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Post Covid-19 Economic Challenges and Environmental Regulation

Understanding Post-Covid-19 Governance Challenges in India: A Compendium of Essays Azim Premji University 2022

This essay reviews the policy changes which lowered the environmental standards to incentivize the recovery of the pandemic-hit Indian economy. It argues that to make the environmental response matter to the threat of pandemics, it is necessary to reorient environmental regulations to the objectives of public health and safety rather than to more economic growth. Having experienced the health and economic catastrophe of the pandemic at a global scale, it would be sensible to not overlook the potential of environmental regulation to protect public health, and to prevent making populations already exposed to the covid pandemic more vulnerable due to air pollution and other forms of environmental degradation. The essay concludes that if forest conservation, coastal and marine regulation, infrastructure expansions and land use changes are to be measured against these metrics, we could expect different forms of impact assessments and regulatory decisions.

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