Climate change and global warming are the biggest threats of the present time and how the world manages to control pollution will define our future. Rising industrialization, urbanization, deforestation, forest fires, carbon emissions, etc., are endangering the natural ecosystem. Since 1880, the earth’s temperature has been rising at a rate of 0.14° F (0.08° C) per decade and the rate of increase has doubled since 1981 at 0.32° F (0.18° C) per decade. The 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2015, with 2020 recorded as the second-warmest year as per the National Organic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
With growing economies, global carbon measurements have been rapidly rising for the last 15 years. This is largely due to carbon emissions from vehicles and industrial processes. As per recent data, in January 2022, carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement stood at 418 parts per million, up around 11% from 378 parts per million recorded since 2007. This measurement has been increasing at a constant rate and the compound average growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2021 was around 0.73%.
Rising global warming is adversely affecting the earth and human lives. On average, air pollution causes around 7 million deaths every year and about 99% of the global population breathes air containing high levels of pollutants, exceeding the WHO guideline limits.
India, with the second-largest population (1.38 billion), is among the major polluting countries in the world. In 2021, India housed three of the top 10 most polluted cities and 22 of the 30 most polluted cities around the world. The country has one of the world’s worst air pollution. Air pollution is responsible for around one-third of deaths in India and kills more than a million people.
In 2000, India was a half a billion-dollar economy. Since then, it has grown to around US$ 3.1 trillion, led by large-scale industrialization. As population rose, consumption increased rapidly, in turn boosting overall demand. As income increased so did the use of personal vehicles. A mix of these factors worsened the carbon emission situation.
India has introduced several initiatives to tackle the pollution issue both domestically and globally. The country has been regularly monitoring its part in the global scenario and has envisaged various aims and visions for the future. It is rapidly moving away from traditional energy and fuel sources and turning towards zero-emission technologies. India has launched various climate change and improvement programmes to meet its target of around 45% lower emission by 2030.