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Differentiated Responsibilities On Population Explosion And Its Impact On Environment – A Corridor For The Crossing?

P.P. Sajimon

Abstract


Climate change and disasters are fast emerging as the most significant challenges of the 21st century as global risks with impacts far beyond just the environment and implications on national security and development. As the world continues its contemporary patterns of production and consumption, the future is at immense risk. Climate Change has the potential to alter the ability of the earth’s physical and biological systems to provide goods and services essential for sustainable development. Today, a number of mainstream population and environment groups are claiming that population growth is a major cause of climate change and that lesser birth rates are the solution. If we cannot stabilize population, there is not an ecosystem on earth that we can save. If developing countries cannot stabilize their populations almost immediately, many of them face the disintegration of ecosystem. But in reality, even if we could today achieve zero population growth that would barely touch the climate problem — where we need to cut emissions by 50 to 80 percent by mid-century. Given existing income inequalities, it is inescapable that over consumption by the rich few is the key problem, rather than overpopulation of the poor many. In the absence of any commitment in the next two decades, their economies would become locked into a trajectory of elevated emissions and unsustainable development, while the cost of reversing the trend will become prohibitively high. This paper examines several outstanding issues on the interface between population and environment. Significantly, the study would come out with some policy recommendations to the policy makers.

Keywords


Indian Economy,Environment, Industrialisation, urbanisation, poverty, air and water polution

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