New Delhi: India’s climate policy is directed towards sustainable development, while striving continuously to decouple emissions from growth and achieve energy efficiency across sectors, said Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav here on Sunday.
“Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi drafting and ensuring execution of Climate Smart Policies has taken centre stage in India” he said while speaking at the Raisina Dialogue on the issue of ‘The Next Step for Climate Smart Policies’.
The Minister said it is because Indians are Pro Planet People, with more than 17% of the global population, has contributed only about 4% to the global cumulative greenhouse gas emissions between 1850 and 2019 against the 60% contributed by developed nations.
“Even today, India’s per capita emissions are less than one-third of world’s per capita GHG Emissions” he said.
Yadav said globally India stands 4th in terms of installed renewable energy capacity, 4th in terms of wind installed capacity, 5th in terms of solar installed capacity.
“In just the last 9 years, installed capacity of solar energy in India has increased by more than 23 times…adding that India’s installed renewable energy capacity has increased 396% in the last 8 years”.
The Minister said these numbers are proof of the fact that “Climate Smart Policy” is the front and centre of India’s development paradigm.
Calling the “Circular economy” is part of Indian culture, the Minister said, “We are people who use less, we are people who reuse what we use”.
He said that India has emerged as a global example on how development and conservation of the environment can go hand in hand.
“We are now witnessing how unsustainable consumption has led to multiple crises. The actions of the developed world are now having a negative impact on the developing world” the Minister said.
Talking about the India G20 Presidency, India achieved its initial NDC submitted in 2015 which were already ambitious in nature, 9 years before the deadline, and became the only G20 member to do so.
He said not only have we achieved our NDC target before deadline but we have also submitted our updated NDC which seeks to achieve even more ambitious targets along with our Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy Plans at COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh.
“With this India has joined the list of select 58 countries who have submitted their new or updated LT-LEDS” he added.
Yadav said our Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy document is premised on two major pillars of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles alongside principles of CBDR-RC.
Talking about the 2023-2024 Union Budget Yadav said it serves as a strong foundation for building a Green India.
He said by earmarking ‘Saptarishi’ priority areas, targeted efforts have been set into motion to empower every citizen through green and sustainable growth.
Yadav said the outlay of Rs 19,700 crore to National Hydrogen Mission will be instrumental in boosting the production of green hydrogen which will be significant in the decarbonisation pathway of the country”.
He said the budget has made key declarations affirming its vision for ‘Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)’, ‘Panchamrit’ and net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
Yadav said a one-word mass movement LiFE has been gaining wide traction, as was witnessed at the India Pavilion in Egypt at COP27, across the globe.
The Minister said not everything is bad about Climate Change, at least the term has taught us that even the best of Climate, which was considered a given, ‘Changes’, if abused beyond a point.
“Greenwashing, abrogating historical responsibilities and protectionism in the name of Climate Action need to be stopped” he said.
The Minister expressed confident that through its G20 presidency, India will work with its partners to put forward a coherent roadmap for climate action and sustainable development, which puts the concerns of the Global South at the centre when it comes to making Climate Smart Policies, domestically and globally.