Environment is a place where humans as well as plants and animals live together in perfect harmony. So to retain this harmony it becomes necessary to keep our environment clean for fresh air and pollution free atmosphere. An unclean environment leads to a bad deteriorating condition of a society in the form of contagious diseases etc. Hence it is essential to maintain a healthy eco system.
Key types of pollution are air, water, soil, noise, radioactive, light and thermal. They are adversely affecting our environment. All types of pollution, and environmental concerns, are interlinked and influence one another. So, to tackle one is to tackle them all. Due to the use of pesticides and fertilisers, the ground gets contaminated and during rainy seasons, water percolates down along with the contamination.
With the ever increasing use of technology and industries flourishing the amount of pollution in our environment is increasing at a rapid pace. Keeping our environment clean is a very important part of our lives in these days. It is important to focus on this as we have to make sure that the environment is preserved for future generations. Water pollution and litter are considered to be two of the main cause of the environment being dirty.
People most of the times throw litter and dust on the footpaths and roads instead of throwing it in dustbins. This is how slowly the litter accumulates and transforms into huge garbage. If this garbage is not cleaned, further it smells stink and welcomes the diseases and then people are affected by it. Thus, if we don’t keep our environment clean there would be many consequences or problems which will be faced by the society and people that live in that environment.
What is GREEN Environment?
The concept of sustainability lies at the core of the challenge of environment anddevelopment, and the way governments, business and environmental groupsrespondto it. Green Development provides a clear and coherent analysis of sustainable development in both theory and practice.The excessive use of natural resources occasioned by rapid economic growth has damaged theenvironment and raised many environmental concerns. To conserve energy and reduce carbonemissions, many countries have established environmental regulations. The government of India wants to incorporate modifications made to the regulations through amendments in the interim period. An EIA makes a scientific estimate of the likely impacts of a project, such as a mine, irrigation dam, industrial unit or waste treatment plant.
“Green Environment” has been one of the important ways that companies have dealt with environmentalissues. Methods of acquiring green capabilities and conducting green practices have drawn increasedattention and prompted discussion for the last two decades. To facilitate the adoption of greeninnovations, companies must consider the important drivers and antecedents in their businesses.
These include the concerns of customers, the preferences of business owners,capabilitiesof suppliers, government regulations, and the technological, organizational, and environmental determinants of green practices.
GREEN Environment Adopting some Basic Principles
Why GREEN Environment?
Today, more and more companies are creating products that help us live a green lifestyle. Everything from cars, light bulbs, utensils, straws, cleaners, mattresses, and clothing is created with environmental preservation in mind.These products help us conserve water, energy and precious natural resources while also helping to curb pollution. The conveniences these products provide make it easier than ever to live sustainably. However, many of us may be wondering why this practice is so important. Below we’ve outlined some of the most important reasons for adopting a green lifestyle.
Better Quality of Life
Healthier Environment: Statistics from the World Health Organization report that ≈13 million deaths annually and almost a quarter of all diseases worldwide are due to environmental causes that could be avoided or prevented. These health issues include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, and stroke. When we make sustainable food choices, use alternative transportation, purchase eco-friendly products, and recycle, we are helping to curb the pollution causing these diseases.
Healthier Foods: When we choose to make more eco-friendly food choices such as buying local, organic, and seasonal foods, we are supporting sustainable farming methods that protect our planet. In turn, these methods help reduce the amount of harmful pesticides that end up in our food. Research report shows that exposure topesticides can antagonise the natural hormones in our bodies, leading to health issues such as immune suppression, hormone disruption, reproductive abnormalities, and cancer.
Save Money: Conserving water and energy will not only help us save natural resources, but it will also help us save money. Since the nationwide initiative began in 1987, the replacement of standard appliances and light bulbs with energy-efficient ones has kept 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide from polluting our air. Using energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs in the home can also cut up to ≈30% off our annual electricity bill.
