Environmentalists have decried the progressive weakening of environmental regulation in India, the most recent being the attack on the independence of the National Green Tribunal, India’s top environmental court. The union government is already in the process of reviewing coastal regulations, and there are reports of emissions standards for industries being diluted and the deadline for meeting them being pushed forward because none of the industries have even installed equipment required to meet the norms.

Under the current regime the government lays down standards and follows up with industries, at times penalizing them or threatening to do so, in what experts describe as a ‘cat and mouse’ game. Michael Greenstone, who served as chief economic advisor to former US President Barack Obama and is now director at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), argues that the approach has failed….