Environmental sustainability can only be achieved through climate justice, said the Prime Minister

A successful climate action needs adequate financing and for which developed countries need to fulfil their commitments on finance and technology transfer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.

He said this in his inaugural address at The Energy and Resources Institute’s World Sustainable Development Summit via video message.

The Prime Minister said it is not the planet that is fragile but the commitments to the planet, to nature, have been fragile and that very little has been done despite a lot of talk over the last 50 years, since the 1972 Stockholm Conference.

Environment and sustainable development have been key focus areas for him all through his 20 years in office, first in Gujarat and now at the national level, Prime Minister Modi said.

“Equitable energy access to the poor has been a cornerstone of our environmental policy”, he stated.

He said that the government has taken steps like 90 million households getting access to clean cooking fuel under Ujjwala Yojana and renewable energy to farmer under the PM-KUSUM scheme where farmers are being encouraged to set up solar panels, use it and sell surplus power to the grid will promote sustainability and equity.

The Prime Minister talked about the LED bulbs distribution scheme that has been running for over seven years. He said it has helped save more than 220 billion units of electricity and 180 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Also, the National Hydrogen Mission aims to tap into Green Hydrogen, he said, encouraging academic and research institutes like TERI to come up with scalable solutions to realize the potential of green hydrogen.

With 2.4% of the world's land area, India accounts for nearly 8% of the world's species, PM Modi pointed out.

He said India is a mega-diverse country and it is the country’s duty to protect this ecology.

PM Modi said energy requirements of the people of India are expected to nearly double in the next twenty years.

“Denying this energy would be denying life itself to millions. Successful climate actions also need adequate financing. For this, developed countries need to fulfill their commitments on finance and technology transfer”, he emphasized.

Commenting on the efforts regarding strengthening of the protected area network, the Prime Minister talked of international recognition to India’s efforts such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognition.

The Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Haryana being declared as an O.E.C.M. site for its effective conservation of biodiversity, he stated.

With recognition of two more Indian wetlands as Ramsar sites India now has 49 Ramsar sites spread over more than 1 million hectares, PM Modi informed.

Restoring degraded land has been one of the main focus areas and since 2015 more than 11.5 Million Hectares have been restored, he added.

“We are on track to achieve the national commitment of Land Degradation Neutrality under the Bonn Challenge. We firmly believe in fulfilling all our commitments made under the U.N.F and Triple C. We have also raised our ambitions during CoP-26 at Glasgow,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister stressed that environmental sustainability can only be achieved through climate justice.

Sustainability requires co-ordinated action for the global commons. “Our efforts have recognised this inter-dependence, he further said.

"Through the International Solar Alliance, our aim is 'One Sun, One World, One Grid' and we must work towards ensuring availability of clean energy from a world-wide grid everywhere at all times", PM Modi said.

This is the ''whole of the world'' approach that India's values stand for”, he further elaborated.

The concerns of the disaster-prone areas have been addressed by the initiatives like The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (C.D.R.I.) and “Infrastructure for Resilient Island States,” Modi observed.

The Island Developing States are the most vulnerable and hence need urgent protection, he said.

The Prime Minister reiterated the two initiatives of LIFE- Lifestyle For Environment and Pro Planet People (3-Ps).