We raised issue of climate justice with world: PM Modi on World Environment Day.

Developing and underdeveloped countries are paying the price for the “flawed policies” of some developed nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, adding that India is the only country to have raised the issue of climate justice on the global stage.

In a recorded message, played at Vigyan Bhawan on the occasion of World Environment Day, the Prime Minister said that a model wherein a country focuses on its own development before worrying about its impact has been prevalent for a long time among big and modern nations.

“Even though such countries achieved the goals of development, it was the global environment that paid the price…the developing and underdeveloped countries of the world are suffering from the flawed policies of a few developed countries,” Modi said. “For decades, there was no country to stop this attitude of some developed countries. India has raised the issue of climate justice with every such country.”

He asserted that as India is investing unprecedentedly in its infrastructure, it is focussing equally on the environment.

Drawing comparisons about boosting economy and safeguarding ecology, the prime minister cited examples of expansion of 4G and 5G connectivity on one hand and the increase in the country’s forest cover on the other. While India built 40 million (4 crore) houses for the poor, there has been a record increase in the number of wildlife sanctuaries as well as wildlife in India, he said.

“India is becoming the 5th largest economy in the world and also joining the top 5 countries in renewable energy, increasing agricultural exports and also running a campaign for blending 20% ethanol in petrol,” the PM said.

India has become the base of organisations like Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), International Solar Alliance and the International Big Cat Alliance, he added.

Highlighting that Mission LiFE — Lifestyle for Environment — has become a public movement, Modi asserted that the mission is spreading a new consciousness about lifestyle changes to combat climate change.

Modi introduced the Mission LiFE initiative to the world during the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021 with a focus on minimising wasteful consumption.

Though the mission was launched last year in Gujarat’s Kevadia-Ekta Nagar, nearly 20 million people became part of it in less than 30 days after the MoEFCC launched a campaign last month, he added.

“This consciousness towards climate change is not limited to India only, the global support for the initiative is increasing all over the world,” Modi said.

Underlining the theme of this year’s Environment Day, the campaign to get rid of single-use plastic, Modi said India started working on two levels to get rid of single-use plastic in 2018. “On one hand, we have banned single-use plastic, while on the other hand, plastic waste processing has been made mandatory,” he added.

Due to this, there has been a compulsory recycling of about 3 million tonnes of plastic packaging in India which is 75% of the total annual plastic waste produced in the country, he added.

“During the last 9 years, India has made an unprecedented focus on green and clean energy,” he said, citing examples of solar power and LED bulbs that have helped in saving people’s money as well as contributing to low carbon energy.

“In the last 9 years, the number of wetlands and Ramsar sites in India has increased almost 3 times as compared to earlier,” Modi said.

Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said India has been participating constructively in developing a zero draft for an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment by next year.

He highlighted that India took an active role at the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), concluded on June 2 in Paris, which focused on the legally binding treaty on plastics.

“We prohibited use and production of single-use plastic last year. When entire world is observing Environment Day with the theme of ‘beat the plastic pollution’, we have moved far ahead when it comes to eliminating single use plastics,” he said.

The INC is a body of 193 UN member countries which will be negotiating a legally binding instrument, with a timeline to develop the final draft and open it for ratification by 2025. The agenda for INC-2 was to discuss possible options and develop a zero draft for the international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution throughout the life cycle of plastic.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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