Energy requirements of the people of India are expected to double in the next 20 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday as he urged developed countries to fulfil their commitments on finance and technology transfer.
Delivering the inaugural address at the 21st World Sustainable Development Summit 2022 (WSDS-22) on the theme ‘Towards a Resilient Planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future’, Modi said environmental sustainability can only be achieved through climate justice.
“Energy requirements of the people of India are expected to double in the next 20 years. Denying this energy would be denying life itself to millions. Successful climate action also needs adequate financing. For this, developed countries need to fulfil their commitments on finance and technology transfer,” the prime minister said.
He said India believes in fulfilling commitments under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and added that the country has raised its ambitions during CoP-26 at Glasgow.
He said sustainability requires coordinated action for the global commons.
“Our efforts have recognized this interdependence. Through the International Solar Alliance, our aim is One Sun, One World, One Grid. We must work towards ensuring availability of clean energy from a worldwide grid everywhere at all times. This is the ‘whole of the world’ approach that India’s values stand for,” the prime minister said.
Noting that India was a mega-diverse country, he said, “With 2.4 per cent of the world’s land area, India accounts for nearly 8 per cent of the world’s species. It is our duty to protect this ecology. We are strengthening our protected area network.”
The WSDS 2022 is a three-day summit organized by TERI with participation from over 100 nations. It will conclude on February 18.
Modi said environment and sustainable development have been the key focus areas for him through his 20 years in office, first in Gujarat and now as PM.
Referring to the 1972 UN Conference on the Environment in Stockholm, he said a lot has been said since then but very little has been done.
“We have heard people call our planet fragile but it is not the planet that is fragile. It is us. We are fragile. Our commitments to the planet, to nature, have also been fragile. A lot has been said over the last 50 years, since the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Very little has been done. But in India, we have walked the talk,” he said.
“India now has 49 Ramsar sites spread over more than 1 million hectares. Restoring degraded land has been one of our main focus areas. Since 2015, we have restored more than 11.5 million hectares. We are on track to achieve the national commitment of Land Degradation Neutrality under the Bonn Challenge,” he said.
Issued by the IUCN, an OECM tag (other effective area-based conservation measures) is conferred upon areas of rich biodiversity, outside of protected areas like national parks and sanctuaries, for effective in-situ conservation.