Conserve Natural Resources: It is no secret that our natural resources are disappearing quickly. Since 1970, the use of natural resources has more than tripled and only continues to grow each year. However, when we recycle, we are helping to slow down the consumption of these resources. According to the EPA, for every ton of paper we recycle, we save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water.
Curb Climate Change: The burning of fossil fuels for energy is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. This type of energy results in destructive carbon dioxide emissions that pollute our environment. One way individuals can help to combat climate change is to reduce our energy consumption. Research shows that switching to energy-efficient appliances could help to reduce carbon emissions by up to ≈19%. In 2017, recycling alone saved over 184 million tons of carbon dioxide from our environment. This is the equivalent of removing 39 million cars from the road in one year. Taking steps to conserve energy in our homes can go a long way in reducing carbon emissions and protecting our planet for future generations.
It is more important than ever to adopt a green lifestyle. These small changes can help reduce the pollution that threatens our health and our environment, while also protecting our natural resources. Fortunately, it has never been easier to live a sustainable lifestyle.Energy-efficient appliances are more affordable than ever, recycling is available in more developed and developing country cities and many companies are creating convenient products using eco-friendly practices and materials. When we all take small steps toward preserving our planet, we all reap big rewards.
GREEN Economy and Sustainable Development
Sustainable development has been the overarching goal of the international community since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. Amongst numerous commitments, the Conference called upon governments to develop national strategies for sustainable development, incorporating policy measures outlined in the Rio Declaration and Agenda. Despite the efforts of many governments around the world to implement such strategies as well as international cooperation to support national governments, there are continuing concerns over global economic and environmental developments in many countries. These have been intensified by recent prolonged global energy, food and financial crises, and underscored by continued warnings from global scientists that society is transgressing a number of planetary boundaries or ecological limits.
With governments today seeking effective ways to lead their nations out of these related crises whilst also taking into account these planetary boundaries, green economy (in its various forms) has been proposed as a means for catalysing renewed national policy development and international cooperation and support for sustainable development. The concept has received significant international attention over the past few years as a tool to address the 2008 financial crisis as well as one of two themes for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). This has resulted in a rapidly expanding literature including new publications on green economy from a variety of influential international organisations, national governments, think tanks, experts, non-government organisations and others.
Governments agreed at Rio+20 to frame the green economy as an important tool for sustainable development; one that is inclusive and can drive economic growth, employment, and poverty eradication, whilst maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems. Importantly, the outcome document also recognises that capacity building, information exchange and experience sharing will be critical for implementing green economy policies.
Stakeholder Forum, the Green Growth Leaders and many others have begun to address these knowledge gaps and demystify these concepts. Importantly, there is also emerging practice in the design and implementation of national green economy strategies by both developed and developing countries across most regions, including Africa, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific and Europe. This emerging practice can help to provide some important insights and much-needed clarity regarding the types of green economy policy measures, their scope with regard to various sectors and national priorities, and their institutional barriers, risks and implementation costs. This international experience may serve to alleviate concerns regarding the effective integration of green economy policies with national economic and social priorities and objectives, which a transition to a greener and more inclusive economy offers for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
- Initiative born out of multiple crises and accelerating resource scarcity;
- An Economic vehicle for sustainable development;
- Can take advantage of new growth trajectories designed to be more socially inclusive, as well as responsive to poverty reduction and economic diversification objectives.
- A new Economic paradigm that can drive growth of income and jobs without creating environmental risks.
Opportunities of GREEN Economy
The green economy is definedas an economy that aims at reducing environmentalrisks and ecological scarcities, and that aims forsustainable developmentwithoutdegrading the environment. GREEN economy must not only be efficient, but also fair. Fairness implies recognizing global and country levelequity dimensions, particularly in assuring a just transition to an economy that is low-carbon, resource efficient, and sociallyinclusive.” Further, “A green economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantlyreducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as onewhich is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.”
