ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Shift to Green Hydrogen Economy by 2030: An Exploration of Barriers and Roadmap for Transition

The world is badly in need of an emission-free economy as the greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere at the same rate as is followed now shall result in a 4°C increase in temperature, which shall be catastrophically perilous to sustaining life on earth. In order to prevent such a mishap, the world needs to embrace a transition of energy supply and consumption from carbon-based, non-renewable energy sources to clean, low-carbon energy system, for which renewable electricity, green hydrogen, and the synergy between the two offer the solution. The hydrogen ecosystem development in India is at an incipient stage, and policy priorities of the government are instrumental in accelerating the development as an early adopter country and to reap the benefits thereof. The key drivers to adopt green hydrogen are the falling renewable electricity tariff, government objectives for net-zero emissions related to energy systems, and the susceptibility of green hydrogen to storage and conversion as an energy carrier. The various barriers to adoption and transition to green hydrogen economy have been identified and discussed, the policy perspectives to be adopted by the government to overcome the barriers are discussed and a roadmap has been suggested for implementation, considering the gestation period of transition, which may be 10 to 20 years advocating immediate action on the part of policy makers to adopt a climate for transition at the earliest in view of the pressing need for transition to decarbonise various sectors of the economy.

Dampening Sustainability

This paper has undergone quite a few revisions, and the author is thankful to many scholars, and colleagues at the Foundation for Agrarian Studies for their comments on multiple drafts.

Sustainable Development Goals and Small Tea Growers of North-east Assam

Tea, the most popular beverage in the world, is also an important industry for the rural economy and acts as one of the contributors to the internationally agreed-upon Sustainable Development Goals. A number of small tea growers, who play an important role in the tea production process, are not registered under the Tea Board of India. Unlike these small growers, the big tea manufacturers have certain clauses and sections in their code of conduct that reflect their adherence to some of the SDGs like equality in wages, adopting sustainable agriculture methods, and more. Such a commitment to the SDGs was difficult for the small growers, who have now, however, channelised their efforts in this direction.

The Alienation and Commodification of Nature: Fighting the Fallacious Fetishism of Contemporary Frameworks through a Revolutionary Transition

With the frantically incessant economic production activity that apparently projects no end, the human-nature relationship seems to have come full circle. As man agonises being manacled by natural constraints, in the form of planetary ecological crises, he stands to be the alleged culprit. For analytical coherence, this paper is divided into four sections. The first section elucidates, through a Marxist perspective of ecology, how the unheeded capitalistic socio-economic course of human action has engendered the alienation of nature itself, which in turn is posing fatal afflictions, conspicuous through compelling phenomena like climate change. Following it is a discussion on the repercussions of commodification of nature. The third section brings out the dichotomous reasoning evident in redundant environmental policy frameworks and paradigms in India. Accentuating the dialectical relationship between sociology and ecology, it explicates, in advocacy for the contemporary “have-nots,” the need to constantly heed the multidimensionality of sustainability, also discernible in the Sustainable Development Goals. On these lines, finally, the course of a “revolutionary transition,” to reinstate a progressive human-nature nexus, is expounded. As a way forward, the paper suggests eschewing the repudiation and outright denial of the prevailing ‘problem of production’ and the need for a sagacious dialogue, in order to mount radical action in response to the looming environmental threats.

Sustainable Development Goals

The article notes that the north-eastern states have taken many initiatives to implement and localise the Sustainable Development Goals. But achieving the targets require a multipronged approach, concerted and coordinated efforts, and focus on sectors where the region has inherent advantages. Unfortunately, the pandemic has cast some doubts on the feasibility of achieving the goals as per the original timelines.

 

Gender Budgeting for Sustainable Development in India

The fifth Sustainable Development Goal mandates that India close its gender gap by 2030. An evaluation of gender budgeting as a whole and a diverse range of gender-sensitive interventions under the same (2005–06 to 2020–21) reveals severe shortcomings. First, a low and declining trend has been found in the shares of gender budgeting to total government expenditure, and women-specific schemes to total funds for gender budgeting. Second, the allocation of total funds for various schemes is either stagnating or declining, with some having received no funds over the last two consecutive years. Problems of design too persist, all contributing to a significant gender gap for Indian women vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

 

Photo Essay: A Study of Contrasts in Bengaluru’s ‘High-tech’ Zone

Bengaluru has earned the moniker of “Silicon Valley of India,” but this glosses over a reality that is defined by poor infrastructure, air and water pollution, and unmanaged waste.

Remembering Martin Khor: Journalist, Lawyer, and Climate Activist

Khor contributed greatly to the development discourse of the global South. He also wrote extensively for the Economic & Political Weekly, particularly on climate change.

Subsidy and Efficiency of Groundwater Use and Power Consumption in Haryana

High power subsidy, along with assured minimum support price and procurement by public agencies, has changed the cropping pattern in favour of water-intensive crops, especially paddy, in Haryana and Punjab. This has placed groundwater resources under severe stress and also increased the demand for energy for extraction of water. The continuation of high levels of power subsidy is not allowing crop diversification programmes to take off. It is argued that there is a need for redesigning this subsidy in such a way so as to encourage a sustainable cropping pattern suited to the agroclimatic conditions in the region, and save both water and energy.

Smart Cities Need Smart Villages

The current Smart Cities Mission needs to be linked to India’s villages. The lacuna in the current mission mandate can be filled by directly addressing the opportunities provided by renewable off-grid production to increase employment and diversification in the rural economy, with a particular focus on India’s rural youth.

 

Sustainable Development as Environmental Justice

The principle of sustainable development has evolved to occupy centrality in environmental jurisprudence in India. The Supreme Court has reiterated its importance in the country's environmental legal regime. However, the jurisprudence has been criticised for framing it as a zero sum game where economic development has been repeatedly used as a justification to trump environmental violations, and therefore, rendering it as only declaratory and lacking in content and sufficient teeth to shape public action. But this has compelled policy and statutory recognition of the principle of sustainable development. The National Green Tribunal Act of 2010 recognises it too. This statutory recognition has paved the way for a robust jurisprudence spearheaded by the NGT that has actively sought to evolve a standard of review for public actions in effectuating the principle of sustainable development and in doing so has departed from the reductionist utilitarianism that had characterised the jurisprudence of Supreme Court.

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