“We are committed to reduce emissions intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 percent from 2005 levels,” Prime Minister Modi

While inaugurating the World Sustainable Development Summit via video conferencing on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized on climate justice for fighting against climate change.

“Climate justice is inspired by a vision of trusteeship- where growth comes with greater compassion to the poorest. Climate justice also means giving the developing countries enough space to grow. When each and every one of us understands our individual and collective duties, climate justice will be achieved,” the Prime Minister noted.

Speaking on the theme of ‘Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all’, he said two things will define how the progress journey of humanity will unfold in the times to come.

“First is the health of our people. Second is the health of our planet; both are inter-linked,” the Prime Minister said, adding “scale of the challenge we face is widely known. But, conventional approaches cannot solve the problems we face. The need of the hour is to think out of the box and invest in our youngsters and work towards sustainable development.”

He said India's intent is supported by concrete action. “Powered by spirited public efforts, we are on track to exceed our commitments and targets from Paris. We are committed to reduce emissions intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 percent from 2005 levels,” the Prime Minister said.

He also shared that India is making steady progress on its commitment to land degradation neutrality. Renewable energy is also picking speed in India. “We are well on track to setting up four fifty gigawatts of renewable energy generating capacity by 2030.”

The Prime Minister said that sustainable development is incomplete without equitable access. In this direction too, India has made good progress. He said in March 2019, India achieved nearly hundred per cent electrification and this was done through sustainable technologies and innovative models.

Through the Ujala program, three sixty seven million LED bulbs became a part of people’s lives, the Prime Minister highlighted, saying this reduced over thirty eight million tonnes carbon dioxide per year.

The Jal Jeevan Mission has connected over thirty four million households with tap connections in just about 18 months. Through the PM Ujjwala Yojna more than 80 million households below the poverty line have access to clean cooking fuel. “We are working to increase the share of natural gas in India's energy basket from 6 percent to 15 percent,” he added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that often discussions on sustainability become too focused on green energy but green energy is only the means. “The destination we seek is a greener planet. Our culture's deep respect for forests and green cover is translating into out-standing results. He also said that our mission to achieve sustainable development also includes special attention towards animal protection. He shared that in the last five to seven years, the population of lions, tigers, leopards and Gangetic river dolphins has gone up.

The Prime Minister drew the attention of the participants on two aspects: Togetherness and Innovation. He said that sustainable development will only be achieved by collective efforts. When every individual thinks of national good, when every nation thinks of global good, that is when sustainable development will become a reality.

India has made an effort in this direction through the International Solar Alliance. He urged all participants to keep our minds and nations open to best practices from all over the world.

Regarding innovation, he said that there are many start-ups working on renewable energy, environment friendly technology and more. "As policy makers, we should support as many of these efforts. The energy of our youth will certainly lead to outstanding results," the Prime Minister said.

With regard to disaster management capabilities, he said this requires focus on human resource development and technology. As part of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, "we are working in this direction."

He assured that India is ready to do whatever possible to further sustainable development. "Our human centric approach could be a force multiplier for global good," Prime Minister Modi maintained.