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Modi says world must, while combating COVID-19, equally focus on fighting climate change
New Delhi, November 22, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that, while the world is focused on saving people and economies from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is equally important to keep the focus on fighting climate change.
"Climate change must be fought not in silos but in an integrated, comprehensive and holistic way," he said in his address at a G20 Summit side event on "Safeguarding the Planet: The CCE Approach" via video-conferencing.
"Inspired by our traditional ethos of living in harmony with the environment, and the commitment of my Government, India has adopted low-carbon and climate-resilient development practices," he said.
The Prime Minister told the G20 leaders that India was not only meeting its Paris Agreement targets, but also exceeding them.
"India has taken concrete action in many areas. We have made LED lights popular. This saves 38 million tons of Carbon Dioxide emissions per year. Smoke free kitchens have been provided to over 80 million households through our Ujjwala Scheme. This is among the largest clean energy drives globally.
"There are efforts to eliminate single-use plastics; our forest cover is expanding; the lion and tiger population is increasing; we aim to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030; and, we are encouraging a circular economy," he said.
Modi said India was building next-generation infrastructure such as metro networks, water-ways and more. In addition to convenience and efficiency, they will also contribute to a cleaner environment.
"We will meet our goal of 175 giga watts of renewable energy well before the target of 2022. Now, we are taking a big step ahead by seeking to achieve 450 giga watts by 2030," he said.
The Prime Minister said the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is among the fastest growing international organisations, with 88 signatories.
"With plans to mobilise billions of dollars, train thousands of stake-holders, and promote research and development in renewable energy, the ISA will contribute to reducing carbon foot-print. One more example is the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)," he said.
Modi said 18 countries - including nine from among the G20 - and four international organisations had already joined the coalition.
"CDRI has started work on increasing resilience of critical infrastructure. Infra damage during natural disasters is a subject that has not got the attention it deserves. The poorer nations are specially impacted by this. Therefore, this coalition is important," he said.
"This is the best time for further increasing research and innovation in new and sustainable technologies. We should do so with a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. The entire world can progress faster if there is greater support of technology and finance to the developing world.
"For humanity to prosper, every single individual must prosper. Rather than seeing labour as a factor of production alone, the focus must be on the human dignity of every worker. Such an approach would be the best guarantee for safeguarding our planet," he added.