New Delhi: Stressing on limiting consumption of natural resources, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan told key UN and business leaders here on Thursday that India will not disappoint the world on environmental issues.
“I assure you that India will never let you down on the issue of climate change as this is a part of our DNA,” the Minister said.
Vardhan was speaking at the Business-Climate Summit 2017, along with Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Fijian Minister Inia Seruiratu.
Pointing out at the current urban flood situation in Mumbai, Espinosa said unprecedented weather conditions were a result of climate change and cost a fortune.
“Right now, in Mumbai, Bangladesh, and China, we see massive human and economic losses due to flooding. Many lives have been lost due to unprecedented extreme weather events,” she said.
The two-day summit held under the aegis of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) was earlier held in London and Paris.
The summit aims at bringing leaders from business and environment world to chalk out ways for green and sustainable solutions. The summit began here with the quantification of creating 65 million green-jobs by 2030.
Reminding the developed world of its commitment to the developing countries ahead of the COP 23, to be held in November in Germany’s Bonn and presided over by Fiji, Vardhan said that the UNFCCC must push the developed nations for their pre-2020 commitment — extending financial and other support to countries like India.
The pre-2020 financial commitments are un-quantified unlike the post-2020 which will come into effect after the Paris Climate Agreement is implemented.
Under the Paris accord the developed nations would raise $100 billion annually for developing countries for mitigation and adaptation of climate change.
“It is, however, also critical that equal focus is given to pre-2020 action by developed countries under Kyoto Protocol. They must fulfil their commitments of providing effective finance, technology, transfer and capacity building support to developing countries,” the Minister said.
Speaking of India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the Minister said that of 175 GW of renewable power by 2022, 58.2 GW of installed capacity has already been achieved.
“India is also planning to establish a voluntary carbon market with the World Bank’s assistance to focus on uncovered areas,” Vardhan said.
He pointed out that it was India, which had the terms like “climate justice” and “sustainable lifestyle” inserted in the landmark Paris Agreement.
Espinosa stressed upon India to collaborate with the private sector to promote sustainable business solutions.
“India and all other major players in the global economy must collaborate with private sector. It is in everyone’s interest to have this work finalised as soon as possible,” she said.
“Business community, your government needs them. All countries need to support countries like India in open access and to finance technology and building capacity for action as soon as possible,” Espinosa said.
She also appreciated India’s initiatives toward climate change, especially mentioning key private players like Dalmia Cements, which during Marrakech climate talks (COP 22) in 2016 resolved to use 100 per cent renewable energy sources and the Tata Motors’ for their electric bus project.
“India was named second most attractive country in renewables,” she said.
Pointing out that 2016 was the hottest third year in a row, she said “Third time this summit has happened under such circumstances.”
“These trend cannot continue if we meet the main objectives of Paris Climate deal limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we may avoid the most immediate impact in developing and developed world,” Espinosa said.