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New slogan of India: “Development without Destruction”

Text of Statement made by MoS for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar, at United Nations Climate Summit 2014 Distinguished Chairpersons, Ladies and Gentlemen, Today’s Opening presentation has effectively put on the table what the world expects from us. Distinguished Co-Chairs, Just as the fossil fuel led model of industrialization that began in the West a couple of centuries ago is seen responsible for the growing human impact on the Climate, the other stark fact is that poverty remains a major polluter. The latest UN studies talk of over 1.2 billion people still living in extreme poverty despite gains made in recent years. Therefore, this talk about changed realities can only be misleading and motivated. Distinguished Co-Chairs, After the largest democratic transition the world has witnessed so far, the new Government in India under Prime Minister Modi has attached high importance to action-oriented policies to bring development to our people while addressing climate change. We have shown that we have the political will to act. Our slogan is “Development without Destruction”. After assumption, the new Government has doubled the Clean Energy Cess on coal to raise more revenue for clean energy technologies. At the same time, over 15 million US dollars have been allocated to the ‘National Adaptation Fund’; 80 million US dollars for Setting-up of Ultra Mega Solar Projects in several states of India; 100 million US dollars for a new scheme “Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology”; and 16 million US dollars for the development of 1 MW Solar Parks on the banks of canals. This is just the beginning of our ambitious action. Once budgeted, outlays for such initiatives will always increase. We have 6 billion dollars available for afforestation for distribution to the state governments. Another initiative of the new Indian Prime Minister is “one hundred Smart Cities’ with integrated policies to reduce the vulnerability and exposure of urban areas to climate change. Distinguished Co-Chairs, Evidence indicates, that countries that have achieved a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.9 or more have per capita energy consumption of at least 2.5 tons oil equivalent (toe) per year. The current per capita energy consumption in India is about 0.6 toe per year, which is a fraction of the figures for the developed world. In other words, with today’s technologies and living standards, the energy consumption in India would need to increase by 4 times as India’s HDI increases from the current value of 0.5 to a value of 0.9. The key challenge therefore is to enable this higher energy consumption at a cost that people are willing and able to pay, and with lower carbon intensity. We are fully committed to achieving our voluntary goal for reducing Emission Intensity of its GDP by 20-25% by 2020 over 2005 level. Several focused actions and initiatives have been taken by the Indian Government mainly to increase the share of renewables and enhanced energy efficiency. Doubling the installed wind energy capacity over the next five years, increasing installed solar capacity to over 20000 MW by 2020, achieving 10,000 MW of Energy Efficiency savings by 2020 are only some of the initiatives currently being pursued. We have also taken policy initiatives in several other areas. To highlight just a few:- enhancing the energy efficiency of coal based power generation, Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) for the design of new commercial buildings, energy standards on high energy consuming appliances, an innovative Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) programme to reduce the energy consumption in industry, and finally, the recently introduced Corporate Average Fuel Savings standards for new vehicles which are estimated to lead to a saving of over 20 million tonnes of fuel by the year 2025. We have also put in place stringent norms for cement industry. Our action plan for cleaning River Ganga will bring multiple benefits of pollution reduction and climate adaptation. We have also taken initiatives for coastal, Himalayan, and forest areas. Distinguished Co-Chairs, India remains committed to pursuing a path of sustainable development through eradication of poverty both of income as well as energy. However, it is self evident that developing countries can do more if finance and technology support and capacity building is ensured. This must be a key focus of international cooperation. To conclude, our Prime Minister, when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat state, had authored a book on climate change titled ‘Convenient Action’. He also mandated me to change the designation of my Ministry to include ‘Climate Change. This is testimony to the fact that actions to meet the challenge of climate change are manageable. What is needed is political will.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He is serving as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University, the university which controlling 440 colleges of Engineering, Management, Pharmacy & Architecture colleges in Gujarat.

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