India believes in growth but committed to environment: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India is committed to protecting the environment and is doing everything required for it but expects others to also fulfil their commitments.

Modi said nations took a stand to come together at the 2015 COP-21 summit in Paris and work towards the common cause of sustaining the planet.

“As the world committed to bring about change, so did we. While the world was discussing ‘inconvenient truth’, we translated it into convenient action. India believes in growth but is also committed to protecting the environment,” he said at the World Sustainable Development Summit here.

India was on track to meet the 2030 Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), he said. The UN Sustainable Development Goals put us on the path of equality, equity and climate justice, he added.

“While we are doing everything that is required of us, we expect that others also join in to fulfil their commitments based on common but differentiated responsibility and equity,”Modi said, without taking any names.

The National Geographic Greendex Report of 2014, which assesses the environmental sustainability of consumer choice, recently ranked India at the top for greenest consumption pattern, he said.

Discussing the goal of creating a carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, Modi said it had once seemed difficult to many but India had continued with its steady progress on that path.

“According to the UNEP Gap Report, India is on track to meet its Copenhagen Pledge of reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20 to 25 percent over 2005 levels by 2020,”Modi added.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Modi said all resources and wealth belong to nature and the almighty and “we are just the trustees or managers of this wealth”.

Mahatma Gandhi, too, advocated this trusteeship philosophy, he added.

Stressing the need for making the planet safer, the prime minister said,

“We are proud of our long history and tradition of harmonious existence between man and nature.”

The prime minister also raised concerns about the issue of water availability and asserted his commitment to ensure that no farm goes without water.

“We are working to electrify every household of the country. With growing urbanisation, our transport needs are growing too, we are expanding the metro system as well,” he said.

The theme of this year’s summit is Partnerships for a Resilient Planet.

Over 2,000 delegates are participating in the summit, which seeks to create action frameworks to resolve some of the most urgent challenges facing developing economies in the backdrop of climate change.

Eminent international speakers will address a variety of issues, including reducing impact on land, air and water, as well as look at ways and means to utilise energy and resources in a more efficient manner in the plenary sessions.


Fiji, TERI signs DoP to support implementation of sustainable development and climate change mitigation initiatives

Climate change linked to more flowery forests: Study

Climate change and snowmelt -turn up the heat, but what about humidity?