Nine-year-old, Ridhima Pandey has filed a case in the court against the Indian government for failing to take steps towards addressing the climatic changes in the country. Ridhima is a resident of Uttarakhand, the state that has been hit badly by heavy rains, frequent landslides and flash floods that resulted in the killing of thousands of people over the last three years. The girl has made it her mission to force the government so that no further damage is done to the environment until the time she is old enough to take a step towards it. She said, “My Government has failed to take steps to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing extreme climate conditions. This will impact both me and future generations.” She further added, “My country has huge potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and because of the Government’s inaction I approached the National Green Tribunal,” according to a report in Independent.
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A petition has been filed in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that hears only environmental cases on the behalf of the girl by her lawyer. According to the petition, Ridhima wants the court to prepare a carbon budget and a national climate recovery plan in order to make sure that India does its share to reduce atmospheric CO2 below 350 parts per million by 2100, according to scientific recommendations.
Ridhima Pandey’s lawyer, Environmental attorney Rahul Choudhary called her a ‘compassionate child’ and said, “she is simply asking her Government to fulfil its own duty to protect the vital natural resources on which she and future generations depend on for survival.” She further added, “Children in India are now aware of the issues of climate change and its impact. The Indian constitution says that it is ‘the duty of every citizen of India … to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures,” as per the report in the Independent.