December 30, 2014 10:43:04 am
As the environment versus development debate continued to torment policy makers in 2014, the new government initiated the process of rewriting the rules of environmental governance in a bid to bring more clarity into the system.
The NDA government appointed a committee under former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian to suggest changes to existing laws to bring these in line with “current requirements”. The committee, instead of just suggesting amendments to existing laws, recommended the creation of an entirely new environmental governance architecture, the contours of which were quite in line with the government’s own thinking.
The year 2015, therefore, is likely to see swift movement towards setting up of a new green architecture that will have twin objectives: remove bottlenecks and delays in the regulatory framework to pave the way for faster and greater industrialisation, and force the industries to submit to a higher level of environmental integrity.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has already indicated that the Subramanian committee report was likely to be the basis on which the evolution of environmental governance will take place. Accordingly, a host of amendments to environmental laws are being prepared to be introduced in the Budget Session.
Environment campaigners, however, complained that government policies had further eroded the green cause, and hurt the interests of tribals and forest dwellers.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests was renamed as the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change but apart from that, there was little initiative from the government on the climate front. But that is likely to change next year as the government has revealed its intention to review various climate ‘missions’ and give a new direction and urgency to them.
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