15 March 2018 04:51:19 IST

‘Action plan should focus on ensuring climate justice to poor’

‘There is an impetus for operationalising the vision of ‘Climate Justice’’

India, which signed the landmark Paris climate change agreement along with 170 other nations, said the world community’s action plan to implement the agreement should focus on ensuring climate justice to the world’s poor and bringing sustainability in consumption.

“On this Earth Day, we have made history. As many as 171 countries have signed the Paris agreement. It is the triumph of collective wisdom,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in his statement to the world body on the high-level signing ceremony here yesterday.

Javadekar said the agreement explicitly highlights the benefits of sustainable lifestyle and consumption and warned that the extravagant lifestyle of some countries would render the planet unsustainable.

“If we continue with an extravagant lifestyle in the same way, earth will become unsustainable. So we must bring sustainability in consumption as our priority goals,” he said, adding that the international community has to take care of the only planet the human race has.

Read: India signs climate pact along with over 170 states at UN

“If we continue with unsustainable consumption, we would require three planets, and we don’t have them. We have only one planet. There is only one Mother Earth and we must take care of it,” he said.

Javadekar stressed that there is an impetus for operationalising the vision of ‘Climate Justice’ as enshrined in the Preamble of the Paris Agreement.

“Climate justice is justice to the poorer sections, the four billion poor of the world and justice for the developing world. We have to chalk out our action plan to implement the Paris agreement,” he said, focusing on climate justice and sustainability.

Historic signing

As many as 175 world leaders signed the Paris Agreement at UN Headquarters, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon describing the day as an “historic” one since this was by far the largest number of countries ever to sign an international agreement on a single day.

Adopted in Paris by the 196 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at a conference known as (COP21) last December, the agreement’s objective is to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification.

Ratification of Kyoto protocol

Javadekar asserted that apart from the ratification of the Paris agreement, the ratification of the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol is also urgent and needs to be done immediately.

“Developed world must take enhanced targets and declare them as soon as possible for 2016-2020. There cannot be ’action holiday’ of five years,” he said.

He pointed out that countries have to cooperate on clean actions, saying “competitiveness concerns should not over-shadow our common resolve to build a sustainable future.”

Highlighting the steps India has taken towards its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions, he said India will reduce its emission intensity by 35 per cent by 2030 and build 40% capacity for power generation from non-fossil fuels.

It is also creating additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion tonnes through various modes of afforestation and heavily invest in reducing its vulnerability and enhancing adaptation to climate change.

“This is part of our INDCs and we take this very seriously,” he said.

Javadekar informed the world body that India has already “started on the road” to achieve its commitments, including taxing coal at the rate of $6 per tonne and using the money in investments in clean environment.

“If the world follows India’s example” by taxing coal “it will generate the elusive $100 billion much early, and more easily,” that is required for the climate fund.

India has also undertaken a huge renewable energy program of 175 GW and has already achieved 40 GW.

The country has also distributed 100 million LED bulbs and made them cheaper by 80% from $4.7 to $0.8.

“We will save 80 Million tonnes of Carbon equivalent per annum, when we will complete LED programme of one billion lights in next 3 years,” he said.