SC Elevates Right against Climate Change Effects to Fundamental Rights

  • 09 Apr 2024

In a significant ruling, the SC broadened the scope of Articles 14 and 21 to encompass the right against adverse climate change impacts.

Key Points

  • Legal Foundation: Emphasizing the significance of constitutional provisions like Article 48A and Article 51A(g) regarding environmental protection, the court establishes the right to a clean environment and against climate change effects.
  • Unaddressed Concerns: Despite governmental policies recognizing climate change, the absence of specific legislation addressing climate change impacts prompts the court to assert the existence of citizens' rights against such effects.
  • Impact on Fundamental Rights: The court links climate change effects to violations of the right to life (Article 21) and equality (Article 14), highlighting the detrimental effects on health and livelihoods.
  • Renewable Energy Imperative: The court underscores the importance of transitioning to renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, to mitigate climate change impacts and ensure sustainable development.
  • Challenges and Solutions: While acknowledging technical challenges in implementing underground power lines, the court sets up an expert committee to assess feasibility and balance environmental concerns with energy needs.
  • Global Energy Transition: India's commitment to renewable energy aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and ensures energy security while reducing environmental degradation.
  • Solar Power Advantages: The court highlights the benefits of solar energy, including reduced pollution, groundwater preservation, and sustainable energy generation, emphasizing its pivotal role in India's energy transition.