BY ARUL LOUIS
Nw York, Sep 23 (IANS) Warning that world is not doing to fight climate change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Monday an ambitious multi-pronged plan against global warming.
“What we need is a global people’s movement to bring about behavioural change,” Modi said at the Climate Action Summit convened by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
“Not enough is being done to combat climate change. We need a comprehensive approach through education, values, lifestyle approach and behavioral change, which should be turned into a mass movement,” he said.
Guterres, who said that “around the world, nature is striking back with fury”, said that “the ticket to entry” at the summit “is not a beautiful speech, but concrete action”.
He said: “And you are here with commitments. Governments are here to show you are serious about enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.”
Modi was third speaker among the first batch of four.
President Donald Trump, who was boycotting the Climate Action Summit and holding a parallel meeting on religious freedom, unexpectedly dropped in while Modi was speaking. Trump, who is considered a climate change skeptic, has withdrawn the US from the Paris climate change accord and rolled back several measures taken by previous US administrations and states to fight global warming. Approach to climate change is one of the areas of difference between Modi and Trump.
Taking up Guterres’s challenge Modi said: “Need not greed has been our guiding principle and therefore India is here today not just to talk about the seriousness of this issue, but to present a practical approach and a roadmap.”
Modi said: “We believe that an ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching.”
Outlining India’s commitments, he said that India will increase its share of non-fossil fuel in its fuel mix and “increase by 2022 our renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts, and we are committed to further increasing this to 450 gigawatts”.
“We are encouraging e-mobility in our transport sector. India is also looking to considerably increase the percentage of the biofuel blended in petrol and diesel.”
India is also leading action at the international level against climate change, he said.
“About 80 countries have joined our International Solar Alliance initiative and very pleased that India and Sweden together with other partners are launching the leadership group within the industry transition track by bringing the governments and the private sector together this initiative will play an important role in developing low carbon pathways for industry,” he said.
Before Modi and the other world leaders took the stage, Indian innovator, Anurag Saha Roy spoke on behalf youth about the need the importance of involving the private sector in the fight against climate change and encouraging innovation.
He had won the youth pitch initiative aimed at industry leaders with his proposal for system of crowdsourcing weather agriculture data for farmers.
Modi said that he hoped that the call he made in Independence Day for a people’s movement against use of single-use plastic “will create an awareness at a global against single-use plastic.”
He also said that water conservation and rainwater harvesting have begun in India under the Mission Jal Jeevan. “We are going to spend $50 billion on this in the next few years,” he said.
Stating that a Coalition for Disaster Resistant Infrastructure is being initiated, Modi said: “I urge all the countries to join in.”
He also said that India will inaugurate solar panels in the UN General Assembly.”The time for talking is over, the world needs to act now,” he said.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
BY ARUL LOUIS