The Hindu Business Line

Cli­mate change is a se­ri­ous is­sue: Jamshyd Go­drej

- Climate Change · Disasters · Ecology · Confederation of Indian Industry · Godrej & Boyce

Jamshyd N Go­drej, Chair­man, Go­drej & Boyce Man­u­fac­tur­ing Com­pany, has ap­pealed to the peo­ple to take cog­nizance of the small changes hap­pen­ing around them — be it rise in tem­per­a­ture, air and wa­ter pol­lu­tion or en­vi­ron­men­tal haz­ards — instead of ex­press­ing anx­i­ety only when a dis­as­ter be­falls.

De­liv­er­ing the key­note ad­dress at the 8th CK Pra­ha­lad Memo­rial Lec­ture on ‘Cli­mate Cri­sis & Bio-Di­ver­sity Preser­va­tion Chal­lenge: Role of In­dus­try and Civil So­ci­ety’ here, Go­drej said there were prob­lems of poverty and liveli­hood, but if one does not start ad­dress­ing the fun­da­men­tal is­sues, it would turn into a chem­i­cal re­ac­tion that could ex­plode and “we are mov­ing to­wards that”.

Most coun­tries think that cli­mate change is the cri­sis of the fu­ture. Global warm­ing and ris­ing tem­per­a­tures sig­nal that “we are en­ter­ing an un­known area”; more than 80 per cent of the flora and fauna have al­ready dis­ap­peared, but “we are yet to take cog­nizance of such changes in our daily life,” he said.

The lec­ture was or­gan­ised jointly by Anan­tha Aspen Cen­tre and the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try.

On the is­sue of pric­ing of wa­ter, Go­drej said “wa­ter pric­ing is cru­cial and so is reg­u­la­tion. The gov­ern­ment’s role in this is­sue is im­por­tant as reg­u­la­tion would help nudge peo­ple to use wa­ter in the right way and cor­rect pric­ing, in con­trol­ling wastage of this re­new­able re­source.”

Pos­ing a ques­tion to the au­di­ence on the tax levied by the Cor­po­ra­tion for sup­ply of wa­ter, he ob­served: “we seem to be pay­ing a lot for potable wa­ter from pri­vate agen­cies, while pay­ing the gov­ern­ment as well for ‘not’ get­ting wa­ter. This calls for reg­u­la­tion and cor­rect pric­ing. We are over­taxed in some ar­eas and un­der-taxed in many other ar­eas,” he added.

Stat­ing that it would be pos­si­ble to re­cy­cle and re-use about 50 per cent of fresh wa­ter instead of con­sid­er­ing schemes like de­sali­na­tion, he said “a holistic ap­proach is the need of the hour; at this junc­ture, it seems as if wa­ter reg­u­la­tion could be a big­ger is­sue than en­ergy cri­sis.”

The in­ter-gov­ern­men­tal panel on cli­mate change has pre­dicted that “we would be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ex­tremes if we dis­turb nature”. “So, be warned; think deep, un­der­stand and do what­ever is pos­si­ble, to al­le­vi­ate the im­pend­ing cri­sis. The in­dus­try has a huge role, re­spon­si­bil­ity,” he said.

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