Book launch | India: the sustainable green growth challenge
The debate on whether to privilege economic growth over ecological security is passé. Environmental considerations must be at the heart of economic growth, especially for a country of 1.25 billion people destined to add another 400 million by the middle of the century. Jairam Ramesh’s new book Green Signals: Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India chronicles the ‘1991 moment’ in India’s environmental decision-making, telling the story of how, for the first time, the doors of the environment ministry were opened to voices, hitherto unheard, into the policy-making process. It details efforts to change the way environment is viewed both by proponents of environmental security and those who prize economic growth at all costs.
Told from the perspective of a pivotal decision maker, the book addresses the challenges involved in trying to ensure economic growth with ecological security. It takes us through India’s coming of age in the global environmental and climate change community to take on a leadership role that is progressive, proactive, and steeped in national interest. Using speaking orders on high-profile projects, notes and letters to the Prime Minister, ministerial colleagues, chief ministers and others, Jairam Ramesh gives an insight into the debates, struggles, challenges, and obstacles to bringing environmental considerations into the mainstream of political and economic decision-making.
This collection reveals the story of the author’s attempt at the highest levels of governance to introduce effective decision-making, a transparent and accountable administration, and to make environmental concerns an essential component of a nation’s quest to accelerate economic growth and end the scourge of poverty and deprivation.
Jairam Ramesh is Chair of the Future Earth Engagement Committee, a research platform on global sustainability. Formerly he was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment and Forests, Government of India. He is also a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Parliament of India.