WITH GLOBAL climate action remaining woefully inadequate compared to the scale of the problem, countries are pretty much on their own in their efforts to secure themselves against the vagaries of climate change. But for a country like India, climate change is as much a challenge as it is an opportunity — to leapfrog to a prosperous yet low-carbon future, which requires wholesale transformations in the way we live, commute, do business, produce commodities or grow food.
As head of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav is responsible for coordinating and steering all climate action in the country, from policy-making to implementation. Yadav is the chief guest at the Express Adda on Monday.
The Union Minister returned recently from the annual climate change meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, where he led the Indian negotiating delegation. This was the second climate meeting for Yadav, and both have been eventful from the Indian standpoint. In Glasgow last year, Yadav got a reference to the “phase-out” of coal changed to “phase-down”, while in Sharm el-Sheikh, he argued for a phase-down of all fossil fuels, not just coal.
But more than international negotiations, it would be the climate action at home that would put Yadav’s effectiveness to test. He is a firm believer in the Mission LiFE, or Lifestyle for Environment, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi considers central to climate action. At the core of this idea is the fact that a consumptive lifestyle, as practised in rich and developed countries, is at odds with any effective climate action. Therefore, it was essential to adopt lifestyles that were more in harmony with nature.
The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.
Previous guests at the Adda include Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Health Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, and election strategist Prashant Kishor.