Sustainable Development with the Climatic Change: Issues, Concerns and the way Ahead
Authors: Anita Tyagi
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There has been a heightened awareness of pervasive, accelerating and unabated environmental changes,
the potential economic value of rapidly depleting finite resources, and their attendant implications for sustainable
development across the countries. On the basis of a critical examination of environmental preservation, uncertainty and
irreversibility, the paper makes a compelling case, for an accent on renewable energy- an accent appropriate in scale and
Since sustainable development has implications for life, biodiversity, climate variability, environmental
sustainability, inter-generational and distributive equity, the paper stresses the need for the formulation of an effective
strategy, for environment-friendly development, through common effluent treatment plants, cleaner production
technologies and environmental concerns in services, acquisition of ISO 14000, real participatory action-research, etc.
In view of the success of local experiments, incentive measures, community enterprises and popular participation,
these aspects of the energy discourse need to be replicated on a much wider level, by adopting a holistic approach
comprising transforming institutions, growth and quality of life.
There is a manifest need to improve access to renewable, reliable and affordable energy services, promote
sustainable use of biomass, and support the transition to cleaner use of fossil fuels. This would constitute the basis for
long-term economic development, in a true and meaningful sense. Accordingly, a proposed approach to action-oriented,
time-bound outcomes underscores the need for facilitating the transfer of energy technologies, enabling policy
environments and creating conditions for greater private sector involvement and setting up of proper appraisal
There has to an accent, on interactive and mutually reinforcing strategies, such as, strengthening the institutional
capacity, public-private partnerships and synchronized relationship between government agencies, UN bodies, business
and industry, non-governmental organizations and academia to reduce ubiquitous risks.
The survival of species and eco-system services requires making the pursuit of sustainable development a credo,
by designing both appropriate energy programs and appropriate energy delivery systems. Towards this end, there has to be
enabling policy and operational frameworks comprising cleaner use of fossil fuels, improved use of traditional biomass,
sustainable transport, biomass and systems approach, international, national and regional cooperation, gender issues and
commitment to concrete measures, with a sequence and well-defined timeline. Policies and programs at both national and
global levels must reflect the inextricable connection between socioeconomic and environmental objectives
In the absence of integrated policies and programs with inter-institutional linkages, the outcome would be
“the worst of all possible worlds” for the citizens of the world, whose tragedy is “awesome” because of “the integral and
interdependent nature of the Earth, our home”.