India’s ‘ transition to green economy
- India’s ‘ transition to green economy
Why in news? The transition to green and inclusive economies has been long deliberated both at national and global level.
Background: With the country experiencing 314 days of extreme weather events in 2022, and climate change making heatwaves in India 30 times more likely, green growth assumes greater significance.
- Budget 2023 ensured that India is primed for ‘Green Growth’ .
- In a bid to counter the climate threat, India has committed to achieving net zero by 2070; released a low-carbon development strategy; and introduced the concept of ‘LiFE’ (Lifestyle for Environment) to promote responsible consumption. Sovereign Green Bonds, which were introduced in the previous budget as a new avenue of raising finance for green initiatives, recently witnessed a successful maiden auction.
- The government has accelerated the pace of green growth as India is facing the grave reality of depleting natural resources, limited supply of water, minerals, and fossil fuels as it surpasses China to become the most populous country.
Green Economics: A methodology of economics that supports the harmonious interaction between humans and nature and attempts to meet the needs of both simultaneously.
5 Principles of Green economy : “Partners for inclusive Green Economy” has produced the five principle of Green Economy :
- The Well being Principle : enables all people to create and enjoy prosperity.
- Growing wealth that supports well being.
- Opportunities for green and decent livelihoods.
- Built on collective action for public goods.
- Justice principle : Promoting equity within and between generations.
- Avoid elite capture and supports women empowerment.
- Equitable distribution of opportunity and outcome.
- Based on solidarity and social justice.
- Planetary boundary principle : Safeguards, restores and invest in nature
- Using precautionary principle to avoid loss of natural capital and breaching ecological limits.
- Invest in protecting, growing and restoring biodiversity, soil, water, air, and natural systems.
- Efficiency and Sufficiency principle : Supporting sustainable consumption and production .
- Global shift to limit consumption of natural resources to sustainable level.
- Employ polluter pays principle or benefits to be accrued to those delivering inclusive green outcomes.
- Good Governance principle : Integrated , accountable and resilient institutions.
- Requires public participation , transparency and social dialogue.
- Devolved decision making
- Serve the interest of society.
Why move to a Green Economy:
The green economy is more than just environmental in scope; it is also about development and the economy. A green economy has following benefits:
- Environmental benefits
- Address global challenges such as climate change , loss of biodiversity and desertification.
- Contributes to efforts at national and regional level to address local pollution of air, water and soil.
- Economic benefits:
- Opening up new export markets . New markets for biofuels , and for renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines.
- Helps to maintain existing market share.
- Increased productivity , and increased commodity and agricultural
- Improved energy security
A green economy adopts a more sustainable path by increasing the share of its GDP to renewable energies, clean transportation, clean technologies, green buildings, waste management, water services, sustainable agriculture and forestry. It also reduces the energy use per unit of production, as well as carbon emissions per unit of GDP, while minimizing wasteful
consumption in various sectors of the economy
Potential hurdles for India in achieving Green Economy
- The larger perception is that environmental protection comes at the cost of economic growth and development. Open cast mining in Odisha was stopped for environmental protection.
- Financial markets for green investments are at a nascent stage and systems to direct funding towards green and responsible investments are inadequate. Eg Investors are reluctant to invest in green bonds because of their credit rating below AAA.
- Green technology is generally thought of as unreliable and not cost-competitive. Renewable energy like Solar is not available round the clock and initial cost is high.
- The thinking that India cannot afford to pollute now, clean up later‘ has still not gained mainstream acceptance.
- Greening the economy is not fully recognized as a tool to achieve social prosperity and environmental sustainability.