Using the platform of a conference of state environment ministers to address an international audience, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked the world not to lecture it on environment protection and question its commitment on climate change.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day conference, Modi said it was ironical that India, which has respect for nature ingrained in its civilisation, is seen as a country which is not doing enough for protecting environment and fighting climate change. India must wrest the global leadership on this front and frame its policies with this goal in mind, he said.
“Environment protection is a subject on which we have a long legacy, it is in our DNA. Our ancestors have made huge contributions in this regard. We must acquire the global leadership in the climate change debate.We can teach the world,” he said.
“Because of some reason, may be because we had been enslaved for centuries, we have not been able to present our case (on global forums) on climate change… But the fact is that we have been extremely sensitive to environment and that has been our tradition. We belong to a tradition where nature is considered God… The world cannot question our commitment. The right thing would have been that India should have taken the lead on the climate debate,” Modi said.
“India can show the world way out of the crisis. We should frame our policies accordingly with this confidence,” he said.