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India voice of developing nations on climate change: Environment Minister

New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) India has emerged as a “strong voice” of developing nations on climate change issues that can neither be suppressed not ignored, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav asserted on Thursday.

Replying to a discussion on climate change in the Lok Sabha, Yadav said when it comes to environment, India has always been a solution provider to the world.

He said India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, was among the few countries that not only set Nationally Determined Contributions in 2015 but achieved them before time, setting an example for others.

Underlining that the prime minister has often talked about climate justice, Yadav said developed nations who are chiefly responsible for carbon emission must take responsibility.

The developed countries have acknowledged this earlier and also and pledged USD 100 billion to developing countries, he noted.

“If the fight against climate change has to be fought by the developed and developing nations together, then developed nations will have to give two facilities to developing nations — climate finance and technology transfer,” Yadav asserted.

During the COP26 meet in Glasgow, the prime minister talked about various aspects of India’s fight against climate change, including the country’s vision to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said.

The share of developed countries, which account for 17 per cent of the world population, in global carbon emission is 60 per cent, while that of India that’s home to 17 per cent of the world’s population is just 4 per cent, the minister said.

India’s lifestyle can teach the world how to live in harmony with environment, he asserted.

Noting that climate change affects everyone transcending borders, Yadav said the new cyclones hitting India’s coastal areas in the last few years show that “we are also vulnerable”.

Listing out the achievements of the Modi government in the field of climate change, he said due to the efforts it made in the last seven years, India has become a leader in environment policy and action.

Under Modi, India has not only come up with an environment policy that gives direction to the world but it is the only country that has taken big steps in achieving the goals set at climate summits, Yadav said.

“The time is over when India’s voice was not heard on international platforms. Under Prime Minister Modi, India has created a strong identity for itself and the world community can neither suppress its voice nor ignore it,” he asserted.

Another achievement of COP26 from India’s point of view is that the country has become a “strong voice” of developing nations demanding equal treatment for themselves on climate change issues, the minister said.

He also hailed the government’s initiatives like the International Solar Alliance that India started along with France and asserted that such steps enhanced India’s prestige on the global stage. Participating in the discussion, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi questioned the government on the effects of the PM Gati Shakti scheme, the Centre’s big-ticket infrastructure project, on India’s commitment to cut emissions to net-zero by 2070.

Gogoi said while he supported the development, the scheme, which is a national master plan for multi-modal connectivity entailing large-scale construction, will raise emissions.

“Lakhs of rupees have been allocated to PM Gati Shakti for infrastructure for railways, airports and highways. This scheme is the greatest challenge for India.

“We would need coal, high-emission producing technology will be required. It will raise emissions. What is the model that will keep emissions low? Will the government make a rule that only lower-emission technology will be used?” he asked.

Gogoi also said while the environment minister had stated in Glasgow during COP26 that India will reduce the use of coal, the transition to alternative fuel has to be planned to ensure that people connected to the sector do not suffer.

BJP MP Jayant Sinha said the net-zero commitment by 2070 is “massively net positive for India”. He pushed for a global carbon market and for India to be connected to a worldwide carbon network.

Both Sinha and Gogoi pitched for an institutional arrangement to secure India’s climate future, with the Congress MP even proposing that the government consider bringing a legislation to that effect.

BSP’s Malook Nagar said the government should encourage electrical vehicles and proposed that neem trees be grown in abundance to curb pollution.

Industries responsible for emissions should be asked to plant trees in proportion to their carbon footprint, he said.

Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant raised concern over the use of lithium batteries in e-vehicles and wanted to know how the government planned their disposal. PTI ASK ASG NSD ASK SK SK

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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