West indian countries

Advocacy by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai | Stopping projects in developing countries on the pretext of climate change is wrong: SC

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Not only developing countries, but also developed countries contribute to climate change, the Supreme Court said on Friday, adding that asking developing countries to stop their projects in this field is wrong.

“But only developing countries don’t contribute, you know. It is also due to pollution from developed countries. Now to say that developing countries must stop their projects is wrong,” said Justice DY Chandrachud, presiding over a bench of two judges, while allowing a plea from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai seeking permission to carry out certain Allied works simultaneously with the ongoing construction of the Mumbai Coastal Road on land reclaimed from the sea.

The comments came as lead lawyer Colin Gonsalves, representing an NGO, sought to oppose the civic body’s claim that the project would contribute to climate change. Lead counsel told the bench, which also includes Judge Hima Kohli, that the road will go underwater over time.

The court wondered how it could stop projects citing climate change. Justice Chandracud pointed out that “it is a question of civilization” and asked “how can we say that India should remain frozen, that rural areas should remain rural?”

“If we are to eradicate poverty, it requires greater urbanization. How can the courts step in and say that because of climate change, we won’t allow it? ” he added.

As a result, the bench granted permission to lay out gardens, parking spaces, the laying of cycle paths, etc. subject to assurances by the civic body to adhere to Coastal Regulatory Area guidelines, to avoid the use of reclaimed land for residential or commercial development, and to obtain prior sanction for any further reclamation lands. The court, however, refused permission to build amusement parks.

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