Remarks by Minister of Labour and Employment, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav at the Environment Ministers’ Session of the Voice of Global South Summit- January 12, 2023
Excellencies, Warm greetings from India! Namaste!
Today, our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day ‘Voice of Global South Summit’, wherein countries of the global south are participating. During the summit, we will be discussing the pressing concerns of developing world, including those related to "Balancing growth with environment friendly lifestyles” in this session. It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all to this session.
Today, we all are facing a new kind of challenge in form of climate change and environmental degradation. The solution to address such issues is possible only when we work together towards a common goal.
India has always encouraged global initiatives that champion the interests and concerns of developing countries. On 1st December 2022, India assumed the G-20’s Presidency. The theme of India’s G20 Presidency is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam or "One Earth · One Family · One Future”. It is in this spirit that we are together during this session, today.
In the G20 Presidency of India, the themes under the Environment and Climate Sustainability Track include themes on Circular economy, Blue economy and Restoration of degraded land. I am confident that G20 deliberations will conclude with positive outcomes for the developing world.
The development of a country and the conservation of its biodiversity and ecosystem are two important aspects, either of which cannot be left behind. While development is essential to ensure that the population lives a dignified life, preserving and conserving the biodiversity is also important to maintain the ecological balance. As such there is a need for development policies to be inclusive and sustainable to reduce inequality and contribute to empowerment and improvement of the quality of people’s lives. India is committed to tackle the impact of climate change and support the efforts of developing countries to achieve their developmental goals through necessary developmental and technical assistance.
While economic growth since the industrial revolution, has granted countries greater prosperity, it has come at a huge cost to the environment.
The path to development followed by most developed nations during the course of history has been ruthless. It led to excessive consumption of resources both at home and in subjugate colonies.
Our utilization of resources must be based on ‘Mindful and Deliberate Utilization’ and not ‘Mindless and Destructive consumption’.
In pursuance of achieving our goal of sustainable development, in India, we formulated a transparent and efficient mechanism for the cumulative integration of developmental projects along with adequate handling of the environmental concerns through the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, which has been reinforced through the technological intervention through PARIEVSH, a single window web portal for green governance in a transparent, efficient and expeditious manner. Therefore, we not only ensure that all environmental prerequisites are ensured before a developmental project starts, through use of technology platform of PARIVESH, we are also in a position to monitor the compliance to the commitments much more effectively and ensuring sustainable development in true sense.
For many developing countries, who have contributed little to the climate change, the severe impacts of climate change are looming large over their existence. India understands the particular vulnerability of the developing and Small Island Developing States. Urgent global climate action is, indeed, the need of the hour. This must be guided by the principles of "climate justice” including equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). The developed world has already consumed its share of the climate resources and it is time they take responsibility of their past actions. While the developed world utilised the resources of mother Earth in the manner possible to achieve the level of development without caring about the environment, we, the developing world are treading the path of development after taking due care of the impacts on ecosystem.
India has experienced recurrent disasters and such threats and incidents have led us to evolve a robust Institutional arrangement in the form of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM).
Based on the learning of the past, India has developed the expertise in each component of disaster management cycle like Preparedness, Mitigation, Recovery & Reconstruction. Sharing of information and technology can be of immense help in disaster relief actions. By collaborating and collating information we can help each other during any natural disaster.
The IPCC AR6 - II report notes that inadequate adaptation due to lack of financial and technological resources, capacity building and other constraints lead to losses and damages. The report also notes that vulnerability is enhanced by lack of development, social and economic inequalities.
The 27th session of the Conference of Parties at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt adopted the landmark decision on funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage associated with adverse effects of climate change, and countries agreed to establish a new funding arrangement. Such funding arrangement will help generate resources for the developing and the vulnerable countries to combat the challenge of climate change.
India has raised the voice of developing world in all the international forums including at the 27th session of Conference of parties of UNFCCC and 15th session of the Conference of parties of CBD. India has reminded the developed world on different occasions that it is their bounden duty to provide financial and technology support to the developing world to combat impacts of climate change.
India made sincere efforts during the 15th session of the Conference of parties of CBD in building consensus on several issues relevant for the developing South. India pushed hard for the Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and it was finally adopted in the historic deal.
India has also taken initiatives like the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), and "One Sun, One World, One Grid" to ensure global solidarities for climate action in developing countries and beyond.
The Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS), a dedicated initiative under CDRI, was co launched by India during the 26th Conference of Parties at Glasgow in 2021 to help the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to build a sustainable and resilient infrastructure. IRIS is intended to provide technical support on the multifaceted issues posed by infrastructure systems and promote disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure assets in SIDS. The goal of IRIS will directly contribute to the SAMOA Pathway (SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action).
The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has further announced Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator Fund (IRAF), a CDRI Multi-Partner Trust Fund, at the India Pavilion, during COP27 at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. IRAF, will support global action on disaster resilience of infrastructure systems, especially in developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The concept of LiFE promotes environmentally conscious lifestyle. It focusses on mindful and deliberate utilisation in place of mindless and wasteful consumption to protect and preserve the environment. LiFE is a democratic concept which puts individual and collective duty on everyone to live a life that takes care of Mother Earth and does not harm it. By adopting simple but effective eco-friendly behaviours in our daily lives like turning off ACs, heaters and lights when not in use can conserve electricity, avoiding food wastage can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint or turning off the taps when not in use can conserve the water.
India strongly believes that such environment-friendly actions (LiFE Actions), on a mass scale across the globe, can be a significant positive contributor to saving our common and the only world. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said and I quote
"Mission LiFE connects the powers of the people for the protection of this Earth and
teaches them to utilize it in a better way.”
India encourages all nations and everyone across the world to join this global movement of Mission LiFE. Together, we could leverage climate-friendly social norms, beliefs and daily household practices of different cultures worldwide to energize a global wave to encourage environment-friendly individual behaviors.
In this session, we are looking forward to hear your valuable ideas on solutions to global environment challenges. Generating such ideas and sharing best practices among countries of the global south can contribute in efforts towards achieving a sustainable future.
I once again welcome you all to this session on Environment on the theme "Balancing growth with environment friendly lifestyles”. I look forward to your valuable ideas.
Thank you very much.