Analysing the Impact of Anthropogenic Factors on the Environment in India

Bhagirath Behera, Rajeev Vishnu


Using carbon dioxide as a surrogate measure of various environmental impacts, this paper analyses the effects of anthropogenic factors on CO2 emissions in India. The paper uses the STIRPAT model with data for 1960-2007. The results show that urbanisation has the largest potential negative effects on the environment, followed by population, service sector, industrial sector and GDP per capita. While analysing the potential effects of various anthropogenic factors on the environment, accounted for by average annual growth rates, population emerges as the single largest factor contributing towards emissions, followed by urbanisation (the degree of contribution to change in CO2 emissions by these factors are 33.8% and 29.7% respectively). Hence, there is a need for serious consideration of policy changes with regard to demographic and urban planning in India in order to reduce the effects of these factors on the environment. For instance, India could adopt a two-child policy like the one-child policy in China to control population growth. Unplanned and haphazard urbanisation can lead to inefficient use of energy resources that may hinder the efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in India. Hence sustainable urban planning across Indian states is very much essential for better management of environmental resources.

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