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Climate change not an abstract concept but consequence of human activity: Ex-chairperson of NGT

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 4, 2019  | 20:14 IST

New Delhi, April 4 (PTI) Climate change is not an abstract concept but a direct consequence of human activity on earth, Justice (retired) Swatanter Kumar, former chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), has said. Addressing a conference on 'Adapting Environmental Laws for Effective Climate Response', organised here by O P Jindal Global University (JGU) in association with WWF India, Kumar emphasised the need for inexpensive and expeditious environmental justice to mitigate the effects of climate change. He called for proper environmental impact assessments to address issues related to climate change and stressed the need for urgent action. Referring to the enormous growth in Delhi's urban waste which has increased from 400 to 600 metric tonnes per day in the late 90s to 1,700 metric tonnes per day at present, Kumar said proper collection, segregation and treatment of waste were required. He expressed serious concern over the fact that 40 per cent of this waste was not collected properly. Underlining the importance of law and its role in fighting climate change, Professor C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JGU, said, "We are facing an existential threat which requires a collective response of humanity, and law as a social institution has always risen up to the occasion in the past". Speaking at the conference, Justice Michael D Wilson, a judge of the Supreme Court of Hawaii in the US, cited examples of climate refugees to explain how the issue of environment protection was still awaiting solution. "160 million Bangladeshis have become climate refugees and had to evacuate their own home-ground. Schools stay shut in Delhi in times of extreme pollution. Tigers face threats of deforestation and climate changes too. These are (a) few examples of the situation. To change it, carbon neutrality, energy conservation and environment protection need to be mandated," he said. Justice Sabrina McKenna, another judge of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, said that with laws in place and people being aware and active, combating climate change will be easier. PTI LLP SKV SMN

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