- Can reduce poverty and inequality. Inextricable link between poverty alleviation and wise management of natural resources and ecosystems;
- Ecosystem services provide s47% to 90% of the so called ‘GDP of the poor’;
- Common interest between developed and developing countries;
- Partnership of policymakers and business community;
- Crucial to prioritize spending in sectors that can simultaneously promote social, economic and environmental gains;
- ODA and south – South Cooperation.
To make the transition to a green economy, specific enabling conditions will be required. These enabling conditions consist of thebackdrop of national regulations, policies, subsidies and incentives, and international market and legal infrastructure and trade andaid protocols. At present, enabling conditions are heavily weighted towards, and encourage, the prevailing brown economy,which, inter alia, depends excessively on fossil fuel energy.
Ecological Measurements: The Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) measures both the green economic performance of countries and how experts assessthat performance. The GGEI performance index uses quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure how well each countryperforms on four key dimensions: Leadership & Climate Change, Efficiency Sectors, Markets & Investment and theEnvironment. Then, the GGEI perception survey collects assessments from expertpractitioners on these same four dimensions.The GGEI was the first index of its kind, launched in 2010, and today is widely referenced and utilized by policymakers,
While mainstream media outlets globally may be focused on the relationship between climate change and extreme weather, crop performance, and infrastructure resilience, economists and business strategists alike are turning toward greener measures and outlooks of economic performance. The 2018 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) by Dual Citizen LLC is one of several initiatives—others include the Green Growth Knowledge Platform and the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy—working to provide policy guidance, promote good practices, and generate and promote the data necessary to inform decisions on policies and investments necessary for accelerating the green transition.
The GGEI 2018 measured the green economic performance of 130 countries across four dimensions: leadership and climate change, efficiency sectors, markets and investment, and the environment.
In today’s Viz of the Day, we showcase the 2018 GGEI overall results—spoiler alert, Sweden is top ranked, again—with a special data feature on the performance of five the world’s largest economies on a specific dimension of the index: Markets & Investment.
Markets & Investment Highlights
The GGEI 2018 results below show that a decade post the first global green economy initiative from the UN Environmental Program, even the world’s largest economies have made uneven progress toward the investments and policies required to support a green economy transition.
- Among five of the world’s largest economies, Germany has the strongest performance in the overall index (ranked 6th), followed by Japan (19th), China (28th), the United States (31st), and India (36th).
- Turning to Markets & Investment, Japan notably outranked other large economies according to GGEI’s corporate sustainability measure. This calculation covers the policies of large market cap companies in each country in terms of (i) disclosing climate change data to leading certification authorities; (ii) the rating of companies by those authorities; and (iii) commitment to science based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Unsurprising to those who follow the renewable energy sector, China outperformed in net 5-year installed renewable capacity. You can explore this topic further in our recent viz exploring renewable power installation globally and the phenomenon of negative energy prices in Europe.
Smart city Development in Wasteland for a Sustainable Economic Growth
Due to lack of irrigation, or unfavorable climate, some lands are not cultivated and are categorized as either culturable or unculturable wastelands. Culturable wastelands include gullied and / or ravenous land, undulating upland, surface waterlogged land and marsh, salt affected land, shifting cultivation area, degraded forest area, degraded non-forest plantation, sandy area, mining and industrial wasteland, and pasture and grazing lands. Compared to this, unculturable wastelands include barren, rocky, stony wastes, sheet rock area, steep sloping area and snow covered and / or glacial area.
Negative consequences with conversion of farmland include loses in food production, environmental benefits, and social benefits. With today’s level of agricultural surpluses in this country it is hard to argue that the current rates of farmland conversion will be detrimental to our food supply. However, this may change in the future. Other negative consequences of farmland conversion include reductions in environmental and social benefits.
These environmental benefits include flood control, air quality, habitat for wildlife and native vegetation, and groundwater recharge areas. Social benefits provided by farmland include open space and scenery as well as recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, and photography. Farms make up an important foundation of many regions tourist industry.
