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Issue Debate #4: Green Economy inimical to Developing Nations?

edited September 2015 in Issue Debates
Issue Debates Archives


The Western Conception of Green Economy is inimical to Developing Nations where development agenda has overriding importance. In the light of above statement, elaborate on the need for CBDF. Suggest measures to achieve growth with environmental sustainability.

Reading List:-
1. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/cleaning-coal-instead-of-wishing-it-away/article7629879.ece
2. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/green-economy-india-slams-developed-nations/article3553871.ece


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  • Green economy, a westen concept based on ensuring sustainable growth and development.It envisions an economy to be climate smart and environment friendly causing minimum harm to it.The westen countries which are developed and have high HDI are the most suitable for this whereas the developing countries are still in their early stages of growth and thus not in a position to be a green economy any time soon.
    The climate talks are centred around the reduction in emission levels and protection of biodiversity.Developing countries are arguing that most of the damage caused to the environment is by the developed world beginning right from the industrial revolution and industrial processes have picked up pace just now in the developing countries.Also the per capita emissions in developed countries are far more than the developing ones.The western countries having high spending on research and development have developed clean technologies to mitigate the climate change whereas in developing countries the focus is still on attaining high levels of literacy health and income levels due to which much of the government funds are directed towards this purpose and not on clean technologies.
    This is where Common But Differentiated Responsibilities come in action.This concept aims at providing support in form of technology and funds to the developing world.The littoral and hinterland states which are under threat of submergence due to the growing threats posed by global warming and consequent sea level rise due to melting glaciers are the first ones to gain its benefits.Since the ultimate agenda is mitigation of climate change and protection of environment,thus global efforts are needed to enable the flow of assistance from developed to the developing world.

    Some of the measures to achieve growth with environment sustainability are:
    *Increasing the renewable energy base by expanding solar,wind,geothermal capacity.The solar mission of India is a move in the right direction.This would have dual benefits- Reducing India's dependence on imported coal and other materials and thus reducing CAD and also generating employment providing source of livelihood to many and all this comes without causing much harm to the environment.
    *As recently world bank has decided not to provide any assistance to developing countries for coal projects except for exceptional circumstances,thus renewable energy needs to be increased,but it is not going to happen anytime soon.So old thermal power plants which consists of majority of power production centre of India and are inefficient and major polluters of environment need to be turned into more efficient super critical and ultra super critical power plants.This can be done through transfer of technology.
    *Adhering strictly to the carbon emission commitments and putting renewed pressure on the developed world to do the same.Mechanisms of Kyoto protocol like clean development mechanism,joint implementation and carbon trading can be effectively used to achieve the dual agenda of sustainable development and growth.
    *Encouraging the green building code,organic farming,compensatory afforestation with proper studies of a place and not growing invasive species which can cause harm to local biodiversity and resources,applying polluters pay principle by carbon tax and encouraging mass transport systems to reduce pollution levels.

    All these procedures would help in holistic development and without putting much burden on the developing countries so that they would be able to achieve their development targets along with environment protection.
    " The more you sweat in peace , the less you bleed in war."
  • @root : Earnest Request to you:

    Please move this section to portal , like Insights.It will benefit us all. This platform is not suited for organising things syllabus pointwise. I have sent email to ravi@forumias.com, but no response on the same.
    This platform is also suitable.
    Forum par same ka ek aur achha reason milta hain

  • As per UNEP a green economy has three components employment generation through investments in reduction of carbon emission and pollution, energy and resource efficiency, and preventing loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    Western Nations have sought to implement this through unilateral actions and trade barriers such as green taxes. Further, emission reduction targets proposed by developed nations deny the developing nations carbon space to grow.
    CBDR- Historically, developing nations have achieved high levels of human development by using carbon intensive but cheap technologies that they seek to deny to the developing nations. Presently, Developing nations have minimal per capita emissions, and, lack the resources and technology to develop without increasing emissions.
    This historic difference in accumulated carbon levels is enshrined in the principle of “Common But Differentiated Responsibilities” (CBDR).
    Western conception of green economy thus ignores that poverty is the greatest source of pollution. Cost of environmental damage and emissions can not be paid in terms of millions of lives lost to poverty in developing nations.
    Measures: Developing Nations seek funds and technology to increase human development level with least carbon footprint. This can be achieved by transferring available technologies free of cost and funding development of new technology through funding proportional to capacity.
  • What is development-
    It is a situation when all citizens have access to a minimum amount of resources to live in peace.

    What is green economy-
    It is an economy where environment damaging activities are kept at a minimum.
    To make, use and maintain more efficient machinery, a higher capital investment is required.
    For higher capital investment, money is required which the poor countries don't have..or do they?

    Its more about misplaced priorities. If developing countries start building factories that produce more environmental friendly products, a decent employment can be achieved. But the things will be less shiny and show off factor will be reduced.

    developing countries(at least india) put in way too much money on pointless things than on education. If education and health become priority sectors, productivity of everything will increase dramatically. population will grow slowly, and more people will be able to start enterprises based on traditional environment friendly products.

    Green economy is inimical, because developing countries are trying to copy paste the exact things that were followed by developed countries a few decades back without the resources.
    a tailor made approach is what is needed and can be achieved if local people have the skill and capacity to innovate.

    To make the skill and education available, the developed nations have to pitch in, share knowledge ,impart training etc.
    for ex- UK engineers have created a bulb that runs on gravity...a country that achieved full electrification long time ago are still working on new ways to create electricity.



