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Editorial Analysis 8 July

8th July, 2024 Editorial Analysis

ENVIRONMENT

A law around low-carbon climate resilient development

Source: The Hindu

Context

  • The Supreme Court of India acknowledged the right to be “climate change free” or protected from the ill effects of climate change in Writ petition (Cri) No. 196 of 2020 popularly known as M. K. Ranjitsinh and Others vs Union of India accepted in July 2024.

Details

Need for Climate Law:

  • Judicial intercessions randomly dispersed are not adequate.
  • Current legal system has no integrated policy on climate change.
  • There is the need to shift development to low and climate-risky development pathways.

Key Principles of a Climate Law for India:

  • Development with Low-Carbon Footprint
    • Seek funding for the developmental activities which contribute less emission for the respective growth.
    • Do not make investments that will lock in carbon intensity over the long-term and hence the need to exercise caution.
  • Climate Resilience
    • Mitigate high vulnerability of India to climate change effects including fighting, heat waves and flooding.
    • This means mainstreaming climate change adaptation into development planning to mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Social Justice
    • Ideally, guarantee the social dimension of climate change mitigation and adaptation for vulnerable groups of people for sustainable development.
    • Ensure social equity aspect is incorporated in climate policies and programmes.

Components of the Framework Climate Law:

  • Substantive Right Realization
    • Analyse possible ways of elaborating practice-based approaches to implementing the right to be protected from the adverse effects of climate change.
    • Develop legal conditions regarding discouragement and compensation for impacts of climate change on human beings.
  • Institutional Structure
    • Low-Carbon Development Commission
      • Offer insights to member countries on the matter of low carbon development and the Preparedness against Certainty shocks.
      • Co-ordinate the national and state level initiatives and measures.
      • Engage stakeholders and the public as a means of soliciting their input.
    • Climate Cabinet
      • Instruments of climate governance in relation to overseas territories consist of a high-level ministerial body that directs the climate strategy across government departments.
      • Ensure that the processes of decision-making are integrated so as to minimize occurrences of silos in climate policy.
    • Executive Committee on Climate Change
      • Enhance existing committees that have specific legal bases to oversee the co-ordination of initiatives on climate change across ministries.
      • Promote the correct and systematic implementation as well as tracking of climate policies across various levels.
    • Federal Engagement
      • In order to overcome the challenges posed by federal structure of India, focus the efforts and resources on the central and state level cooperation on climate change measures.
      • Design programs and sources of financing for subnational climate activities in order to increase climate preparedness in the regions.

Implications and Future Directions

  • Most of the current work has remained at researching and writing levels, The required improvements include;
  • Shape policy development on matters concerning sustainable development as well as handling of climate change.
  • Establish the legal term for climate change cases and climate diplomacy as well as international cooperation in combatting climate change and its impacts.

Conclusion

  • In essence, the legally compliant climate change legislation is critical in harmonizing the constitutionally affirmed rights on climate change into instruments for action. The framework law should provide the direction of choosing SD options, transition to low-carbon economy and equity in the climate change. This will require complimentary sectoral laws and amendments in order to provide back up for the broad and complex climate framework that will be developed.

Sources:

The Hindu

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

A BEND IN THE RIVER

Source: Indian Express

Context

  • A Pakistani team went through the Indian hydropower projects in the Jammu and Kashmir state in July 2024 for assessing the neutral expert in Indus Water Treaty (IWT)
  • This visit may be seen as a beginning of India and Pakistan ‘s resumption of negotiations on the water sharing of the rivers.

Introduction

  • The IWT was signed in September 1960 when meeting the water needs of the two countries while sharing the water of Indus water system was a major challenge. However, conflicts still remain as there are employments of infrastructure facilities, changing climates and a lack of trust in the agreement.

Details

Challenges to the IWT:

  • Infrastructure Projects:
    • Differences with India over projects initiated by it such as Kishenganga and Ratle which has adverse effects on downstream Pakistan.
  • Climate Change:
    • Thus, global warming leads to the intense and irregular melting of glaciers, as well as inconsistency in the monsoons, raising volatility in water flow.
  • Water Scarcity:
    • Increasing populations and poor water quality impacts availability of food and quality of life as well as a negative impact on livings species.
  • Limited Data Sharing:
    • The IWT does not have enough reliable measures for data exchange in real time and water quality evaluation.

Need for Reform:

  • Environmental Flows:
    • Subsume the ecological components by including Environmental Flows (EFs) as a part of the IWT.
  • Climate Resilience:
    • Coordination frameworks for providing and evaluating climate change effects on the Indus basin should be created.
  • Sustainable Basin Management:
    • Carry out a transition from river basin management to comprehensive basin management.
  • Dispute Resolution:
    • Improve/key up the measures for the resolution of disputes within the IWT framework.

Global Context:

  • Thus, the reformed IWT, can improve inter-state cooperation on climate change in other similar regions of the world.

Recent Developments:

  • Inspection Visit:
    • An investigative team was dispatched from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir in July 2024 specializing in Indian hydropower.
  • Dispute Resolution Mechanism:
    • Conflicts regarding Pakal Dul and Ratle projects.
    • Specifically, the aforesaid arbitration process was conducted in the framework of lending by the World Bank in October 2022: The World Bank has invited both a neutral expert and chair of the Court of Arbitration.
    • India also claimed asking for permanent stay of proceedings, cross suits and appeals.

Significance of the Visit:

  • The real perception that the military wing proposes can be inferred with the signal that the visit of the Pakistani delegation provides for dialogue and a peaceful settlement.
  • Stresses on the fact that the IWT should be the chosen framework for peaceful resolution of serious conflicts.

Challenges:

  • Concerning an aspect of medical tourism, conflict between India and Pakistan hinders collaboration to some extent.
  • Disparities in the meaning of specific articles of the IWT are expected to complicate the resolution of disputes.

Way Forward:

  • Engagement:
    • It is about how both the countries should not act negatively but should practically work and participate constructively within mechanisms of IWT.
  • Communication and Data Sharing:
    • Improving frequency of communication and exchange of information which can improve trust.
  • Review Framework:
    • The IWT framework could be reviewed in order to meet today’s global issues such as climate change.

Conclusion

  • The IWT is an important treaty in water distribution and management for India as well as for Pakistan. The smooth running of the IWT is very important for the stability of the region and mitigation of the effects of climate change.

Sources:

Indian Express