Climate Change and the Constitution role to curb it by Rusha Mukherjee at Lexcliq

Climatic change is one among the foremost important challenges of our times. NASA’s definition of climatic change states it as “a broad range of world phenomena created predominantly by burning fossils which add heat trapping to Earth’s global atmosphere. “This definition not only includes the temperature increase trends described by the worldwide warming but also various changes a bit like the water level rise and thus the formation loss which can be seen in various countries like Greenland ,Antarctica ,Arctic and thus the mountain glaciers worldwide, shifts in flower or plant blooming and extreme weather events which are few of the results of the climatic change within the 21st century. The UN Conference in Geneva stated “the economies of all nations, the institutional political social and cultural fabric of each state and also the rights of all people and future generations are becoming to be impacted by global climate change” . India has reaffirmed its stand on climate action by ratifying the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol linked to the international framework on UN convention on global climate change which binds its parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. The Indian cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given his approval to ratify to this international treaty .
The Indian constitution guarantees basic human rights- The Indian constitution guarantees basic human rights and guarantees” like the right to clean environment”. Indian constitution paves the way for all the precise laws that affect global climate change in the present times.Constitution is often described as the ‘mother ‘of all the environment laws’The founding fathers of the constitution did not have any idea about including Environmental Protection provisions within the constitution however things changed down the years.
Q. Why India is in concern?
India which is mostly an agrarian country is worstly affected because of the change within the climate .UN hence needed to give special attention to the increasing climatic changes. The right to life doesn’t suggest “mere animal existence” and incorporates the right to possess a dignified life and hence it stretches its ambit to have a pure and clean environment where people can sustain securely with no threat to their lives because unhealthy environment can cause illness and multiples of diseases.
Relation between environment law and Constitution
The Rajasthan supreme court held that maintaining the good quality of environment and sanitation falls under the ambit of article 21 of the constitution. If it isn’t followed it’ll have a drastic effect on the citizens of the country. The constitution provides variety of the provisions that acts as a safeguard for avoiding environmental hazards Article 19 (6) provides limitation to the freedom of trade and commerce to safeguard the environment .The foremost objective is to refrain from creating an ecological imbalance and degrading the atmosphere for the sake of a profession or business. The Supreme Court stated that the tanneries that were discharged within the water of Ganga where 10 times more noxious as compared to the quality swage water and hence it should be stopped immediately.In Cooverjee B. Bhaarucha topic of the conflict between Environment Protection and right to practice a trade an occupation were taken and the courts were clear in their opinion that a balance should be maintained between the environment and thus the fundamental rights guaranteed under article 19 (1) (g) . Entry 14 of the union list confers on the union parliament exclusive power to make laws with regard to entering into treaties and agreements with foreign countries and implementing treaties agreements and conventions with foreign countries .Article 253 of the Indian constitution empowers the parliament to make any law which may be applicable to the whole of india or a part of it for implementing any treaty agreement or convention with other country in furtherance of any decision made in any international conference ,association or other body.In view of this text the Indian parliament has enacted the forest conservation act 1980 the prevention of air and pollution act 19 81 ,the atomic energy act 1982,the Environmental Protection act 1986 and a couple of other important acts that help in the protection of environment in today’s India. The air prevention and control of pollution act 1981 his to provide for the prevention control and abatement of pollution, for the establishment, with a view to carry out the set purposes and for conferring powers to the board another connected matters This act was enacted in furtherance of the United Nations conference on human environment held in Stockholm in June 1972 during which India’s participated to need appropriate steps for the preservation of the natural resources of the earth which interalia included the preservation of air and water quality section. Section 19 of this act gives power to the govt in consultation with the state board to declare pollution control areas and me by notification and an official gadget prohibit the burning of certain materials in such area.Under the Water Act of 1974 the sewage and pollutants are forbidden to be discharged into water bodies And it is the duty of the central board to stop such action.Anyone acting in contravention with these laws shall be vulnerable to imprisonment under section 24 and section 143 for not less than one year and 6 months and ranging up to six years in conjunction with pecuniary fines. Article 32 of the Indian constitution allows citizens to file writs petition for the infringement of fundamental rights .The right to safe environment now being one of the basic rights under article 21 of the constitution can be enforced under this Article.On the other hand article 226 allows the High court to issue writ for the enforcement of rights depicted by part III of the constitution and for other rights hence right to environment are often enforced under article 226 and 32 of the constitution.The 42nd amendment under constitution added article 48(a) to the Indian constitution that stated that it is the duty of the state to protect and improve the environment to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country the Environment Protection act 1986 and various other last providing the protection of environment forests and wildlife are among the steps taken under this text conversion of diesel vehicles flying in Delhi to CNG was upheld under this provision in conjunction with article 39 (e)and 47 .Several other principles of environmental law are developed under the umbrella of this Article in associations with Article 21 and article 51(g).The 42nd amendment of the constitution in 1976 added clause (g)to Article 51A that makes it a fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the basic environment including Forest Lake river and wildlife and to possess a compassion for other living creatures.Though part IV of the constitution that’s directive principles of state policy and IV A (fundamental duties)aren’t enforceable by law but these provisions are considered by the courts again and again for interpreting various cases concerning environmental issues an are of great significance.

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