Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cost of Environmental Degradation in India = Rs. 3.75 Trillion (USD 80 billion) per Year

Report published by the World Bank
  • Although the past decade of rapid economic growth has brought many benefits to India, the environment has suffered, exposing the population serious air and water pollution.
  • A new report finds that environmental degradation costs India $80 billion per year or 5.7% of its economy.
  • Green growth strategies are needed promote sustainable growth and to break the pattern of environmental degradation and natural resource depletion. Emission reductions can be achieved with minimal cost to GDP.

Key Findings

Green growth is necessary. With cost of environmental degradation at 5.7% of GDP, environment could become a major constraint in sustaining future economic growth. Further, it may be impossible or prohibitively expensive to clean up later.

Green growth is affordable. Model simulations suggest that policy interventions such as environmental taxes could potentially be used to yield positive net environmental and health benefits with minimal economic costs for India.

Green growth is desirable. For an environmentally sustainable future, India needs to value its natural resources, and ecosystem services to better inform policy and decision-making especially since India is a hotspot of unique biodiversity and ecosystems.

Green growth is measurable. Conventional measures of growth do not adequately capture the environmental costs, Therefore, it is imperative to calculate green Gross Domestic Product (green GDP) as an index of economic growth with the environmental consequences factored in.