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India’s contribution to climate change in last 200 years only 3%, says Prakash Javadekar

The minister said that unbridled carbon emissions by Europe, USA and China caused climate change disaster. These countries prospered economically but polluted the world.

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New Delhi: Unbridled carbon emissions especially by Europe and the US over the last 200 years, and in the last 40 years by China have caused the climate change disaster, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.

He also said that India’s contribution to climate change in the last 200 years has been only three per cent.

Developed nations owe USD 1.1 trillion to developing nations as a part of climate change mitigation under the Paris Agreement, and this was discussed at the G7 Summit, which concluded on Sunday, Javadekar said at the virtual ‘Environment Conclave: Revival, Regeneration and Conservation of Nature’.

“India’s contribution to climate change in the last 200 years is just three per cent. The unbridled carbon emissions particularly by Europe, USA and in the last 40 years by China, caused climate change disaster. These countries prospered economically but polluted the world,” he said.

“India is one of the countries with the least contribution in climate change,” Javadekar said at the webinar organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO).

The FLO is a wing of apex trade body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The minister said that as part of the Paris agreement, rich countries promised to provide USD 100 billion each year to help developing nations combat climate change.

“But for the last 11 years nothing has come. In the just concluded G7 meet yesterday they discussed this financial issue seriously because they know they cannot postpone it further,” Javadekar said.

He said that as soon as schools — shut due to the Covid pandemic — reopen, his ministry will initiate a nursery programme in 5,000 schools.

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Under this programme, students of classes six to eight will plant saplings and nurture them till they pass out from their schools, Javadekar said.

“This will inculcate (in them) a habit of taking care of plants, bring discipline and will also help in generating much-needed oxygen (O2). This will be also introduced in IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and other higher education institutes soon,” he said.

Javadekar lauded the government’s efforts to combat air pollution by introducing BS-VI emission norms for vehicles in April last year and completing the construction of the western and eastern peripheral expressways around Delhi, saying these have helped reduce pollution in the national capital in a big way.

“The adoption of the zig-zag technology in 3,000 out of 6,000 brick kilns around the National Capital Region (NCR) has also helped in reduction of air pollution. Soon all brick kilns will follow the suit,” he said.

In zig-zag kilns, bricks are arranged to allow hot air to travel in a zigzag path which results in better mixing of air and fuel, allows complete combustion, reducing coal consumption by about 20 per cent.

Javadekar added that the central government is also taking steps to ensure the country becomes free of single-use plastic by next year.

In a statement the FICCI FLO said that the conclave was aimed at spreading awareness about issues related to the environment and to collectively work together for a better world.

Speaking at the conclave, FICCI FLO president Ujjwala Singhania said the FLO encourages its members’ enterprises to manage their triple bottom line – profits, people and planet.

“There is an urgent need to formulate a development model which focuses on responsible and eco-friendly government policies that will promote sustainable use of natural resources,” she said.

“The FLO this year has taken the pledge of planting over one lakh trees by our 18 chapters across India. An impactful beginning to this initiative was made on World Environment Day,” Singhania said.

She said that the FLO has adopted 143 villages across India with an objective to ensure integrated development with adequate infrastructure and to develop eco-friendly small-scale industries to create sustainable livelihood.

Chair of the FICCI environment committee Mukund Rajan said that with global warming and climate change taking a toll on the planet, there is a need to focus more on preserving bio-diversity.

“Global warming and climate change is taking its toll on us in form of various natural disasters, cyclones, extreme climate events and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This shows we should focus more on preserving biodiversity and our corporates to find solutions for environmental challenges within the natural environment itself. Our markets are coping up to predict and cope with such events,” he said.

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