From: The Hindu Dated: July 21 2014 By Ashish Kothari

The NDA’s first budget has thrown a few sops in the direction of the environment and the millions dependent on it. But much like its predecessors, in painting the big picture it remains embarrassingly devoid of innovative ideas on how to move India towards ecological sustainability and justice

“While 2015 will be a landmark year for sustainable development and climate change policy, 2014 is the last chance for all stakeholders to introspect to be able to wisely choose the world they want post 2015.”

These are significant words, contained as they are in the government of India’s Economic Survey 2013-14. The reference is to the framing of a new set of sustainable development goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that all countries agreed to in 2000 (due to end in 2015), and to a possible new climate agreement to be framed in 2015. The Economic Survey was released a day before Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the first annual budget of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

So, does the rest of the survey and the budget reflect such introspection? Are the new power-holders in New Delhi any wiser about protecting the interests of the next generation while meeting the needs of the present? Or indeed about how several hundred million people of the present generation, who are directly dependant on nature and natural resources, can have more secure livelihoods?

Lower carbon emissions economy

Let us first look at the good news. The survey contains (for the third year running) an independent chapter on ‘Sustainable Development and Climate Change’, which contains a few more pearls of wisdom –Read more


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