Treating the planet well can aid progress – Environment

Treating the planet well can aid progress- Today Current Affairs

CONTEXT :

The Human Development Report 2020 of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), titled as “The Next Frontier – Human Development and the Anthropocene” has suggested a planetary pressure-adjusted Human Development Index (HDI). 

BACKGROUND : From the time period, the UNDP has taken up the calculation of the HDI driven by the insights of Mahbub ul Haq and blended by Amartya Sen in 1990, there have been adjustments such as inequality-adjusted HDI. 

Besides, there was calculations of several other indices, to raise the issues, warranting the policymakers’ attention.

 such as-

  •  Gender Development Index,
  •  Gender Inequality Index, 
  •  Multidimensional Poverty Index  

Factors to be considered in measuring human development-

  • The environment
  • The concept of the planetary boundary 

Both global and local evidence suggest that, followings are warning and they increase the vulnerability of society –

  •  Biodiversity loss 
  •  Climate change
  •  Land system/land-use change
  • Disruption of biogeochemical cycles
  • Scarcity of freshwater availability 

The purpose of the planetary pressure adjusted HDI, or PHDI, is-

  • To communicate to the larger society the risk involved in continuing with existing practices in our resource use 
  • Environmental management
  • The decelerating effect that environmental stress can maintain on development.

Impact on country rankings: The Hindu Analysis

On adjusteing planetary pressure, the world average of HDI in 2019 fell from 0.737 to 0.683. 

This adjustment has been worked out by considering –

  • Per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emission (production) → average per capita global CO2 emission (production) is 4.6 tonnes
  • Per capita material footprint → average per capita global CO2 emission (production) is 4.6 tonnes

The global ranking of several countries changed, in a positive and negative sense, with planetary pressure adjustments, with an exception of Switzerland, with only the HDI value of 0.955 has come down to 0.825 after the necessary adjustment. 

Among 66 very high human development countries-

30 countries recorded a fall in rank values-

  • minus 1 for Germany and Montenegro 
  • minus 131 for Luxembourg. 

In India’s case, 

  • The PHDI is 0.626 
  • HDI of 0.645 
  • with an average per capita CO2 emission (production) 
  • material footprints of 2.0 tonnes and 4.6 tonnes

India gained in global rankings by eight points (131st rank under HDI and 123rd rank under PHDI), 

India’s per capita carbon emission (production) and material footprint are well below the global average.

Challenges in India, SDGs: The Hindu Analysis

  •  India’s natural resource use is not efficient
  •  Growing environmental problems
  •  The onslaught on nature as witnessed from a number of ongoing and proposed projects.

 India has 27.9% people under the Multidimensional Poverty Index 

  • 1.10% in Kerala
  • 52.50% in Bihar 

A sizable section of them directly depend on natural resources for their sustenance.

Kerala → HDI value of 0.775 (above the all-India average). 

Several summits have taken place, since the Stockholm conference. The latest is the adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with a particular target to meet by 2030.

 Human-induced climate change has emerged as an important issue of global deliberations (SDG).

 The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2021-

  • Stress on limiting global temperature rise at the 1.5° C level 
  • Strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change
  • Sustainable development
  •  Efforts to eradicate poverty

These was reiterated in the Conference of Parties (COP) 26 at Glasgow in 2021.

The first and second SDGs-

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger 

As per, NITI Aayog (2020-21), out of 100 points set for the grade of Achiever-

 India scored-

  • 60 (Performer grade, score 50-64) for no poverty 
  • 47 (Aspirant grade, score 0-49) for zero hunger, with wide State-level variations. 

India’s score in the SDGs –

  8 – Decent work and economic growth → 61 (performAn integrated perspective is necessary as social and environmental problems cannot be addressed in isolation anymore)

 9 –  Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure → 55 (performer) 

12 – Responsible Consumption and Production → 74 (front runner)

Challenge- 

  •  To bring human development including social and economic systems into the ecosystem, 
  • Biosphere building on a systematic approach to nature-based solutions 

Local level involvement is also needed in order to get the desired results and meet the objectives.

TO CONCLUDE :The Hindu Analysis

There are wide gaps in managing the environment.

Well-known modern-day people’s movements for environmental protection in India

  •  The Chipko movement (1973) in Uttarakhand 
  •  The Silent Valley movement (the late 1970s) in Kerala 

Subsequently, there is now widespread awareness about the environment and several initiatives both at the level of the government and the community.

 

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plutus ias daily current affairs 14 january 2022