Environment and Sustainable Development is an important chapter in the Class 12 Economics syllabus. It covers key concepts such as the environment, sustainable development, and environmental economics. This chapter is essential for students who are preparing for the CBSE Class 12 2023-24 board exam.
This blog post provides a comprehensive overview of the important questions and answers for the Environment and Sustainable Development chapter. It is written in a clear and concise manner, making it easy for students to understand the key concepts. The questions and answers are also aligned with the CBSE syllabus and exam pattern.
I hope that this blog post will be useful for all Class 12 Economics students who are preparing for the CBSE board exam.
|Board||CBSE and State Boards|
|Book Name||Indian Economic Development (IED)|
|Chapter Name||Environment and Sustainable Development|
|Type||Important Questions & Answers|
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
Environment and Sustainable Development Class 12 Important Questions & Answers
Q. No. 1) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):
i. The environment can perform all its functions without any interruption as long as the demand on these functions is within its
a. Assimilating capacity
b. Carrying capacity
c. Absorptive capacity
d. Plimsoll line
Ans. Option (b)
ii. Global environmental issues contribute to increased financial commitments to the Government. This indicates
a. The opportunity costs of negative environmental impacts are high.
b. The social costs of negative environmental cost is high
c. The opportunity costs of positive environmental cost is high
d. The social costs of positive environmental cost is high
Ans. Option (a)
iii. Resources are becoming extinct as degradation surpasses the ________ capacity of the environment. (Choose the correct alternative)
Ans. Option (b)
iv. __________is not a cause for environmental degradation.
a. Waste management
c. Global warming
d. Guarding green cover
Ans. Option (d)
v. The threat to India’s environment is due to
c. Growth of industries
d. All of the above
Ans. Option (d)
vi. The pollution which has the maximum impact on the general population in India is
a. Industrial effluence
b. Land contamination
c. Vehicular emissions
d. Sound pollution
Ans. Option (c)
vii. Due to increasing expenses related to energy and ecological considerations, a country chose to make significant investments in domestic renewable energy technologies instead of bringing in traditional energy sources from abroad.
What favorable outcomes can be anticipated from this strategy of substituting imports?
- lower energy costs for consumers due to subsidized imports
- promotion of the domestic green energy sector through targeted investments
- enhanced self-sufficiency in energy production and greater sustainability
- increased dependence on foreign technology for renewable energy implementation
a. 1 and 2
b. 2 and 3
c. 3 and 4
d. 4 and 1
Ans. Option (b)
viii. With regard to ensuring sustainable economic development, which one of the following strategies is wrong?
a. Technological progress must be input efficient and not input consuming
b. Limiting human population within the carrying capacity
c. Rate of extraction of non-renewable resources should not exceed the rate of creation
d. None of the above
Ans. Option (d)
ix. Select the option that presents a common challenge associated with sustainable aquaculture practices:
a. guaranteed financial gains
b. neutral impact on ecosystems
c. struggle to maintain ecological equilibrium
d. independent of technological advancements
Ans. Option (c)
x. ______ is not the strategy for Sustainable Development. (Choose the correct alternative)
a. Use of biogas
b. Use of solar power
c. Use of thermal power
d. Use of hydel power
Ans. Option (c)
xi. Edward Barbier’s definition of Sustainable economic development focuses on the need to
a. Decrease absolute poverty
b. Decrease relative poverty
c. Decrease unemployment
d. Avoid imposition of added costs on future generations
Ans. Option (a)
xii. The United Nations General Assembly has enlisted a list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. Accordingly, SDG 7 is to “Ensure that everyone has access to enough, trustworthy, sustainable, and modern energy.”
______ does not constitute a step toward achieving SDG 7.
b. solar energy
c. thermal power
d. mini-hydel plants
Ans. Option (c)
xiii. This technology is extremely useful for remote areas where power lines are either not possible or prove costly. It is
a. Wind energy
b. Solar energy
c. Tidal energy
d. Thermal energy
Ans. Option (b)
xiv. They do not change land use patterns in areas where they are located
a. Thermal power plants
b. Hydropower plants
c. Mini-hydel plants
d. Atomic power plants
Ans. Option (c)
Q. No. 2) Read the following hypothetical text and answer the given questions:
Sustainable development is synonymous in the minds of many with the color green and for good reasons. Twenty years ago, at the First Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, world leaders set out what today is conventional wisdom: SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC HUMAN PROGRESS – cannot be divorced from environmental protection unless both are advanced together, both will flounder together.
Sustainable development is as much about health, education, and jobs, as it is about the ecosystems. It is about ever-widening inclusion and movement away from decisions that erode democratic space and do not address social inequality, intolerance, and violence.
