New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the country is on track to achieving its climate goals well before the target date as it switches over to energy-efficient mediums and uses waste to generate energy.
Speaking after accepting the 2021 CERAWeek Global Energy & Environment Leadership Award for his commitment to energy sustainability and the environment, PM Modi said climate change and calamity are major challenges facing the world.
Both are interlinked, and one way to fight them is through policies, laws, rules and orders, and the other is bringing behavioural change, he said, listing measures taken by his government for sustainable energy usage.
While the target of mixing 20 per cent ethanol has been advanced to 2025, 5,000 compressed bio-gas plants will be set up to turn municipal and agriculture waste into energy, he said.
While switch over to energy-efficient LED bulbs has helped save 38 million tonnes of carbon emission, modern techniques of irrigation as well as reducing the use of pesticides with greater awareness of improving soil health has greatly helped, he said.
The share of non-fossil sources in India’s installed capacity of electricity has grown to 38 per cent and the nation adopted Bharat-VI emission norms in April last year to cut vehicular pollution.
India, he said, is working to increase the share of natural gas, which is environment friendly and less polluting, in the energy basket from the current 6 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030.
Also, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is being promoted as a fuel.
He also mentioned of recently launched National Hydrogen Mission and equitable and decentralized model of solar energy generation.
“India is well on track to achieve its Paris agreement targets well before the target date of 2030,” he said.
India has maintained that it is not a polluter and cause of climate change and has voluntarily committed to reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
On behavioural changes, PM Modi cited examples such as people embracing LED bulbs, voluntarily giving up LPG subsidy, increased cooking gas coverage and affordable transportation initiatives.
The Prime Minister noted that over the last seven years, India’s forest cover has grown significantly, the population of lions, tigers, leopards and waterfowls has grown.
These, he said, are great indicators of positive behavioural changes.
Accepting the award, he said, “It is with great humility that I accept the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award. I dedicate this award to the people of our great Motherland, India. I dedicate this award to the glorious tradition of our land that has shown the way when it comes to caring for the environment.”
He added that Indians are leaders when it comes to caring for the environment for centuries and the nation’s culture, nature and divinity are closely linked.
The Prime Minister said that Mahatma Gandhi is one of the greatest environment champions to have ever lived. “If humanity had followed the path laid down by him, we would not face many of the problems we do today.”
He concluded “now is the time to think logically and ecologically. After all this is not about me or you. It is about our planet’s future. We owe this to our coming generations.”