FEB 2021  

World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) has been a significant platform for showcasing India’s plans, policies, priorities and actions by identifying the most topical issues, of environment and sustainability. Over the past twenty years, it has emerged as one of the foremost fora on issues of global sustainability. A sustainable development agenda post COVID-19 must focus on sustainability and justice, building back greener and developing inclusive solutions that leave no one behind. This prominent theme will also figure at the WSDS 2021 (to be held on February 10–12, 2021 as Virtual Summit) as ‘Redefining our Common Future: Safe and Secure Environment for All’.

This month’s cover story ‘A Sustainable Development Agenda: Plastic and Biomedical Waste Post COVID-19’ discusses the management of biomedical and plastic waste in the post COVID-19 world. The informal sector plays a significant role in India’s waste management systems, and is assuming a growing role in plastic waste management. The approach of recognizing the informal sector as a skilled and valuable sector and roping it in to deal with plastic waste management challenges will also strengthen several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Making social security, health care services, and future vaccination programmes available to informal sector workers are not only important tools to limit the spread of COVID-19, but also to ensure that the waste management ecosystem is not disrupted. They will also ensure recognition, support and continuity to a sector that provided an essential public service, at high risk, throughout the pandemic period.

This month’s feature story ‘Paris Climate Pact’ talks about the 5th anniversary of the Paris climate accord on December 12, 2020. The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change which was adopted by 196 parties at the
21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, on December 12, 2015, and was enforced in November 2016.To that end, the participating nations agreed to keep the increase in the average global temperature to 2°C while striving to limit it to 1.5°C by the year 2100. Besides pledging to limit the rise in temperature, they agreed to restructure the global economy, phase out fossil fuels over the coming decades, switch to renewable sources of energy, embrace clean technology, and limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve a climate neutral world by 2050. In India, renewable energy is already playing an increasingly important role in the augmentation of grid power, providing energy access, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and helping India pursue its low carbon development path. India has submitted its INDCs to the UNFCCC, outlining the country’s post-2020 climate actions.

With these articles and many other articles of current interest, we hope that you enjoy reading this issue of TerraGreen. We do look forward to receiving your feedback and letters. Stay safe and healthy.