In India, grassland eco-protection could help in battle against climate change
By Kishore Kumar, WSJ article By WSJ Staff A few days ago, the United States and India announced a $1 billion agreement to protect their grasslands, the largest of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
But the fight against climate pollution is not over.
In a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Pew Charitable Trusts, India’s government and grasslands protection groups are now discussing how to address the climate crisis by using grasslands as a source of carbon emissions.
It’s a promising idea.
The grasslands themselves are not the problem.
But they are important places to grow food and the food they grow has a direct impact on global climate.
The grasslands are a key component of the Indian agriculture industry, which relies heavily on the crops it grows.
And they are an important part of the global economy.
There are 2.3 billion people living in India and around 70% of them depend on grasslands for their livelihoods.
India has one of the highest levels of deforestation in the world.
In the last 10 years, the number of people killed by forest fires in India has risen to 1.2 billion.
Indian agriculture is heavily dependent on its grasslands.
According to the World Bank, the country accounts for one of its largest share of deforestation and habitat destruction in the developing world.
A 2015 study found that the loss of grasslands has contributed to the deaths of more than 2.5 million people.
India’s grasslands also account for a significant amount of CO2 emissions, especially from agricultural machinery.
Scientists estimate that a hectare of India’s roughly 1,200 grasslands releases enough CO2 to cover the entire planet.
The United Nations estimates that India’s agricultural sector produces around 1.5 billion tonnes of CO 2 per year.
However, it is not just India’s land that has been affected by deforestation.
Other grasslands around the world are also being ravaged by pollution.
One of the main threats to grasslands in Asia is a recent rise in the global number of land-use restrictions.
Agricultural communities in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are also experiencing a drop in grassland cover.
Some scientists are arguing that grasslands should be protected because of their economic value.
“This is one of those areas where grasslands can play a key role in mitigating the climate change impact,” said Pankaj Chatterjee, a professor at Cornell University.
For India, it may be easier to start by protecting the grasslands on its own.
This is a common view among scientists, as the country is already struggling to address pollution and climate change.
Its economy relies heavily upon grasslands and is often accused of over-farming.
As the report notes, India has already been fighting deforestation in areas like the country’s northeast, which is heavily reliant on grassland for its livelihoods and environment.
At the same time, the government has invested heavily in infrastructure that could help it achieve climate goals.
A recent report by McKinsey found that India is planning to spend $1.6 billion in 2020 on climate projects.
That is more than the $3 billion India spent in 2020 alone on climate mitigation projects, according to the report.
Since India is the world leader in developing and exporting carbon-intensive technologies, the need to curb deforestation is pressing.
Indians are already taking action.
Last year, the Supreme Court in the northern Indian state of Bihar banned the use of chemical fertilizers in a bid to reduce deforestation.
The government has also committed to building a massive new carbon capture and storage facility in northern India.
With grasslands now on its doorstep, the stakes are high.
(AP Photo/Bharat Agnihotri)India has already invested heavily to protect its grassland and it could take years for it to get there.
But for India, the fight to stop climate change is now more urgent than ever.