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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 31 May 2023


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 31 May 2023


Contents

  1. Same-Sex Marriage: Urban Elite Concept or Integral Right?
  2. We Need Creative Climate Funding Solutions

Same-Sex Marriage: Urban Elite Concept or Integral Right?


Context

  • On April 18, 2023, the Supreme Court of India began hearing petitions requesting the legalisation of same-sex unions.
  • It is debatable whether same-sex marriage is a “urban elitist concept” or a fundamental freedom on par with other legal protections.

Relevance: 

GS Paper 2:Judiciary- Justice

Mains Question

Examine the defences put forth by the Indian government for opposing same-sex marriage there. Do you share their point of view? Justify your response. (150 Marks)


The case made by the government against same-sex unions:

  • The Indian government contends that same-sex unions are inconsistent with Indian customs, culture, and social conceptions of marriage.
  • It argues that rather than the judiciary, elected representatives in Parliament are responsible for establishing or recognising new social institutions like same-sex marriage.
  • The government emphasises the significance of Parliament’s role in drafting marriage-related laws, which include a range of topics including the legal age of consent, restrictions on how many people can marry at once, judicial separation, and divorce.

Arguments in Favour of Same-Sex Marriage:

  • The government’s unwillingness to accept it infringes on married heterosexual couples’ rights to equality and their privileges.
  • They say that recognising same-sex marriages would be in line with the ideals of transformative constitutionalism and increase the rights of LGBTQ+ people. They stress that marriage is a fundamental right implied in Articles 14, 15, 16, 19, and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
  • They emphasise that same-sex marriage has importance for those living in small towns and rural places as well, not only for urban elites.

SCs Response

  • The Supreme Court’s response to applications for the right to same-sex marriage under the 1954 Special Marriage Act was to reserve judgement.
  • Acknowledged the complexity of the issue and suggested potential avenues for addressing it, such as administrative modifications, changes to subordinate legislation, or significant legislative amendments to gender-neutralize the Special Marriage Act.
  • The court rejected the notion that same-sex marriages are an urban elitist concept, emphasising that the Constitution guides their decision-making, rather than popular or sectional morality.

Arguments against same-sex marriage include:

  • The institution of marriage is based on the union of a man and a woman, and changing this definition would be against natural law.
  • Equal rights have limits, and allowing same-sex marriage would open the door to other forms of marriage, such as polygamy or marriages between relatives.
  • Concerns are raised about the impact of same-sex parenting on children’s development and the potential disruption of societal norms. Civil unions can provide legal protection for same-sex couples without changing the definition of marriage.

Arguments in Favour of Same-Sex Marriage:

  • Refusing to allow same-sex couples to wed is discriminatory and goes against the notion of equal rights.
  • The Indian Constitution’s Article 21, which recognises the right to marriage as a component of the right to life.
  • Marriage is a personal decision that gives people the ability to express themselves, start a family, and exercise many other rights.
  • Refusing to recognise same-sex unions infringes the rights to life and to personal independence, as well as the rights of LGBTQ+ people to the protections and advantages that come with marriage.

Conclusion:

  • Conflicting notions of equality and tradition are at the centre of the same-sex marriage controversy in India.
  • Advocates make the case for the acceptance of same-sex marriage as a fundamental right that is based on the ideas of equality and individual liberty.
  • The significance of sustaining traditional values is emphasised by opponents, who also promote alternative legal structures such civil unions.
  • The future of same-sex marriage in India will be determined by the Supreme Court’s ruling and any ensuing legislation.

We Need Creative Climate Funding Solutions


Context:

  • The vulnerability of socially and economically weaker sections is worsened by their disadvantage, but even the more privileged individuals are not immune to these threats.
  • Carbon emissions and biodiversity losses pose significant threats to humanity, resulting in imbalances and environmental crises caused by human activities.
  • To properly deal with these crises, the fortunate few must develop creative financial solutions.

Relevance:

GS-3 : Biodiversity and Environment

Mains Question

Discuss the value of creative financial approaches to combating climate change and preserving biodiversity. (150 Words).


Important Points:

  • A Loss and Damage (L&D) Fund was established at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to aid developing nations that are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, although the fund’s specifics are still being negotiated.
  • Rich nations haven’t kept their promises in the past, including the annual $100 billion pledge made at the Copenhagen Summit in 2009, which casts question on whether they will keep their promises in the future.
  • A global commitment to increase international financial flows from developed to developing countries to at least $30 billion annually by 2030, along with additional commitments to mobilise $200 billion annually for biodiversity funding by 2030, was made at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (COP). A detailed plan for achieving these goals is missing, though.
  • Investigating many ideas is necessary in order to create an overall fund for environmental recovery and innovative finance, including global carbon taxes, digital services taxes, property taxes, taxes on planes, and taxes on financial activities.
  • In particular, SDG 13 on climate action and SDG 15.5 on halting biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, are closely related to efforts to deliver meaningful financing solutions.
  • Engaging private capital financing plays a crucial role in filling the gaps in global sustainable financing, especially in emerging markets and developing economies where governments face capacity constraints.