Sustainable Development is about changes that transform impoverished people, communities, and countries into informed, educated healthy, and productive societies. It is about wealth creation that generates equality and opportunity.
Sustainable Development is about consumption and production patterns that respect planetary boundaries; it is also about increasing tolerance and respect for human rights at all levels. Building on the human development legacy that was oriented with Economists like Amartya Sen and MahbubUlHaq and was captured by the first Human Development Report in 1990. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has long promoted alternative approaches to measure human progress, along with the Human Development Index (HDI). Today, we are building on this legacy by exploring how to adjust the index to reflect environmental sustainability, so that governments and citizens might better track real progress towards truly sustainable development. This must be our collective objective.
i. Which of the following is not one of the ways to attain the goal of sustainable development? (choose the correct alternative)
a. Use of cleaner fuels
b. Use of traditional knowledge and practices
c. Spreading awareness
d. Sticking to methods to promote inequalities.
Ans. Option (d)
ii. State whether the given statement is true or false: As per the UNDP Report education and health are the broader issues of human development.
iii. Sustainable development and economic growth are __________ (directly/indirectly) related. (choose the correct alternative)
iv. Read the following statements – Assertion (A) and Reason ( R)
- Assertion (A): Sustainable Development is about changes that transform impoverished people, communities, and countries into informed, educated, healthy and productive societies.
- Reason (R): Sustainable Development advocates wealth creation that generates Socio-economic equality and opportunity.
Select the correct alternative from the following:
a. Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are true.
b. Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are false.
c. Assertion (A) is true, but Reason (R) is false.
d. Assertion (A) is false, but Reason (R) is true.
Ans. Option (a)
Q. No. 3) i. Solar energy can be converted into electricity with the help of ……….……………………. (Photovoltaic cell/Lithium cells). (Fill up the blank with the correct alternative)
Ans. Photovoltaic cells.
ii. Two major environmental issues facing the world today are ______ and ______.
Ans. Global Warming and Ozone Depletion.
Q. No. 4) Classify the following into renewable and non-renewable resources
- trees – Renewable
- fish – Renewable
- petroleum – Non-renewable
- coal – Non-renewable
- iron-ore – Non-renewable
- water – Renewable.
Q. No. 5) What are the functions of the environment?
Ans. The functions of the environment are:
- it supplies resources (both renewable and non-renewable)
- it assimilates waste
- it sustains life by providing genetic and biodiversity
- it also provides aesthetic services like scenery etc.
Q. No. 6) “If the rate of resource extraction exceeds the rate of regeneration, it leads to a reduction in the carrying capacity of the environment.” Discuss the rationale of the given statement with valid reasons.
Ans. The environment is able to perform its functions uninterruptedly so long as the demand for these functions is within the carrying capacity of the environment. This means that the resources are not extracted beyond the rate of their regeneration.
If there is a disequilibrium (demand being more than supply), the environment fails to replenish itself and it will lead to an environmental crisis. Thus, to maintain a healthy environment, the carrying capacity of the environment must be valued and respected.
Q. No. 7) Interpret the given picture on account of current environmental challenges.
Ans. The given image indicates the environmental challenge of ‘global warming’. Global warming is a gradual increase in the average temperature of the earth’s lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases.
The statement given, ‘we are running out of time, act now before it’s too late’ represents the urgency of actions to be taken to control the situation. Various studies have shown that global warming is causing the rise in sea level, loss of coastal land, increased risks of floods, etc.
Q. No. 8) Which is the most vital function of the environment? When does it fail to perform it? What could be its consequences?
Ans. Life sustenance is a vital function of the environment.
The demand on the environment must be within its carrying capacity. When it exceeds this carrying capacity, i.e., resources extracted exceed its regeneration, waste created exceeds the assimilating capacity, it results in an environmental crisis for it fails to perform its vital function of life sustenance.
- The environment is unable to absorb the degeneration, making several species of flora and fauna extinct.
- The environment has been unable to sustain life. This is the consequence of the environmental crisis.
Q. No. 9) Explain how the opportunity costs of negative environmental impact are high.
- The intensive and extensive extraction of both renewable and non-renewable resources has exhausted some of these vital resources and we are compelled to spend huge amounts on technology and research to explore new resources.
- The decline in air and water quality has resulted in an increased incidence of respiratory and water-borne diseases. Hence the expenditure on health is also rising.
- Global environmental issues such as global warming and ozone depletion also contribute to increased financial commitments for the government.
Q. No. 10) Are environmental problems new to the last two centuries? If so, why?
Ans. Yes, because:
- The demand for environmental resources and services was much less than its supply in the past.
- So the pollution was within the absorptive capacity of the environment.
