Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates TERI’s World Sustainable Development Summit; reaffirms India’s commitment to sustainable growth

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New Delhi:  Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2018 edition of The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS 2018) here today.

Terming the Summit as a reinforcement of India’s commitment to a sustainable planet, the Prime Minister, in his inaugural address said, “We are here today to act upon the belief that we as humans can make a difference to this planet. We need to understand that this planet, our Mother Earth, is one. And so, we should rise above our trivial differences of race, religion, and power, and act as one to save her.”

The Prime Minister said that not only is India on track to achieve its pledge of reducing the emission intensity of its GDP by 20-25% from 2005 levels by 2020 but is also on track to meet the 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions. Focusing on some of the key initiatives of the Government, including Make in India, the Ujjwala and Saubhagya initiatives as well as the recently launched national health scheme, the Prime Minister said “People in India have waited too long for access to modern amenities and means of development. We have committed to complete this task sooner than anticipated. However, we have also said that we will do all this in a cleaner and greener way.”

The Prime Minister also called for greater international co-operation, saying “successful climate action needs access to financial resources and technology. Technology can help countries like India develop sustainably and enable the poor to benefit from it.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, also speaking at the inaugural session, said, “We have to accept that climate change is one of the biggest threats to the survival of human civilization and that development with a human face is the need of the hour. Our government is committed to making environmental protection into a citizen’s movement, whereby every individual can contribute by executing at least one green, good deed every day through the green social responsibility.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashok Chawla, Chairman, TERI, said, “We believe that the perspectives and partnerships emerging from this summit will strengthen the global effort to tackle environmental damage. This summit aims to make sustainable development a universally shared goal. In an unequal world, the impact of climate change will disproportionately affect the large number of people living in poverty.”

Dr Ajay Mathur, Director-General, TERI delivered the vote of thanks at the inauguration, said, “It is commendable that through our various initiatives to reduce emissions and promote the use of energy-efficient and cleaner sources of power we have demonstrated why demand aggregation and bulk procurement are powerful tools towards building a clean and green future as well mitigating climate change.”

The theme for WSDS 2018, the annual flagship forum of TERI, is ‘Partnerships for a Resilient Planet’ and has brought together global leaders in the development, energy and environment sectors which includes academia, civil society, corporations and organizations on a unified platform to identify opportunities for consensus, collaboration, technology acquisition, resource sharing and financing, along with policies which promote the accelerated uptake of cleaner technologies and of sustainable consumer behaviour.

The inaugural session was followed by plenaries on some of the most urgent issues faced by developing economies, including combating land degradation for enhanced livelihoods, creating sustainable and resilient societies; effective waste management interventions aiming to achieve landfill free cities and creating innovative financial mechanisms to accelerate adaptation of clean energy and other mitigation investments.

The summit is witnessing attendance by a range of experts and leaders from different spheres such as Mr Nitin Desai, Former Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Distinguished Fellow, TERI; HE Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications, Government of Republic of Fiji; Dr Yongping Zhai, Chief of Energy Sector Group, Sector Advisory Service Cluster, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank; Mr Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General, International Solar Alliance (ISA); Mr Pawan Chamling, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Sikkim; Mr Lyonpo Lekey Dorji, Hon’ble Minister of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan and a number of prominent business leaders.