NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 8 - Environment and Natural Resources

NCERT Questions

82. Which among the following best explains the reason for growing concerns about the environment?

  • (a) The developed countries are concerned about projecting nature.
  • (b) Protection of the environment is vital for indigenous people and natural habitats.
  • (c) The environmental degradation caused by human activities has become pervasive and has reached a dangerous level.
  • (d) None of the above
  • Ans. (c) The environmental degradation caused by human activities has become persuasive and has reached a dangerous level.

83. Mark correct or wrong against each of the following statements about the Earth Summit:

  • (a) It was attended by 170 countries, thousands of NGOs and many MNCs.
  • (b) The summit was held under aegis of the UN.
  • (c) For the first time, global environmental issues were firmly consolidated at the political level.
  • (d) It was a summit meeting.
  • Ans. (a) Correct (b) Wrong (c) Correct (d) Wrong

84. Which among the following are TRUE about the global commons?

  • (a) The Earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, ocean floor and outer space are considered as part of the global commons.
  • (b) The global commons are outside sovereign jurisdiction.
  • (c) The question of managing the global commons has reflected the North- South divide.
  • (d) The countries of the North are more concerned about the protection of the global commons than the countries of the South.
  • Ans. (a) The Earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, ocean floor and outer space are considered as part of global commons.

85. What were the outcomes of the Rio Summit?


  1. The Rio Summit produced conventions dealing with climate change, biodiversity, forestry and recommended a list of development practices called Agenda 21.
  2. It gave the concept of sustainable development to be combined economic growth with ecological responsibility.
  3. The Rio Summit developed various contentious issues like commons, global commons in global politics of environment.

86. What is meant by global commons? How are they exploited and polluted?

Ans. The areas or regions located outside the jurisdiction of any one state and region, and require common governance by the international community are called global commons such as Earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, the ocean floor and outer space. They are exploited and polluted due to:

  1. Vague scientific evidences, their lack of consensus on common environmental issues.
  2. North-South inequalities and their exploitative activities and competition lack proper management of outer space.
  3. Technological and industrial development have also affected the earth’s atmosphere and ocean floor.

87. What is meant by ‘Common but differentiated responsibilities’? How could we implement the idea?

  • Ans. Common but differentiated responsibilities means that the state shall cooperate in the spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the earth’s ecosystem. As the states have common but differentiated responsibilities over various contributions of global environmental degradation. The developed countries acknowledge that the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technological and financial resources they command.

The idea could be implemented with the help of conventions and declarations:

  1. The Rio Summit held in June 1992 produced conventions dealing with climate change, biodiversity, forestry and recommended a list of developed practices called Agenda 21.
  2. The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climatic Change (UNFCCC) also emphasises that the parties should act to protect the climate system on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities.
  3. An international agreement known Kyoto Protocol sets targets for industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions which support global warming.

88. Why have issues related to global environmental protection become the priority concern of states since the 1990s?

Ans. Issues related to global environmental protection have become the priority concern of states since the 1990s because at global level, the environmental issues drew attentions of various states at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de- Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992 through Agenda 21:

  1. The Rio Summit 1992 dealt with climatic change, bio-diversity and forestry.
  2. Agenda 21 combined economic growth with ecological responsibilities.
  3. The Kyoto Protocol set targets for greenhouse emissions. The above mentioned conferences and summits raised the environmental issues at the global level to take steps by various states to check environmental degradation in a co-operative manner.

89. Compromise and accommodation are the two essential policies required by states to save planet Earth. Substantiate the statement in the light of the ongoing negotiations between the North and South on environmental issues.

Ans. Industrialisation, urbanisation and deforestation has increased the pollution level globally. But in our approaches to save the environment, we have noticed differences between the North representing the developed world and the South, representing the developing world. Compromise and accommodation are the two essential policies to save planet Earth by the states but the states from North and South have different notions towards environmental issues:
  1. The Northern states are concerned with ozone depletion and global warming, whereas the southern states want to address the relationship between economic development and environmental management.
  2. The developed countries of the North want discussions and deliberations on the environmental issues as they exist today.
  3. The developing countries of the South share a different approach. They feel that much of the ecological degradation in the world is created by developed nations through their industrial projects. So it is they who must take the greater responsibility in conserving the environment.
  4. And if developed countries cause more environmental degradation, they are supposed to take more responsibility onwards.
  5. The developing counties are under process of industrialisation and they should be exempted from restrictions imposed on developed countries through various conventions like Kyoto Protocol, etc.
  6. The developing nations argue that the international treaties and the laws on environment must be modified to suit their interests.
    Therefore, the twin principles of compromise of the developed world and the accommodation of interests of developing countries are the only way to save earth. All these provisions were accepted in the Earth Summit of 1992 while adopting common but differentiated responsibilities.

90. The most serious challenge before the states is pursuing economic development without causing further damage to the global environment. How could we achieve this? Explain with a few examples.

Ans. The economic development could be achieved even without damaging global environment by following practices:
  1. The Earth Summit of 1992 provides some conservative measures for sustainable growth without damaging environment anymore.
  2. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 covered Global Commons for mutual economic development.
  3. The Kyoto Protocol cuts greenhouse emissions from industrialised countries to protect environment and to develop industries also.
  4. Resource Geopolitics allocates and ‘distribute natural resources among the nation states of global arena for sustainable development of nations.
    Hence, the above mentioned practices protect the global environment and even though the states are developing. We could achieve this challenge only if we follow the provisions and practices mentioned in all these conferences and summits.