Cultural Heritage Has a Lot to Teach Us About Climate Change

While cultural heritage sites are under threat from rising sea levels and melting permafrost, indigenous knowledge such as that of Assam’s Majuli communities can provide the key to unlocking adaptive climate change strategies. (Republished from The Conversation and The Wire) Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing […]

India and its Energy Sovereignty

In recent times, India has been pitted to overtake Japan as the third largest economy by 2030 and yet the India’s macro-economy doesn’t seem to be robust as the rupee has continued to slide against downwards, and can be expected to be cheaper than ever by end of the year. Part of the problem lies in India’s dependency on oil imports. Until now India had a smooth ride owing to the oil price crash from $100 to $40. However, now the prices have climbed back to $75 making India vulnerable to factors such as inflation, increasing current account deficit and […]

THE POLITICS OF SUSTAINABLITY

The years 1992 and 2015 are historic for the environment movement, wherein each of the years witnessed important treaties and conferences, redefining plethora of academic and policy initiatives of past, present and future. Be it the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Treaty, Agenda 21 or Rio Declaration on Environment and Development among others. These signal to a major shift in international commitments to both sustainability and development. Conversely, pinning down the technical, normative or political definitions of sustainability is a difficult prospect. Over the years, especially due to rising incidence of natural catastrophe, it has come to resonate more with […]

Eradicating the Tuberculosis Epidemic from Indian Landscape

India bears world’s highest burden of tuberculosis (TB), accounting for more than one-fourth of all TB infections. As such in 2016, TB accounted for approximately 1.7 million deaths, reflecting that India, despite its focused and concerted efforts on behalf of diverse stakeholders, has a long way to go. In this light the Indian Prime Minister recently advanced the TB elimination goal by 5 years, given its control and prevention poses a challenge at multiple levels such as correct diagnosis, strong public health schemes, continuing medical treatment, drug resistance, funding, nutrition etc. Let us look at some of the macro- level […]

Earth Overshoot Day and Our Environment Real-Time

As per the Global Footprint Network (GFN) the world has already consumed this year’s annual budget of natural resources. Having reached its maximum limit on 1st August itself, the earth overshoot day serves as an annual report card, reminding us of our promises to reduce carbon footprint, control climate change and conserve our environment. Notably, humans already overshot nature’s annual budget in early 1970s itself and ever since this has been creeping up. Another significant fact is that every day, every minute past the overshoot day is equivalent of drawing down from the natural resource savings than living of interest. To understand […]

Energy & Climate Policy Trends

We are witnessing a dynamic change in the energy sector and the geopolitics around it. With fast stride towards the decarbonizing the economies, to developments such as lowered cost of solar power, electric vehicle era and secured fossil fuel supply— all together are changing demand-supply and production-consumption patterns of energy. Even then, approximately 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity and to clean cooking fuel. While at one end we are preparing for a world of autonomous vehicles, on the other end we are still battling the energy poverty with people lacking basic amenities. Notably, the Agenda 2030 focuses on […]

Africa: Playground for Asian Powers

Importance of Africa has increased manifold in the current geopolitical climate. In particular, the three Asian economies China, Japan and India have adopted a more muscular approach, as the resource rich continent features high on their global agenda. Given the three countries are in competition for influence, both within Asia and beyond, they are keenly investing in Africa’s infrastructure, energy and development sectors, seeking growth as strategic partners and markets. The Asian alignment for Africa comes at a time when the US has adopted a more isolationist approach and the African economies are bearing the brunt of commodity price fluctuations, […]

Energy Policy Making for Optimal Resource Management

The global oil demand is expected to remain healthy for the next few years, especially in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. Though currently suffering from a slowdown due to the US-China trade war and the rise in renewable technological innovation, one cannot simply write-off oil or for that matter any other conventional fuel like coal or gas, as it forms an integral part of the new energy mix of many nations (both developing and the developed) even today, which deploy tools of policy making for the purpose. However, the new energy mix, of the present age, brings the […]

Building an Inclusive Bio-Economy

The global community, in light of increased geopolitical tensions, economic crisis, magnified disparities, global warming and other socio-economic incidents, has realized that the current fossil fuel based-economic model is not a viable one. Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, then, can be viewed as the global response to this problem. There is now a general consensus regarding the introduction of biomass fuels and renewables as part of the economic model, which will enable nations to progress on the path to an inclusive sustainable development- in other words introduce a bio-economy. What is Bio-Economy? Conspicuously, world’s basic commodities are derivatives […]

Climate Justice

Often categorized as an environmental issue, climate change in reality is as much of a social, political and economic issue as it is environmental. It has the ability to engulf the communities everywhere on the planet, especial those belonging to the vulnerable sections particularly in the developing countries. This calls for a climate justice which entails a narrative of the people, for the people and by the people. Climate justice is very much fundamental for sustainable development of the world as such which is free of food security, water availability, public health, housing and overall healthy and holistic well-being among […]