Today India’s top 10 cities occupy 0.1% of the total land area, and its top 100 cities occupy 0.26% of the land. This land area will need to expand as more people come to live in cities, and it will be important to ensure expansion happens efficiently. Land management will be a critical element of the smart cities program. As per statistics 14.9% of land area is wasteland from total reporting land area of India. There are 278 sq.kms land area would be enough for a smart city. So in that 100 smart cities occupy around 20,000 sq. km. of the total land area. Only 5% (27,883 Sq. km.) of wasteland would be required from the total wasteland. The total wasteland in India is 557,665.48 sq.km.
The main objective of the secured governance concept is to develop a deprived land area into a dynamic creative zone, where knowledge, innovation, culture and creativity meet and mutually reinforce.
Blue Economy Concept – Secured Governance Perspective
“The Blue Economy is envisaged as the integration of Water based Economy included Inland Water Body & Ocean Economy development with the principles of social inclusion, environmental sustainability and innovative, dynamic business models”.
Optimum and efficient utilization of water resources is at the core of blue economy. Singapore is a group of Islands without natural resources. Even it is to be a leader in implementing the smart city concept and moves to be a smart Nation. India has the 18th largest Exclusive Economic Zone globally with a total area of more than 2 million sq km. and there are more than 1,328 Islands with abundant natural resources and beautiful scenery. Some of these islands are equal or even larger in size of Singapore. These islands could be leased out by the central government to state governments for smart city development and other economic activities, based on the population of the state. Every Island would be one of blue economy resources which facilitates greater use of untapped economic growth in a much bigger way, in turn, may raise the contribution of smart city development to the major portion of economy. Development of smart city projects with private capital through Public Private Participation (PPP) route has become one of the commonly acquired procurement strategies in developed and developing countries. The development of smart cities in Islands would be opening up a plethora of investment opportunities. The Smart City Scheme provides an enabling framework and a package of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to investors for the development of smart cities across the island. Even it would be new initiative to stimulate innovative scientific and technological activities, provide technology-driven facilities to the business community and create a vibrant city lifestyle.
The Smart City development would be an ambitious economic development programme aimed at consolidating the international business and financial HUB by creating ideal conditions for working, living and spurring investment across the island. Islands have great potentialities in smart city development; it will accelerate employment opportunities, promote local economic growth and create an effective roadmap that derogates the financial obligations of States and Union Territories of India.
The raising importance of the Blue Economy in global activities represents a great opportunity for innovation, be it in coastal management, navigation assistance or biodiversity protection. The Blue Economy represents an opportunity to boost the local economy and create jobs in knowledge intensive economic sectors. The creation of new services are really need in order to better tackle the challenges faced by coastal regions and inland water bodies to achieve their unleash business opportunities and boost the local economy. Both local and regional authorities should therefore not hesitate in investing even more into the adoption of innovative technologies. It is indispensable to promote and enhance collaboration between the various actors of the value-chain to develop strong and vibrant local economies.
Blue Economy Opportunities in India
- India has a coastline spanning 7,517 kilometers, forming one of the biggest peninsulas in the world. It is serviced by 13 major ports, 200 notified minor and intermediate ports;
- There are a total of 1,382 islands (including uninhabited ones) in India;
- Total navigable length is 14,500 km, out of which about 4,503 km. of inland waterways in India.
Post COVID-19 Happiness Index Rank of India
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. When measured, there are six components of happiness: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, sense of freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perception of corruption. Hidden potential of India that measures the ability of an economy to generate sufficient employment opportunities for its population The very Secured Governance formulation of value and valuation of strong link between existing hidden potential, economic growth, create employment opportunity and poverty reduction activities could improve India’s happiness index rank.
