Planet or Plas­tic: Time to Make the Right Choice

The govern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted to raising the stan­dard of liv­ing of the peo­ple in a sus­tain­able and green way

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

June 5 is marked by the United Na­tions as World En­vi­ron­ment Day, a day set aside since 1974 to pro­mote 'world­wide aware­ness and ac­tion for the pro­tec­tion of our en­vi­ron­ment'. This year's theme is 'beat plas­tic pol­lu­tion'. And In­dia is the host coun­try. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, on the oc­ca­sion of World En­vi­ron­ment Day, on 5 June 2018 at the Vi­gyan Bhawan, de­clared that even as In­dia con­tin­ues to be the fastest grow­ing econ­omy in the world, the govern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted to raising the stan­dard of liv­ing of the peo­ple in a sus­tain­able and green way. Ad­dress­ing the Ple­nary Ses­sion, the prime min­is­ter said that the use of plas­tic threat­ens to be­come a men­ace to the so­ci­ety and, there­fore, plas­tic waste man­age­ment has been made a ma­jor com­po­nent of the 'Swachh Bharat Mis­sion'. FICCI, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with

Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, For­est and Cli­mate Change (MoEFCC), had or­ga­nized a 5-day event at Vi­gyan Bhawan from June 1-5.

The prime min­is­ter, in his ad­dress, also said that en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion hurts the poor and vul­ner­a­ble sec­tions of the peo­ple most. In keep­ing with the 2030 global agenda – 'Leave No One Be­hind' – he re­it­er­ated the govern­ment's com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. 'The choices that we make to­day, will de­fine our col­lec­tive fu­ture. The choices may not be easy. But through aware­ness, tech­nol­ogy, and a gen­uine global part­ner­ship, I am sure we can make the right choices,' he said. He added that the govern­ment's stress is on 'zero de­fect and zero ef­fect' man­u­fac­tur­ing. This means man­u­fac­tur­ing that is with­out de­fect, and which does not harm the en­vi­ron­ment.

'We are en­gaged in a mas­sive push to­wards re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion. We have tar­geted gen­er­a­tion of 175 Gi­gaWatts of so­lar and wind en­ergy by 2022. We are al­ready the fifth largest pro­ducer of so­lar en­ergy in the world. Not only this, we are also the sixth largest pro­ducer of re­new­able en­ergy. We aim to pro­vide an elec­tric­ity con­nec­tion to every house­hold, which will fur­ther re­duce de­pen­dence on en­vi­ron­men­tally de­grad­ing forms of fuel. We are re­duc­ing de­pen­dence on fos­sil fu­els. We are switch­ing sources of fuel where pos­si­ble. We are trans­form­ing cities and pub­lic transportation,' the prime min­is­ter in­formed.

As part of the Na­tion­ally De­ter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions, In­dia is com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing 33-35 per cent of emis­sions in­ten­sity of its GDP dur­ing 2005 to 2030. 'We are on track to meet the 2030 Na­tion­ally De­ter­mined Con­tri­bu­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the UNEP Gap Re­port, In­dia is also on track to meet its Copen­hagen Pledge. We will re­duce the emis­sions in­ten­sity of In­dia's GDP by 20-25 per cent over 2005 lev­els by 2020,' the prime min­is­ter em­pha­sized.

While Harsh Vard­han, Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment, For­est and Cli­mate Change, ap­pealed to the in­dus­try and also to the users to find sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tives to sin­gle-use plas­tic prod­ucts. The govern­ment, on its part, he said, had framed plas­tic man­age­ment rules and ini­ti­ated ac­tion to make all pub­lic build­ings free of sin­gle-use plas­tics.

Erik Sol­heim, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, United Na­tions En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gram, said the fo­cus of the World As­sem­bly on En­vi­ron­ment was on sus­tain­able life­styles. In­dia's long his­tory of sus­tain­able life­style is a les­son for the world com­mu­nity to em­u­late.

Ma­hesh Sharma, Min­is­ter of State for En­vi­ron­ment, said that In­dia's lead­er­ship on the en­vi­ron­ment front was an in­spi­ra­tion to the global com­mu­nity to ded­i­cate it­self to pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and elim­i­nat­ing sin­gle-use plas­tic. The ex­hi­bi­tion to com­mem­o­rate the World En­vi­ron­ment Day was held from 2-5 June 2018 at Vi­gyan Bhawan grounds and pro­vided a plat­form to the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional level tech­nol­ogy and equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers to ex­plore new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties. The main aim of the ex­hi­bi­tion was to raise aware­ness about the en­vi­ron­ment, ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive use of tech­nolo­gies for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and scope for re­search & de­vel­op­ment for new en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion tech­nolo­gies.

At the same time, var­i­ous con­fer­ences and work­shops were or­ga­nized on dif­fer­ent themes over four days from 1-4 June 2018 at Vi­gyan Bhawan. The the­matic con­fer­ences cov­ered a wide spectrum of ar­eas from knowl­edge shar­ing and show­cas­ing of case stud­ies to best prac­tices of stake­hold­ers from busi­ness & in­dus­try, re­search in­sti­tu­tions, mul­ti­lat­eral & bi­lat­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions, me­dia, NGOs, uni­ver­si­ties and oth­ers.

On 3 June 2018, En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Dr Harsh Vard­han, flagged­off the ENVITHON (Mini-Marathon) as part of the World En­vi­ron­ment Day cel­e­bra­tions in New Delhi. The event was joined by a gath­er­ing of more than 10,000 school chil­dren from nearly 200 schools of DelhiNCR. The en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter un­der­lined the cru­cial role that school chil­dren play in any so­ci­etal en­deav­our. He urged all the school chil­dren to be­come en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tors ( paryavaran rak­shaks) and help the govern­ment and so­ci­ety in overcoming the men­ace of plas­tic pol­lu­tion. In con­tin­u­a­tion of World En­vi­ron­ment Day cel­e­bra­tion ENVIS RPs (TERI, CMS and TCE) or­ga­nized the fi­nal En­vi­roQuiz com­pe­ti­tion at the Vi­gyan Bhawan Ex­hi­bi­tion.

The choices that we make to­day, will de­fine our col­lec­tive fu­ture. The choices may not be easy. But through aware­ness, tech­nol­ogy, and a gen­uine global part­ner­ship, I am sure we can make the right choices. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi

Naren­dra Modi, Prime Min­is­ter, light­ing the cer­e­mo­nial lamp. Also seen are (L to R): Erik Sol­heim, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, United Na­tions En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gram; Ma­hesh Sharma, Min­is­ter of State for En­vi­ron­ment and Dr Harsh Vard­han, Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment, For­est and Cli­mate Change.

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