  • Green Economy brings environment and growth together. Green Economy generally depends upon following parameters: Renewable Energy, Green Buildings, Sustainable Transport, Water Management, Waste Management, Land Management and so on.
    Developed nations have efficient funds to support the Green Economy where as developing nation has yet not reached at significant level of economy growth to support the green economy. World Bank and IMF supports the developing nations to bring the best practices for green economy so that in longer run, make this universe a good place to live. Developing country like India does not have enough plans to cop up with mitigation of environment hazard, see the latest state of AQI (Air Quality Index) in Delhi, it is far above the danger zone. And the Government is somehow not able to tackle this situation, may be because of some socio-political issues.
    Nevertheless, There is far way to go for developing nations. First of all Developing nations must understand, we shall make this earth a better place for this earth and following are some ways to boost the green economy:
    By enlightening the people. Coach them about natural calamities, Famine and so on and let them know how we are contributing to these hazards unknowingly
    By using the funds provided by global institutions in an efficient way
    By preparedness
    By bringing best practices for making the environment healthy
    Considering environment in any development activities plan
  • Green Economy refers to sustainable economy where use of resources do not have adverse impact on ecosystem. In green economy focus is on use of sustainable resources like renewable energy, organic farming etc.
    Developed countries saying that there should be similar emission standard for all countries and goal of green economy should be pursued. But, to achieve the goal of green economy there has to be huge financial, technical and infrastructural resources. In case of developing countries there are overriding priorities -

    1. Poverty elimination - Most of the developing countries in Asia have huge population living below poverty line. It need financial resources to ameliorate their condition.
    2. Economic progress - Poverty elimination is sustainable only when it is accompanied by economic development. For this countries need to invest in power and infrastructure.

    Since developed countries are responsible for higher share of emission(higher per capita emission) and they are largely responsible for climate change (emissions in the past). Hence, emission reduction target should be higher for developed nations.
    It is imperative that countries should follow Common But Differentiated Responsibility(CBDF) in short term to provide developing countries a buffer for emission. This will help them for economic development which in turn help in poverty reduction, employment growth.
    But, in long term development should be balanced with environment. Sustainable practice should be emphasized like -

    1. Solar Power - India is emphasizing greatly in this sector via Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission. Progress is also in field of off grid sector (integration of solar and conventional power line)
    2. Energy labelling - Labelling of any product vis-a-vis their environmental impact. Ex. BEE for Electrical appliance, GRIHA for house rating.
    3. Sustainable agriculture - Use of sustainable agricultural practices like green farming, green manuring, Minimizing use of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Green Economy refers to sustainable economy where use of resources do not have adverse impact on ecosystem. In green economy focus is on use of sustainable resources like renewable energy, organic farming etc.
    Developed countries saying that there should be similar emission standard for all countries and goal of green economy should be pursued. But, to achieve the goal of green economy there has to be huge financial, technical and infrastructural resources. In case of developing countries there are overriding priorities -

    1. Poverty elimination - Most of the developing countries in Asia have huge population living below poverty line. It need financial resources to ameliorate their condition.
    2. Economic progress - Poverty elimination is sustainable only when it is accompanied by economic development. For this countries need to invest in power and infrastructure.

    Since developed countries are responsible for higher share of emission(higher per capita emission) and they are largely responsible for climate change (emissions in the past). Hence, emission reduction target should be higher for developed nations.
    It is imperative that countries should follow Common But Differentiated Responsibility(CBDF) in short term to provide developing countries a buffer for emission. This will help them for economic development which in turn help in poverty reduction, employment growth.
    But, in long term development should be balanced with environment. Sustainable practice should be emphasized like -

    1. Solar Power - India is emphasizing greatly in this sector via Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission. Progress is also in field of off grid sector (integration of solar and conventional power line)
    2. Energy labelling - Labelling of any product vis-a-vis their environmental impact. Ex. BEE for Electrical appliance, GRIHA for house rating.
    3. Sustainable agriculture - Use of sustainable agricultural practices like green farming, green manuring, Minimizing use of fertilizers and pesticides.
    Very well balanced answer , in easy to understand language.
    *No good deed goes unpunished* | I am no knight, do not call me Sir | I write articles for Civil Services Aspirants, you can find them at http://blog.forumias.com/author/neyawn |
  • Green economy as a concept originated in west due to drastic climate changes in recent years and various climate conferences. Green economy basically refers to use of renewable source of energy with minimal generation of hazardous waste component. Developed nations have responsibility to mentor developing nations in regards to technology transfer and sustainable use of resources which culminated into "common but differentiated responsibility". Since developing nations have vast resources for development of ecofriendly technology hence best possible alternative can be CDM in which developed nations can contribute for technology transfer and develop " green technology" in these nations.
    Developing nations emphasise on development policies due to poverty, exclusion, colonial past etc but it is possible that environment and development can hand-in-hand with harmonious relationship provided they get required funds and technology. Some other viable solutions can be:-
    1. hydroelectric and solar power- India can help in developing hydroelectric power plants in Bhutan, napal etc. which can provide benefits of sustainable and ecofriendly development in these nations and can also enhance India's foreign diplomacy.
    2. instead of thermal power plants, government can design heavy solar power plants which provide electricity through transmission lines since solar cells in every home may be bulky
    3. awareness programs for less consumption of electricity by households
    4. Research and development department for new and innovative green technologies
    5. Green buildings made of glass can use solar energy for lighting and electricity purposes
    6. Biodiesel and bioethanol for fuel purposes
    Further some age old traditional methods of Indian society can also play vital role in ecofriendly development:-
    1. Expertise knowledge of local communities in synchronisation with infrastructure development
    2. Use of biogas plants and organic farming
    3. Rainwater harvesting methods( like " tankas" in Rajasthan and bamboo irrigation system in northeast) can also lessen water scarcity and shortage. Further they can be put to use for small scale electricity generation on indiviual household basis
    These steps can alogwith policy consensus between different nations can go a long way in mitigating climate change and inclusive devlopment
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