As the government Monday decided to broaden the range of actions it is taking to combat climate change and its impacts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said traditional Indian practices and lifestyle could help in achieving the climate objectives.
At its first meeting since the new government took charge last year, the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change gave its go-ahead to the launch of four new initiatives — on wind energy, coastal zone management, health and waste-to-energy — to strengthen India’s response to climate change. These would be in addition to the eight existing climate ‘missions’ that have been running for a few years now.
The meeting reviewed the functioning of these ‘missions’ as also the implementation of the seven-year-old National Action Plan on Climate Change and the state-level plans of the various state governments. Many of these ‘missions’ will be given new targets and new direction. Sources said the Prime Minister stressed on strengthening India’s climate response and talked about raising awareness about the issue. He also emphasised on the need to introduce climate sensitivity in all government programmes and activities.
A government statement said Modi talked about India’s sanskar (tradition) and soch (thought) and recalled how prakriti prem (love for nature) was imbibed in India’s people. He said these needed to be publicised and revived.
Modi said countries which received good amount of solar energy needed to cooperate in research and development in solar technology to ensure that solar energy becomes more affordable and accessible. He called for a review of curricula in architecture and civil engineering colleges, to include energy efficient design in a big way.
The meeting also discussed India’s strategy for the international climate negotiations. At the end of this year, at the climate conference in Paris, countries are expected to finalise an international legally-binding agreement on climate change.