- The rate of extraction was less than the rate of regeneration.
- But with the population explosion and industrial revolution, the demand for resources for consumption as well as production went beyond the regenerative capacity, assimilating capacity, and carrying capacity of the environment.
- Today we are facing a reversal of supply-demand situation, with the demand far too high and the supply too limited due to overuse and abuse of environmental resources.
- The environmental issues of waste generation and pollution have become critical today.
Q. No. 11) Give two instances of
(a) Overuse of environmental resources
(b) Misuse of environmental resources.
Ans. (a) Overuse of environmental resources
- Deforestation: The clearing of forests for agriculture, logging, and other purposes can lead to soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and climate change.
- Overfishing: The removal of fish from the ocean at a rate faster than they can reproduce can lead to the depletion of fish stocks and the collapse of marine ecosystems.
(b) Misuse of environmental resources
- Pollution: The release of harmful substances into the environment can contaminate air, water, and soil, and can harm human health and the environment.
- Wasteful consumption: The use of more resources than is necessary can lead to the depletion of natural resources and the generation of waste.
Q. No. 12) India has abundant natural resources —substantiate the statement.
Ans. India has abundant natural resources, as substantiated by the following points:
- Rich soil: India has a variety of soil types, including the fertile black soil of the Deccan Plateau, which is suitable for cotton cultivation.
- Water resources: India has hundreds of rivers and tributaries, as well as a vast stretch of the Indian Ocean.
- Forest cover: India has lush green forests, which provide green cover for its population and natural cover for its wildlife.
- Mineral deposits: India has large deposits of iron ore, coal, and natural gas, as well as other minerals such as bauxite, copper, chromite, diamonds, gold, lead, lignite, manganese, and zinc.
Q. No. 13) State any four pressing environmental concerns of India.
- Air pollution
- water contamination
- soil erosion
- wildlife extinction.
Q. No. 14) Suggest suitable strategies for sustainable development in the energy sector for the regions given their unique conditions:
- A village surrounded by streams that are perennial has no large transmission capabilities and does not want to compromise on land use patterns.
- A place that is remote, has no grid connection or power lines.
- Large open, windy tracts of land are available and the people here can afford a high overhead cost.
- Place at the coast of the Bay of Bengal where the tides are regular.
- A place where cattle rearing is the main occupation.
- Rich in uranium and has an immense water supply for cooling and facilities for quick evacuation.
- Mini-hydel plant
- Solar power plant
- Wind power plant
- Tidal power plant
- Bio-gas (gobar gas plant)
- Atomic power plant.
Q. No. 15) Read the following text carefully:
Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. India is critical in determining the success in the pursuit of achieving sustainable development.
The Union Budget 2023 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman builds on India’s commitment to lead the global action against climate change, preserve biodiversity, and support sustainable development.
The government has accelerated the pace of Green Growth as India is facing the grave reality of depleting natural resources, and a limited supply of water, minerals, and fossil fuels. In a bid to counter the climate threat, India has committed to achieving net zero by 2070; released a low-carbon development strategy; and introduced the concept of ‘LiFE’ (Lifestyle for Environment) to promote responsible consumption.
The Green Growth actions include several pointed measures that would facilitate the much-needed steady decarbonization of Indian industries, reduce dependency on fossil fuel imports, and establish technology and market leadership in this sunrise sector. For instance: The allocation of Rs 35,000 crore of priority capital investment towards achieving net zero by 2070 and clean energy transition ensures the country’s energy security. The outlay of Rs 19,700 crore for the Green Hydrogen Mission will mobilize a green hydrogen production capacity of 5 metric million tonnes by 2030.
Moreover, to encourage the optimal use of wetlands, enhance biodiversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities, and income generation for local communities, the Amrit Dharohar scheme will be implemented over three years.
On the basis of the given text and common understanding, answer the following questions:
i. Define sustainable development.
ii. Briefly elaborate any two reasons behind the objective of Green Growth being set up by the Indian Government.
iii. Everyone has a moral obligation to promote sustainable development. Do you agree with the given statement? Justify your answer with a valid argument.
Ans. i. Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.
ii. The Indian Government has accelerated the pace of Green Growth as India is:
- Facing the grave reality of depleting natural resources, limited supply of water, minerals, and fossil fuels. This has created a number of environmental issues in the recent past in India.
- To counter the climate threat, India has committed to achieving a net zero target by the year 2070. This will facilitate the much-needed decarbonization of Indian industries, reduce dependency on fossil fuel imports, and become a market leader in the sunrise industry.
- Sustainable development requires the redistribution of resources to ensure that the basic needs of all are met.