Domain of Happiness
The Happiness Index measures life satisfaction, the feeling of happiness, and other happiness domains: psychological well-being, health, time balance, community, social support, education, arts and culture, environment, governance, material well-being, and work. The qualities measured in the domains are as follows:
- Psychological Well-Being: optimism, senses of purpose and of accomplishment;
- Health: energy level and ability to perform everyday activities;
- Time Balance: enjoyment, feeling rushed, and sense of leisure;
- Community: sense of belonging, volunteerism, and sense of safety;
- Social Support: satisfaction with friends and family, feeling loved, and feeling lonely;
- Education, Arts, &Culture: access to cultural and educational events and diversity;
- Environment: access to nature, pollution, and conservation;
- Governance: trust in government, sense of corruption, and competency;
- Material Well-Being: financial security and meeting basic needs;
- Work: compensation, autonomy, and productivity.
Much as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, happiness is a state of mind. And like all things mental, happiness is subtle and delicate. Despite being the ultimate motivation behind all our actions in this world, only a few people genuinely experience happiness in today’s hectic and fast-paced world. That money cannot buy happiness is a known proposition. The old-school model of linking happiness to material gratification and possessions has fallen flat, with many of the world’s most developed countries topping in suicide rates and depression.
The first challenge is to engineer a paradigm of happiness away from prosperity. Happy countries which have topped the latest ranking have risen to their pole positions more on intangibles like social capital, trust and generosity than the conventional measures of prosperity. This finding must add to India’s happiness as we are the traditional repository of these values. Generations of people from all over the world have been coming here to find true happiness.
Spirituality, as practised in this country, is nothing but the science that postulates the wisdom, techniques and processes of fostering happiness. Spirituality does provide a tool to calm the mind and cope with the stresses of life. It does empower one to face realities of life and deal with them happily with care, compassion and courage. In a sense, we gave the world the formula for happiness but failed to apply it at home.
The consolation is this ancient formula that we have has the power to shore up the six indicators used for the WHR ranking. Be it income, life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity, this philosophy of holistically looking at life can effectively address it for India. What is needed is an effective secured governance mechanism that could deliver the prosperity, economic development with negligible government investment, employment opportunity and the skill of happiness to its masses.
Firstly, that will require a paradigm shift from “money cannot buy happiness” to “happiness can be delivered and administered”. More importantly, the delivery mechanism must go beyond feel-good governance mechanism, not as a concept but as a practical experience of it. The successful achievement of happiness can be implementing and executing strategy.
Corporate sustainability based on assessment of largest domestic companies (Score (1 – 12), 12 is max Corporate Sustainability Score)
India GREEN Economy Sectors
The Indian economy is seen as abright spot in the global landscape.It is one ofthe fastest growingemerging market economies in the world. As the world lookstowards India as a new engine ofgrowth, the Indian economy holdstheresponsibility to meet thedevelopment needs of its billion-pluspopulation, without exceeding itsenvironmental boundaries.However, not everyone has sharedwealth equally in India, with 96%adult population having wealthbelow US$10,000. Onthe otherextreme 0.3% adults have a networth over US$100,000. If we see that increasedinequality over the years, the topearners capture less than 21% of thetotal income in the late 1930s, whichdropped to 6% in early 1980s androse to 22% in 2015. In the period1980-2015 the top 0.1% capturing ahigher shares of growth as comparedto the bottom 50%. Five high-impact sectors key tothe GreenEconomy transition inIndia are Agriculture, Construction,Power, Manufacturing, Transportand Tourism.AgricultureThe organic farming sector in Indiahas been undergoing a transformation over the past few years asa result of many new ventures thathave disrupted the market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been severely affecting people’s lives and health. It has been havingunprecedented economic and social consequences for all the countries. Countries have responded withconcerted efforts to shore up public health systems and social and economic response measures. Thespread of COVID-19 has, however, also demonstrated the consequences of a lack of resilience andpreparedness to deal with such a pandemic. Climate change, water pollution and the drivers of biodiversityloss, such as deforestation, habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade, may increase the risk of furtherpandemics, or outbreaks of vector-borne or water-borne infections, while adding to a complex riskenvironment through potential cascading impacts to the systemic consequences of a pandemic crisis.
