Former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur today blamed developed countries including the USA for the depletion in ozone layer and held them responsible for global climate change. Thakur said there was change in climatic conditions not because developing nations such as India are emerging or it is dependent on thermal energy for its power needs, but it is because industrialised nations have been emitting carbon for the past 200 years.
“The question is who is emitting how much? While China is emitting 27 per cent of green house gases, 17 per cent of carbon is emitted by the USA, 26 per cent by European countries, while India is emitting only 5 per cent of total emissions.
“The per capita emission in the USA is 17 metric tonnes as compared to 1.6 metric tonnes of per capita emission (in India). The emissions by the developed countries have been going on since 200 years and the depletion of ozone layer is due to countries like America and not developing countries like us,” Thakur said.
The former CJI was addressing a national seminar on “Environmental Protection and Operationalising Sustainable Development Goals in India”, organised by Capital Foundation Society and Council for Green Revolution.
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Laying emphasis on the need for switching to cleaner sources of energy, he urged the government to approach international forum and demand “equitable” rights from the western world and seek assistance in switching to more environment friendly sources of energy.
On the issue afforestation, he said that Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds should be strictly used for planting trees and not lie in bank accounts unutilised.
The former apex court judge said that the government and the authorities need to shed their “indifference and apathy” towards issues of environment and develop more serious attitude in such matters.
On the issue of cleaning Ganga, he said that although the Centre has allotted Rs 20,000 crore for its rejuvenation yet the holy river cannot be made free from pollutants unless there is involvement and active participation by those living on the banks.
National Green Tribunal Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, who delivered a key-note address, complimented the government for enacting various laws for protection of environment and said that development and environment have to go hand in hand.
The NGT Chief, who was hailed by Justice (retd.) Thakur for his contribution towards environment protection, expressed concern over poor waste management in the national capital and said that there was need to create awareness among people for proper garbage collection and disposal.
He also voiced concern over chopping of trees for projects and said that money lying in CAMPA funds would be immaterial if compensatory afforestation in large numbers is not done by the project proponent.