In a recent announcement, India has formulated a National Clean Air Programme to rein in dangerous pollution levels in more than a hundred cities. Of course, environment specialists are a bit skeptical about it as the programme lacks framework and a concrete plan of action.
India’s air and water have been posing a threat to health and longevity of life itself. Air and water quality, the level of toxicity which is disturbing the health of water creatures, flora and fauna, as well as their deteriorating availability, have been a major cause of concern. Depletion of natural resources and increasing ozone layer depletion leading to global warming are other severe problems resulting from environmental degradation.
Economic development versus environmental sustainability have been the focal point of talks among the differing political ideologies as it seems the two issues are at loggerheads with each other. Yet, a deeper understanding has proved that both can be achieved if we adhere to sustainability guidelines responsibly while doing business. Policies must also be drawn to provide incentives for businesses and other organisations to adhere to sustainability guidelines beyond their normal legislative requirements. This will in turn create additional jobs and employability to generations that are future-ready. It is all about doing business innovatively rather than adopting shortcut methods of business for profitability. Sustainability takes into account how we might live in harmony with the natural world around us; protecting it from damage and destruction, while achieving economic growth.
Hence, instead of depending on fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum, there is an increasing emphasis on renewable sources or on devising other sources of generating energy. Even if some industries do require the use of fossil fuel for energy, they must find a way to reuse and recycle the residues so they are not released to the atmosphere.
It is also important to encourage and foster incentives for the average person to do their bit where and when they can; one person can rarely achieve much, but taken as a group, effects in some areas are cumulative. The modern life is consumerist in nature and requires a lot of resources every single day, yet we can bring consumption under control, avoid wastage, and live a comfortable, quality life. Ultimately, sustainable development is about giving people what they want without compromising quality of life and reducing financial burden that may come with ill health due to environmental degradation.