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  Opinion   Edit  08 Apr 2024  AA Edit | Heed SC message on climate

AA Edit | Heed SC message on climate

Published : Apr 9, 2024, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Apr 9, 2024, 12:05 am IST

Landmark Supreme Court Ruling: Right to Equality Extended to Include Protection Against Climate Change

Supreme Court. (AP File Image)
 Supreme Court. (AP File Image)

The Supreme Court order expanding the scope of Article 14 of the Constitution on the right to equality and Article 21 on right to life and liberty so as to include “the right against the adverse effects of climate change” should be read as a landmark judgment. The government must now take appropriate steps to ensure that the order helps the large masses of the country who bear the brunt of climate change.  

Access to a clean and healthy environment is a right of every individual but competitive consumerism does not recognise restrictions on the use of resources, including energy, jeorpardising the very existence of the human race on the earth. 

Voluntary action on cutting down on the demand on the resources would be the best option to fight climate change but that is next to impossible, given the pressure being exerted by market forces.

Now that the court has said every person has the right to equality and right to life with respect to her immediate environment, the government must now put in place systems to ensure that everyone plays by the rule. Given that the court has brought equality into the discussion, all human activities that put an extra burden on the nature must be identified and penalised. 

There are exhaustive protocols available on almost every human activity, and they must be implemented in India, too.

It is a fact that those at the bottom of the social pyramid are the worst affected when climatic change, or for that matter any calamity, hits the earth. The rich and the powerful will have options available to them to lessen the impact or even avoid it; the poor will have little option to escape it. 

The Supreme Court order makes it amply clear that such a situation cannot continue. The government must immediately launch awareness campaigns and legal measures on resource profligacy to operationalise the apex court’s order. 



Tags: aa edit, right to life, climate change, supreme court