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Resources & Sustainable Development – All contributions

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India’s climate conundrum

The world has just over a decade to prevent the climate from unravelling in catastrophic ways. While the primary onus for avoiding this looming calamity lies with the rich industrialised nations, India, which is now the world’s third biggest emitter, is committed to the Paris Agreement. However, whether it can muster the political will and the financial muscle to shift to a low-carbon economy while raising the living standard of its billion plus citizens is a trillion dollar question the answer to which will become clear only after 2030 when it begins to decouple its economic growth from its emissions.

By Rakesh Kalshian

The answer is blowin’ in the wind…

Even as dirty air continues to mar and prematurely snuff out millions of lives in the country, the unsettling truth is that no one, neither political parties nor the voting masses, considers it grave enough to be aired loudly in the ongoing general elections. Oddly, however, it does find first-ever mention in the manifestos of the two principal political parties. But whether this would actually lead to cleaner air is anybody’s guess.

By Rakesh Kalshian

Troubled waters

As the world’s biggest democracy goes into electoral frenzy, yet another hot and dry summer spell threatens to plunge the country into its worst water emergency. For long blithely callous to people’s water woes, any future government would choose to ignore the warning signs only at the risk of political suicide.

By Rakesh Kalshian

Sowing the seeds of an equitable world

The reclamation of seed as a common good has begun. Following the concept of open source, new approaches evolve that result in the cultivation of a large number of species and varieties.

By Barbara Unmüßig

The unthinkable in climate change: A view from asia on literature and politics

Amitav Ghosh’s new book “The Great Derangement” examines climate change and climate policy from unusual perspectives. It is bound to get much international attention because it asks some fundamental new questions concerning the handling of climate change in literature and activist politics, and because it represents a well-known voice from Asia.

By Dr. Axel Harneit-Sievers

COP 21 and the Paris agreement: A force awakened

Globally, political leaders are lauding the acceptance of the global and legally binding Paris Agreement on Climate Change at COP21 as a historical moment. It achieves a goal long believed unattainable. However, judged against the enormity of the challenge and the needs and pressure from people on the ground demanding a global deal anchored in climate justice, the Paris Agreement can only be called a disappointment.

Questioning Nuclear India: An obituary for Praful Bidwai

Prominent Indian journalist Praful Bidwai has unexpectedly passed away. He was only 65 years old. With his death, India looses one of the most prominent critics of nuclear armament and nuclear energy generation.

By Dr. Axel Harneit-Sievers

Green growth, smart growth: Interview with Ralf Fücks

Ralf Fücks’ new book “Green Growth, Smart Growth”, with a foreword by Anthony Giddens, outlines a way forward to the great transformation needed to decouple economic growth from resource consumption. Drawing on the German policy experience of tackling climate change, Ralf Fücks outlines a new approach to economic thinking, scientific and technological innovation and democratic proactive policymaking.

Save our Soils!

Healthy soils are crucial to human nutrition and the fight against hunger. But worldwide 24 billion tons of fertile soil is lost annually. Barbara Unmüßig calls attention to the growing threat to one of Earth’s most important resources.

By Barbara Unmüßig

Radical goals for sustainable development

The coming set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will seek to protect ecosystems, conserve resources, and lift millions of people out of poverty. But, though the SDGs will stand on solid legal ground, that ground must be developed further, argues Barbara Unmüßig, president of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

By Barbara Unmüßig

Between ambition and reality: India’s nuclear power programme

Undeterred by the Fukushima disaster, and notwithstanding the shoddy performance of its Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), India is forging ahead with ambitious plans to expand its nuclear energy generation capacity manifold from the present

By Praful Bidwai

"The world is waiting for a climate agreement"

Dr. Adil Najam is a leading global expert on issues related to developing country environmental policy, especially climate change. In this interview he speaks about his expectations for the COP19 in Warsaw. He underlines the importance of international agreements and calls for immediate action.

By Jelena Nikolic

Nature, Inc.?

As old methods have lost credibility, some governments, economists and international institutions like the UN Environment Programme have adopted a new approach, based on the view that nature is an “ecosystem service” provider. In doing so, they have shifted the onus of addressing environmental risk onto the private sector and market-based mechanisms.

By Barbara Unmüßig