Thursday, April 11, 2024

Supreme Court of India Recognizes Right Against Adverse Impacts of Climate Change

The Supreme Court of India, in a ruling published on Friday, April 5, 2024, officially recognized the right against the adverse impacts of climate change, saying it is intertwined with the right to life and equality that are embedded in the Indian constitution.  

The case at issue was regarding the conservation of two endangered bird species – the great India bustard and the lesser florican. The Supreme Court of India reversed a 2021 blanket ban against overhead powerlines over an area of 99,000 square kilometers covering parts of the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan that had been put in place to protect the birds. The court said that only allowing underground power transmission cables in such a large area, which also has an incredible potential for clean energy such as wind and solar, will severely impact the country's clean energy shift that is necessary to attain its climate goals. By doing so, it will impede global efforts against climate change, thereby threatening fundamental rights of Indians, such as the right to life, equality, access to energy, among others. 

Read portions of the decision here.

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