Climate Commissioner Urges Youth to Lead Sustainable Lifestyles at TERI-Organized Event

Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, emphasizes the importance of youth engagement in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.

In an in-person session titled ‘Generation Green: Promoting Sustainable Lifestyles for Youth, by Youth,’ organized by TERI in collaboration with the European Union Delegation, Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), European Union Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI), and GIZ, H.E. Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Commission, stressed the reinforcing connection between climate change and biodiversity loss in the ongoing climate crisis. He urged for urgent action, stating, “We cannot continue to have ecosystems degrading.”

Mr. Sinkevičius challenged the archaic belief that economic growth and emissions are inseparable, advocating that societies can prosper economically while reducing emissions. He called for a unified approach to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, emphasizing that these are global issues that require collective efforts.

The session encouraged youth participation, providing them with the opportunity to engage with the EU Commissioner on science, policy, and the role they play in driving climate action globally. Notably, youth involvement is seen as critical in preparation for the upcoming COP28 in UAE this November.

Amb. Manjeev Puri, Distinguished Fellow at TERI, emphasized the role of the youth in shaping the future and praised the EU as a norm leader, setting global standards beneficial for humankind. He acknowledged the unique opportunity for youth to interact with the European Union during the event.

During the session, three publications were released, each addressing critical aspects of sustainable living, youth empowerment on circular economy and resource efficiency, and campaigns for the LiFE mission.

The event included a Special Q&A session with H.E. Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, providing him with the chance to answer questions on various topics, including the need for a circular economy, the connection between biodiversity loss and the climate crisis, and the urgency to combat pollution, including plastic and air pollution.

Dr. Shailly Kedia, Associate Director at TERI, delivered the Vote of Thanks, expressing hope for continued dialogue and exchange of ideas between the EU and India for generations to come. The event underscored the importance of youth engagement and collective action in combatting the challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss.