In a side event organised on Wednesday, Bhupendar Yadav, India’s Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, explained the mantra of LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) and how individual contributions will help in the fight against climate change. The event was organised in association with the United Nations.
“We are at a critical juncture in our common fight against climate change. A juncture at which we require contribution from not just the government, but each individual, towards ensuring a sustainable and equitable planet. LiFE also highlights the various initiatives taken by India to act towards its most vulnerable communities,” said Yadav.LiFE was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP26 summit in Glasgow in 2021 and officially launched in October 2022.
The event had a panel of speakers including Ovais Sarmad, deputy executive secretary, UNFCC, Inger Anderson, executive director, UNEP, Usha Rao Monari, associate administrator, UNDP and other dignitaries. During the event, MoEFCC-UNDP compendium ‘Prayaas se Prabhaav Tak- From Mindless Consumption to Mindless Utilization’ was launched. It highlights traditional best practices from India that point towards responsible consumption and being mindful of choices. The minister added how both India and Egypt have sustainable practices embedded in their centuries old civilization.
India is the fifth most vulnerable to climate change globally. In 2018, India lost nearly 37 billion dollars due to climate change (almost twice than what it lost between 1998-2017). In 2018, NITI Aayog estimated that more than 600 million Indians will face ‘acute water shortages’ in coming years. MIT estimated that flash flooding will significantly increase in 78 of India’s 89 urban areas if global temperatures rise to 2° Celsius above pre industrial levels. Rise in sea surface temperature has already resulted in more intense cyclones and sea level rise.
Talking about adaptation measures, Richa Sharma, additional secretary, MoEFF, said, “ Building resilience and adaptation measures is the key. It’s very important to put our measures around afforestation and conservation in building resilience. Even when you opt for energy efficiency or green buildings, individual actions will come into account.”
According to research, through their consumption behaviour, households are responsible for 72 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. With more people staying at home last year, household greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 10 percent.
“It means raising the awareness about carbon footprints around the way we move around in the world, heat and cool our places and the food choices we make. We will be at 2.8C in 2100. Right now we are at 1.1C and it is giving us floods, droughts and so on. So it is extremely important we make sustainable choices. Consumption-based approaches will be essential to decarbonise our economies,” added Anderson.
Image courtesy: Twitter @ byadavbjp