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PM Modi's Call for Global Mass Movement Against Climate Change Sparks Hope for a Greener Future

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that an idea becomes a broad movement when it travels from "discussion tables to dinner tables" as he appealed for people's engagement and joint efforts in addressing climate change.

Shivam Dwivedi
PM Modi's Call for Global Mass Movement Against Climate Change Sparks Hope for a Greener Future
PM Modi's Call for Global Mass Movement Against Climate Change Sparks Hope for a Greener Future

PM Modi also addressed a group of world leaders via video link on Friday that when people realize how powerful little acts in their daily lives can be, the environment will benefit greatly. "People all over the world are hearing a lot about climate change. Many of them are anxious because they don't know what to do about it," he said. 

They are continually led to believe that only governments or global organizations can play a role. If individuals realize they can help, their fear will transform into action," Modi stated at the World Bank-organized "Making it Personal: How Behavioural Change Can Address Climate Change" conference.

Modi praised the World Bank for holding the symposium on the impact of behavioural change on climate change, adding it was nice to see it become a global movement. Modi cited "Mission Life," an initiative he and the UN secretary general inaugurated last October, saying it is about democratizing the fight against climate change. "Climate change cannot be combated solely at conference tables. It has to be fought from every dinner table," he said at a symposium organized on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank's annual spring meetings.

"An idea becomes a mass movement when it moves from discussion tables to dinner tables. Making every family and person aware that their actions can benefit the environment can give scale and speed," he says. Prime Minister Modi stated that when people realize how powerful simple deeds in their daily lives can be, the environment will benefit greatly. He claimed that the Indian people have made significant progress in this area in recent years.

"In many parts of India, people-driven efforts improved the sex ratio. It was the people who spearheaded a big cleanliness campaign. They are ensuring that public locations, such as rivers, beaches, and highways, are litter-free. And it was the individuals that made the LED bulb transition a success. In India, almost 370 million LED lights have been sold. This helps to avoid roughly 39 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year," the prime minister stated.

Micro-irrigation has been used by Indian farmers to cover almost 700,000 hectares of agriculture. He noted that by following the mantra of 'Per Drop More Crop,' he had conserved a significant amount of water. "Under Mission Life, our efforts are spread across many domains, such as: making local bodies environmentally friendly, saving water, saving energy, reducing waste and e-waste, adopting healthy lifestyles, adopting natural farming, and promoting millets," Modi explained.

These initiatives will save over 22 billion units of energy, nine trillion litres of water, 375 million tonnes of garbage, nearly one million tonnes of e-waste, and create around 170 million dollars in extra cost savings by 2030, he said. "Furthermore, it will help us reduce food waste by 15 billion tonnes," Modi added, saying that the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates world primary crop production in 2020 to be around nine billion tonnes.

He stated that global institutions play a vital role in encouraging governments around the world. The World Bank Group aims to expand climate money as a percentage of total financing from 26% to 35%. He observed that the focus of climate finance is typically on traditional aspects. The prime minister stated that sufficient finance methods for behavioural initiatives must be developed, and that the World Bank's assistance for behavioural projects such as Mission Life will have a multiplier effect. Modi spoke about the need for behaviour change at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

"The preamble to the CoP-27 outcome document also mentions sustainable lifestyle and consumption." "It's also wonderful to see that experts in the field of climate change have adopted this mantra," he added. "Each good deed for the world may appear trivial in and of itself. But when billions of people do it collectively, the impact is enormous. Individuals who make the correct decisions for our globe, we believe, are critical in the battle for our planet. "This is the heart of Mission LiFE," he explained.

India has emphasized that the fight against climate change must prioritize fairness and the concepts of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). Equity simply means that each country's portion of global carbon dioxide emissions is equal to its population share. The CBDR-RC concept acknowledges that each country bears responsibility for addressing climate change, but industrialized countries should have primary responsibility because they account for the majority of historical and current greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Union Environment Ministry, India has 17% of the world's population but accounts for only 4% of global carbon emissions. Developed countries with the same population share contribute for roughly 60% of carbon emissions. In August of last year, India updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – plans to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – promising to reduce GDP emissions intensity by 45 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, and to achieve 50 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.

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