- We all are morally obliged to protect the environment for future generations and this can only be achieved using the route of sustainable development.
Q. No. 16) “Recently Indians have drifted away from the traditional knowledge and practices and caused large-scale damage to the environment”.
Explain how adopting traditional practices can be helpful in achieving the objective of sustainable development.
Ans. The given statement is quite appropriate. Indian traditional practices were environment friendly and worked as complementary to the system and not its controller. The traditional agriculture system, healthcare system, housing, transport, etc. were intrinsically environment friendly. The traditional practices used natural products and processes which are more or less free from side effects. For example, by adopting medicinal plants/products we can conserve the resources and achieve the objective of sustainable development.
Q. No. 17) Read the following passage on the causes of the environmental crisis and answer the questions that follow:
The world is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis characterized by various interconnected challenges. Several factors have contributed to this alarming situation, threatening the delicate balance of ecosystems and the well-being of both humans and wildlife. One of the primary causes of the environmental crisis is the rapid growth of the human population. The increasing demand for resources, food, and energy has led to extensive deforestation, habitat destruction, and overconsumption of natural resources.
Industrialization and modernization have played a significant role in exacerbating the environmental crisis. The reliance on fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases has resulted in global warming and climate change, leading to extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and disruptions in natural cycles. The unchecked discharge of pollutants and waste from industries has further contaminated air, water, and soil, endangering human health and biodiversity.
Another critical factor contributing to the environmental crisis is the expansion of agriculture and urbanization. The conversion of forests and natural habitats into agricultural lands and urban areas has led to the loss of biodiversity and fragmentation of ecosystems. This has disrupted the natural habitats of numerous species, leading to the extinction of many plants and animal species.
Moreover, human activities such as irresponsible waste management and improper disposal of plastics have resulted in the accumulation of plastic waste in oceans and landfills, causing harm to marine life and contaminating the environment. The excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture has also led to soil degradation, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
The environmental crisis is a complex issue with various interconnected causes. The rapid growth of the human population, industrialization, urbanization, and irresponsible waste management practices are some of the major contributors to this crisis. Addressing these causes requires a collective effort from governments, industries, and individuals to adopt sustainable practices and promote environmental conservation.
Source from: National Institutes of Health, Mongabay, UNFCCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
On the basis of the given text and common understanding, answer the following question:
i. Elucidate the primary causes of the environmental crisis described in the passage.
ii. Discuss the connection between industrialization and the ongoing environmental crisis.
iii. Explain the impact of agriculture and urbanization on the environment.
Ans. i. The primary causes of the environmental crisis described in the passage are:
- The rapid growth of the human population leads to extensive deforestation, habitat destruction, and overconsumption of natural resources.
- Industrialization and modernization contribute to global warming and climate change through reliance on fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases.
- Expansion of agriculture and urbanization, resulting in the loss of biodiversity and fragmentation of ecosystems.
- Irresponsible waste management and improper disposal of plastics, lead to the accumulation of plastic waste in oceans and landfills, causing harm to marine life and contaminating the environment. The excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture also contributes to soil degradation, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
ii. Industrialization has contributed to the environmental crisis in several ways:
- Reliance on fossil fuels for energy production leads to the emission of greenhouse gases, which causes global warming and climate change.
- The discharge of pollutants and waste from industries contaminates air, water, and soil, posing risks to human health and biodiversity.
iii. The impact of agriculture and urbanization on the environment includes:
- Conversion of forests and natural habitats into agricultural lands and urban areas disrupts ecosystems, leading to the loss of biodiversity and extinction of plant and animal species.
- Agricultural practices, such as the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, result in soil degradation, water pollution, and further loss of biodiversity.
Q. No. 18) Describe any six strategies of sustainable development.
Ans. Strategies of sustainable development
- Use of Non-conventional Sources of Energy: Wind and solar power are good examples of non-conventional energy sources. These sources are clean and renewable, and they have a low environmental impact.
- LPG, Gobar Gas in Rural Areas: LPG and gobar gas are clean fuels that can be used to replace wood and dung cake as fuel in rural areas. This can help to reduce deforestation, improve air quality, and conserve cattle dung.
- CNG in Urban Areas: CNG is a clean fuel that can be used to reduce air pollution in urban areas.
- Wind Power: Wind turbines can be used to generate electricity from wind power. This is a clean and renewable source of energy that has a low environmental impact.
- Solar Power through Photovoltaic Cells: Photovoltaic cells can be used to convert solar energy into electricity. This is a clean and renewable source of energy that has a low environmental impact.
- Mini-hydel Plants: Mini-hydel plants can be used to generate electricity from the energy of streams. This is a clean and renewable source of energy that has a low environmental impact.
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