Therefore, both short-term and longer-term measures in countries’ recovery plans should aim at deliveringhuman rights, economic prosperity, decent jobs and wider well-being, along with an effort to addresspressing environmental challenges and improve the environmental health and resilience of societies.There are several key argumentswhy governments should use this unique opportunity to focus on thetransformation to low emission, resource efficient, resilient and environmentally sustainablesocioeconomic development:
- The performance and resilience of our socioeconomic systems depend on the health of thenatural environment and ecosystems. Once the COVID-19 crisis is over, we cannot return tobusiness-as-usual practices that increase emissions and maintain pressure on wildlife andbiodiversity.
- People have a right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment upon which we alldepend for our health and wellbeing.
- Measures to promote environmental sustainability and resilience can create opportunities forjob-rich development and improved well-being.
A set of recommendations identified for pathways for a moreinclusive, environmentally sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery.The earlier generic guidance on how tobuild back better in line with environmental and climate sustainability is complemented by thiscompendium of 20 practical measures to implement the recommendations in recovery plans. Measures are classified in the following categories: biodiversity action, climate action,housing and buildings, industry, infrastructure, economic instruments (including SMEs), fiscal measures,agriculture and food security, tourism, transport and mobility, water, air and waste management.Affiliation of measures with categories is not prescriptive since topics addressed by measures andcategories are interlinked.
The imperative of rapid scaling up of the infrastructure capacity – in the private sector (developers, contractors, consultants, financial intermediaries and investors) – entails developing and implementing Green Development project of the required scale and within the tight time frames envisaged. Secured Governance presents a developmental model for the MINI HUB at underdeveloped area whereby they it can take advantage of the extra Floor Space Index (FSI) provided to it in addition to the value and valuation of the infrastructure to yield higher returns. This valuation of infrastructure, which grows many folds, will support infrastructure development to meet the investment by public and private and ensuring balanced growth.
Utilizing the maximum FSI benefit in “Green Development Project” could help to bring several sectoral allied ventures/ in the infrastructure by private stakeholders. Allowing this area to be used for various interdependedcommercial activities to generate extra revenue, it would bring sustainable funds for the further growth and development of the entire city as a smart city. Lastly, to implement an ambitious roadmap for this project, improved standards of secured governance and concerted action would be required to take these targets and goals from inspirational statements to actual development. It needs a system to integrate economic interdependence in today’s modern societies which not only decreases uncertainty regarding where risks begin and end, but also help in judicious planning and development of new empowered, transparent and interdependent Governance systems with higher degree of society participation in nation building Process.
In addition, the measures may be categorized according to the headings in the set of recommendationsfor pathways for a more inclusive, environmentally sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery, as theyare intended to give practical help with the implementation of those recommendations:
Despite the selected measures focusing on different economic sectors and different aspects ofenvironment and climate change, a certain level of generalization and simplification suggests thatgovernments should in principle take the following steps in order to implement them:
- Establishing favourable strategic and policy frameworks
- Setting up or improving relevant legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks
- Introducing stimulating fiscal measures and disabling harmful ones
- Providing and stimulating investments (including from the private sector) into R&D, development and application of new technologies and approaches, and in building relevant skills
- Setting up effective monitoring and evaluation systems to measure impacts of implemented measures, also by improving relevant data collection and analysis
- Involving key stakeholders, including employers’ and workers’ organizations, and the public (affected and interested) in the design, implementation and impact assessment or monitoring of concrete measures
- Building public awareness and introducing incentives for the public to drive demand for “green” polices, approaches, products and services.
All the steps taken should also be oriented by an “equity and human rights perspective”, which is indispensable to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized and ensure that we can deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind.
Dr P. Sekhar,
Global Smart City Panel,