You might be forgiven for missing the news that one of the most progressive emissions policies in the world was just enacted in India. After all, India is home to 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities. But, as Content Director Deepali Srivastava writes in her article for Next City, the nation just adopted stringent regulations governing the sulfur content of fuel and the automotive engines that burn it.
The real story, she points out, is how the policy got enacted. For it wasn’t progressive legislators, the strong arm of the executive branch, forward-looking companies or charismatic activists who got the job done. It was the nation’s Supreme Court. “Time and again, the Indian Supreme Court has issued orders that have burnished its credentials as the environmental steward of India,” Srivastava writes. “Where successive Indian governments have faltered, the judiciary has stepped in.” Score one for the activist judges.