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Committed to ensure a sustainable planet: PM

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

India is committed to ensure a sustainable planet and is well on track to meet its promises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday while emphasising that the country will meet its development needs but in a “cleaner and greener way”.

“India believes in growth but is also committed to protecting the environment,” Modi said while inaugurating the World Sustainable Development Summit-2018, organised by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI).

Stating that respect for nature is an integral part of India’s value system, he said the country’s traditional practices contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. Over 2,000 delegates are participating in this year’s summit, whose theme is Partnerships for a Resilient Planet.

Modi quoted the National Geographic’s Greendex Report of 2014, which assesses the environmental sustainability of consumer choice, and ranked India at the top for its greenest consumption pattern. He referred to India’s commitment at the UN Conference of Parties (COP-21) on climate change at Paris in December 2015 and said, “Our goal of creating a carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030 had once seemed difficult to many. Yet we continue our steady progress on that path. According to the UNEP Gap Report, India is on track to meet its Copenhagen Pledge of reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20 to 25 per cent over 2005 levels by 2020.”

Pointing out that India was also on track to meet the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (under the Paris Agreement), Modi said, “While we are doing everything that is required of us, we expect that others also join in to fulfil their commitments based on Common but Differentiated Responsibility and equity.”

“Nations at COP-21 pledged to come together and work towards the common cause of sustaining our planet. As the world committed to bring about a change, so did we. While the world was discussing ‘Inconvenient Truth’, we translated it into ‘Convenient Action’,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said India, along with France, initiated the International Solar Alliance. It already has 121 members and is perhaps, the single most important global achievement after Paris, he added. As part of the Nationally Determined Contributions. India committed to reducing 33 to 35 per cent of emission intensity of its GDPduring 2005 to 2030.

Stressing the need to grow, Modi said India has always believed in making the benefits of good governance reach everyone. “You know that India is one sixth of the global community. Our development needs are enormous. Our poverty or prosperity will have direct impact on the global poverty or prosperity.

People in India have waited too long for access to modern amenities and means of development,” the Prime Minister said. “We have committed to complete this task sooner than anticipated. However, we have also said that we will do all this in a cleaner and greener way.”

He called for collaboration between governments, industries, and people and said the developed world can help achieve them faster.