When we speak of recent debates on environment, it generally refers to the question of the global threat of pollution and the worldwide concern of protecting our environment. No doubt degradation in the environment was taking place even thousands of years back when Indus valley civilization flourished. However, the rate of increase in pollution or degradation and the cumulative impact of these was quite low till the dawn of industrial revolution. Therefore not much attention was drawn on these aspects during that time.
However, now the problem ha become critical. The environment pollution and degradation that has already has occurred has caused substantial decline in average quality of life for the human beings, in addition, eliminating for ever from the face of the earth many varieties of flora and fauna. Much worse, the current rate of pollution are so high that that unless as drastic measures are take to reduce the levels of pollution, the entire humanity across the world will face major disasters in period of less than 50 years.
Talks at international levels are going on to control pollution to ave this kind of disasters. Also substantial progress has been made in this direction, much remains to be done. One of the major stumbling block in the progress of pollution control worldwide is the debate over the division of responsibility between developed and other countries for controlling emission of gases responsible for global warming.
The developed countries have very high per capita emission of such gases, though the percentage of further increase is low. On the other side undeveloped and developing countries have low per capita pollution because of lower level of industrial base, but higher percentage increase due to faster industrial growth. The developed countries want that all the countries must have immediately cut down further increase in level of pollution, while the developed countries argue that the countries with already high level of pollution mus accept greater responsibility for reducing their pollution levels.