First advocated by Bendtland commission and in the 1972 UN Convention,the idea of sustainable development allows for economic growth and development that fully understands the importance of the environment for present and future generations.
SInce then,developments both in India and abroad showthat sustainable development is neither difficult to achieve nor too costly. Instead,it is a need of the hour.With the threat of anthropogenically induced climate change looming large over us,the constant thinning of the ozone layer,the extinction of species even before we have discovered them,increased human-animal conflicts,many legislative and international interventions have taken place.
Internationally, we have the many UN Conventionsunder UN Framework Climate Change Convention.What started in 1992 with Rio has now reached the level of the binding Paris Agreement.We have the convention against desertification.
We have the Montreal Protocol against persistent Organic Pollutants which showsthe commitment of the governments to ensure that its industries are not using ahrmful CFC based products .
Its recent amendment at Kigali to phase out even HCFCs that were previously considered safe shows how important environment is considered to be for economic growth in a siustained manner.Further,the efforts against oil spills and other aquatic pollutantsis another welcome step in this direction.
The fast moving superpower China's commitment towards the Paris Agreement even after its arch rival USA pulled out of it by citing economic growth as more important than the environment offers a ray of hope.
That a county as industrialised as China seeks to work towards improving the environment shows that growth does not hamper environmental protection.