STATE OF ENVIRONMENT IN FIGURES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     1st June 2024        

Context: The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down to Earth magazine recently launched the State of India’s Environment report 2024.

State of Environment in Figures Report

  • About: It is the annual publication by Down to Earth and Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and a “unique collation of statistics which provides a snapshot of the state of affairs in the country using numbers”. 
  • Covers subjects: Health, energy, climate change, water, agriculture, waste and air pollution, among others

Key Highlights of the Report

  • The share of buses in India's registered vehicles dropped from just over 11% in 1951 to 0.07% in 2020.
  • Most thermal power plants are non-compliant with sulphur dioxide emission norms; only 16% meet the standards, and only 9% of the capacity allocated to states/UTs is compliant.
  • 21% of municipal solid waste in India remains unprocessed, and over 80% of legacy waste remains unremediated in 15 states and Union Territories.
  • In 2022, an average of 30 farmers and farm labourers committed suicide every day in India; since 2023, there have been 195 major farmer protests across 22 states, mostly about land acquisition and other issues beyond the MSP.
  • In 2022, young people constituted nearly 83% of India’s total unemployed population, with 66% of them being educated.
  • State of the states: In 26 states/UTs, non-communicable diseases account for 50 per cent of the total deaths. 

o These states/UTs include Delhi, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana and most states in the northeastern parts of the country, among others. 

o Twenty-three of the states/UTs have not achieved 100 per cent tap water connections in rural households, with West Bengal emerging as one of the states lagging behind.

  • State of climate: 2023 was India’s second hottest year on record -- 102 weather stations across 26 out of 36 states/UTs witnessed record-breaking temperatures.

o India ranks as the 20th most disaster-affected country in the world.” 

o In terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, India’s share jumped up 115 per cent between 1994 and 2019: in 2019, the country emitted 2,647 million tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent of GHGs.