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Responsible Consumption and Production: SDG 12

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  • 08 Sep 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

India’s progress in regard to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 is fair enough but not satisfactory.

  • SDG12 aims at ensuring responsible consumption and production patterns everywhere in the world.
  • Sustainable consumption and production refers to “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations”.

Key Points

  • About SDG 12:
    • Halving global food waste per capita and ensuring the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources by 2030.
    • Fighting pollution, reducing the overall waste generation, and improving the management of chemicals and toxic wastes.
    • Supporting companies’ transition to green infrastructures and practices.
    • Making sure everyone everywhere is fully informed of ways to live in harmony with nature and eventually adopts thoughtful habits.
  • India's Status:
    • Lifestyle Material Footprint:
      • It measures the amount of resource consumption resulting from our lifestyles.
      • The average lifestyle material footprint of India according to 2015 statistics is around 8,400 kilogram per capita per year, which when compared to sustainable material footprint of 8,000 kg per capita per year is quite acceptable.
    • Food Wastage:
      • According to the UNEP 2021 report, about 50 kg of food is wasted per person per year in India.
      • It seems rather impossible to achieve the goal to halve food waste, with only nine years left, without significantly increasing investment.
      • Food wastage reduction can have a significant effect on greenhouse gas emissions, hunger, pollution and money-saving during recessions.
    • Waste Generation:
      • The population of China and India together constitutes 36% of the global population but generates only 27% of the global municipal waste.
        • Whereas, the United States constitutes only 4% of the global population and produces 12% of the waste.
    • Plastic Waste:
      • Plastic policy index of India is well below the national requirement, according to 2018 statistics, but this gap is much lower compared to China.
      • According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generates close to 26,000 tonnes of plastic a day and over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected.
      • India’s per capita plastic consumption of less than 11 kg, is nearly a tenth of the United States of America (109 kg).
    • Recycling Rate:
      • The domestic recycling rate of India was about 30% in 2019 and is expected to improve in the near future.
      • India can achieve self-sufficiency in the next 10 years if National Recycling Policy is implemented properly and scrap care techniques are shifted in the recycling industries.
    • Fossil fuel Subsidy:
      • In the year 2020, the government spent nearly 0.2% of its GDP on fossil fuels which is slightly higher than in 2019.
      • In 2019, there was a hike in fossil fuel subsidies which was seven times higher than alternative energy subsidies.
      • Renewable energy subsidies rose significantly in 2017 compared to 2014 and total quantified energy subsidies fell by a huge amount.
        • But after 2017 there has been a slight upward trend in the total energy subsidy.
      • While the increase in renewable energy subsidy is worth appreciating, there is a need for shifting more resources to this area and reducing fossil fuel usage.
    • Sustainable Tourism:
      • Sustainable tourism is tourism that takes full account of current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.
        • It is not a special form of tourism; rather, all forms of tourism may strive to be more sustainable.
      • The project of ‘Responsible Tourism’ in Kumarakom (Kerala) takes the help of the local community by linking them to the hospitality industry and sustaining eco-friendly tourism.
      • Himachal Pradesh has introduced a ‘Homestay Scheme’ to draw tourists to rural areas with natural, comfortable and budget-friendly accommodation and food.
      • Among all the states and union territories in India, Jammu & Kashmir and Nagaland are top performing till date with respect to SDG 12, according to the NITI Aayog’s SDG dashboard 2020-21.
    • Environment Education:
      • The Indian government included environment education as a compulsory component in the formal curriculum in the 1960s.

Source: DTE

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