressing the gathering, Naidu stressed that India has always been leading the world in climate action. He reiterated India’s commitment to fulfilling the ambitious national targets set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, recently.
Highlighting the contributions of the National Green Tribunal, the Vice President noted that with the growing demand for environmental litigation, there is an urgent need for training more legal practitioners in environmental law. In this regard, the Vice President called for making poorer sections aware of their rights and bringing environmental justice closer to the needy. He suggested creating more specialized environmental benches in various parts of the country, if necessary. He appealed to lawmakers to take cognizance of the situation and make legislations that maintain a fine balance between ‘ecology and economy.