Rising Carbon Emissions And Biodiversity Losses Pose Serious Threats:

  • Carbon emissions with global warming:
    • Global Warming: Growing carbon emissions, largely from burning fossil fuels, contribute to the greenhouse effect, which causes global warming. Extreme weather events, increasing sea levels, and altered precipitation patterns are all results of this phenomena, which disturbs climatic trends.
    • Environmental Disruptions: As a result of ecosystem and natural habitat disruption brought on by climate change, biodiversity is lost, species distributions are altered, and the threat of species extinction is heightened. This affects ecological services crucial for human existence as well as the delicate environmental balance.
      • Biodiversity Loss: o Ecosystem Disruption: Ecosystem stability and function are threatened by biodiversity loss, which is fueled by factors like habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. Food production, water filtration, climate regulation, and disease prevention are just a few of the ecosystem services that are crucial for human wellbeing and are affected by this disruption.
    • Extinction Crisis: The biodiversity of the planet is in danger due to the continual, alarming loss of species. Ecological interactions are harmed by extinctions, which also lower genetic variety and reduce the scope for potential future adaptations. Ecosystems as a whole may be negatively impacted by the extinction of keystone species.
      • Human Health and Livelihoods: o Public Health hazards: Climate change increases health hazards, such as the spread of infectious diseases, illnesses brought on by the heat, and diseases that are brought on by contaminated food and water. Ecosystem changes may expose more people to diseases carried by insects.

How do these dangers affect socially and economically disadvantaged groups?

  • Health Risks: Vulnerable communities frequently have poor access to medical care and are more vulnerable to the health risks brought on by climate change and the extinction of species. They are more likely to live in poor air quality locations, making them more vulnerable to respiratory disorders and other illnesses linked to pollution.
  • Displacement and Migration: Climate change-related calamities like floods, droughts, and storms can cause communities to move, especially those that reside in low-lying coastal regions or locations that are vulnerable to natural disasters. Socially and economically disadvantaged groups are frequently less prepared to handle such displacements and may encounter difficulties locating new residences, sources of income, and social support networks.
  • Food insecurity and water scarcity: Vulnerable communities depend largely on natural resources for their nourishment and means of subsistence. Climate pattern changes, such as erratic rainfall and droughts, can have a negative impact on access to clean water and agricultural production. Malnutrition, hunger, and waterborne illnesses result from this, which worsens the lack of access to food and clean water for those in socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
  • Economic Vulnerability: Marginalised populations, which frequently rely on natural resources for their subsistence, are vulnerable economically as a result of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss.
  • The significance of creative financial solutions for combating climate change and protecting biodiversity.
  • Raising Enough Money:
    • To execute mitigation and adaptation strategies, safeguard ecosystems, and promote sustainable development, climate change and biodiversity protection require large financial resources.
      • Conventional sources of finance might not be adequate to cover these funding requirements.
    • To close the funding gap, innovative finance solutions may be able to raise extra cash from a variety of sources, including public, private, and mixed finance.
  • Leveraging Private Sector Engagement: The private sector is essential for promoting innovation and sustainable economic growth.
    • By establishing financial incentives and frameworks that support sustainable development goals, innovative finance solutions promote private sector involvement.
    • Examples of such financial instruments include impact investing, green bonds, sustainable investment funds, and other financial tools that entice private resources towards projects that protect the environment and biodiversity.
  • Promoting Technology and Innovation: o Innovative financial solutions make it easier for new technologies and innovations to be developed and used to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
    • They offer financial assistance for technological development, research and development, and scaling up creative solutions.
    • This promotes development in fields such as waste management, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and other fields crucial for reducing global warming and preserving biodiversity.
  • Enhancing Resilience and Adaptation: o Communities that are already vulnerable to climate change face major risks and difficulties.
    • Innovative financial solutions make it possible to put climate adaption plans into practise, including improving catastrophe risk reduction tactics, encouraging sustainable land and water management, and constructing robust infrastructure.
    • These programmes assist communities in reducing vulnerabilities and adjusting to the changing climate.
  • Supporting conservation and restoration: o Effective ecosystem management and the preservation of endangered species are essential to biodiversity conservation.
    • Protected areas, wildlife conservation programmes, habitat restoration initiatives, and sustainable tourism programmes are supported by innovative finance alternatives.
    • They also advocate for environmentally friendly approaches that simultaneously protect biodiversity and mitigate climate change, such as reforestation and ecosystem restoration.
  • Innovative financial solutions can promote international cooperation and collaboration in the fight against climate change and the preservation of biodiversity.
    • These solutions encourage global solidarity and teamwork by facilitating money flows from wealthy to underdeveloped nations.
    • They promote mutual trust, exchange best practises, and guarantee a more fair allocation of resources and advantages across states.

Conclusion:

  • The world urgently needs a comprehensive framework that is open, verifiable, agnostic, and accountable as the negative effects of climate change and biodiversity losses harm both the environment and humanity.
  • The international community’s targets can only be accomplished if it follows up with prompt distribution of the necessary cash, which will include investigating various resources using a bouquet approach.We are in a race against time to leave a cleaner, greener environment for future generations, thus it is essential that necessary action is delivered promptly in addition to being appropriate.

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