Effective Environmental Legislation crucial to deal with climate change: experts

There is little doubt now about the climate change impact evidenced through increased frequency of extreme events on the society.

Oct 21, 2013 11:10 IST India Infoline News Service

The need to bring out the best practices, common modalities of approach in addressing climate change from a regional perspective cannot be missed. Keeping this in view, Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) kick started a two day conference entitled, ‘Environmental Legislation and Climate Change: Effective Response in Asia’ at the Taj Mahal Hotel today.
The conference assumes significance in the backdrop of growing importance that different country experiences need to be examined, collected, and debated upon to arrive upon lessons, perspectives and best practices to be adopted. Different countries in Asia have taken up mitigation and adaptation strategies and there can be much to learn from countries that share characteristics and commonalities.
Highlighting the relevance of the conference, Shri Prakash, Distinguished Fellow, TERI said "There is little doubt now about the climate change impact evidenced through increased frequency of extreme events on the society. In Asia, the people are particularly more vulnerable where need for rapid economic development should be based on sustainable practices. During current times the views of Mahatma Gandhi are most relevant, ‘There is enough for man’s need but not his greed'. Asian societies have been culturally more close to nature and the governments should come to address issue of climate change through legislative changes based on preserving close bond between land and the people."
Speaking at the conference, Marc Spitzkatz, Director of KAS Rule of Law Programme Asia, Singapore said "Effective environment legislation is no longer a 'next-step' move. The need for effective legislation is vital and must come into focus now, alongside the technological solutions and the international debate that has developed on Global Climate Change. This is reflected in the Rio+20 decisions as well as in the German Energy transition process as the first step towards a green economy."
The issue of climate change has now come to occupy the attention of policy makers, research communities and decision makers alike. Increasing evidence of climate change and its potential implications cannot be ignored. The international response to climate change has been through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Kyoto protocol. Although, responses of different stakeholders have been varied and include mitigation and adaptation based interventions, yet a coherent global response to climate change continues to be elusive. Within this broad perspective the Asian response to climate change needs to be viewed carefully. The diversities evidenced in Asia along with the changing economic realities underscore this importance even further. Asia is currently the manufacturing backyard of an increasingly globalising world. The continent being home to a substantial populace of the world with diverse communities, culture and landscape, the challenges of climate change are likely to be harder.
The policy and legal landscape within Asian countries becomes an important determinant of regulatory efficiencies required in addressing the issues of climate change. Climate change regulations need a push not as fringe legislation but as central to policy. These regulations need to inform and circumscribe all nature of anthropogenic activities which can have a bearing on climate change. The need then is perhaps to have an ecological policy as the very foundation of development and sustenance. Asia, as a continent, can bring in experiences that are culturally diverse, administrative responses that tide over development challenges and community approaches that can be replicated as and when needed. The Asian response
would fit well with the long term international consensus that is being sought to be built through various treaties, conventions and multilateral/bilateral agreements which themselves have created immense awareness and generated debate from multiple stakeholders. The outlines of legal solutions in terms of specific legislation and policy, when seen from multiple country perspectives in Asia, can develop a corpus of knowledge that can go a long way.

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