Christo Sabu, Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad
According to the United Nations, Climate change refers to the long-term shift in the weather patterns and temperatures. Studies show that greenhouse emission has reached the highest levels. Consequently, the earth is now about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the late 1800s. The last decade was the warmest on record.1 In this research paper, various administrative and legislative measures that exist in India, to safeguard the environment and prevent the catastrophic affects of climate change have been discussed. The author has also presented his views on the need for a carbon-trading scheme in India that would solve the dual purposes of generating economic benefits as well as protecting the environment. The implementation of REDD plus system in India will have a considerable impact on the reduction of green house gas emissions, stabilization, and improvement of carbon stocks in the forests. This paper also covers the fundamentals and approach of climate change litigation in India. Even though judgments in the case of Ridhima Pandey v. Union of India and Indian Council for Enviro-legal Action v. MoEFCC opened the doors for climate change litigation in India, it also points to the jurisdictional restraints and challenges on matters concerning environmental protection. The Directive Principles of the State Policy also imposes a duty on every state and its citizens to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Furthermore, Article 21 which enshrines the fundamental right to life also extends to include by judicial interpretation, the right to clean, pollution-free and healthy environment. India has already joined hands with the global community for checking climate change issues and fighting against global warming. However, it is high time, the nation takes up a more dominant role of a facilitator. This research paper is an attempt to study the status and legal framework of environment conservation and climate change in India.