Climate change: Modi says it’s time to redefine development metrics, promote green GDP


New Delhi, Mar 29 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said parameters used to measure progress are detrimental to climate and suggested developing the concept of a green gross domestic product.
In an interaction with philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, he also said that climate action has gained momentum since the G20 Summit in India last September.

When Gates asked if the green approach could be made more affordable for easier adoption, Modi said the world needs to adopt a two-pronged strategy: first, nature and climate-friendly innovation, and second, environmentally-friendly lifestyles.
The prime minister said, “Our current challenge is how we perceive progress. For example, a country’s development is often judged by its steel consumption and energy usage. Based on these criteria, we calculate the country’s economy.” “If we continue to rely on these parameters, we will consume more electricity and steel, resulting in increased carbon emissions. This means we need to change our mindset. We need to make lifestyle choices and measure progress in ways that are climate-friendly. Currently, all our measures of progress are detrimental to the climate,” he said.

Modi suggested that the world adopt the concept of green GDP which would be incorporated into the overall gross domestic product. “We need to change the global terminology,” he said.

Green GDP is an alternative metric for gauging economic growth which takes into consideration the environmental consequences linked to economic activities.

The prime minister said that if “we continue to consume excessively and waste electricity and water”, the climate change problem cannot be solved.
He noted that his and Gates’ perspectives on climate change closely align.

The philanthropist praised Modi’s “Mission Innovation” launched at the 2015 Paris climate meeting.

“Mission Innovation”, termed by Modi, involves collaboration among 23 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) to accelerate the clean energy revolution and progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and pathways to net zero. India is a founding member of “Mission Innovation”.

Gates said the world will probably miss the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and even the “2 degrees Celsius goal is not going to be easy”.

Global average temperatures have risen by more than 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1850, exacerbating climate impacts, with 2023 being the hottest on record.

The greenhouse gases spewed into the atmosphere, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution, is closely tied to it.

The prime minister said that post-G20, an atmosphere has been created where everyone has resolved to fulfil their responsibilities towards climate.

He told Gates that India is making rapid advancements in the renewable energy sector.

“Our efforts are focused on solar and wind energy. And, we are also eager to accelerate progress in the nuclear sector. Similarly, our ambitions extend to making significant progress in green hydrogen,” he said.

The G20 Summit held here last year concluded with the major economies agreeing to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030, which is also one of the key outcomes of the UN climate conference held in Dubai in December.

Modi also said his government is promoting innovation in sunrise sectors through Rs 1 lakh corpus fund to youth and interest-free loan for up to 50 years to work on futuristic technologies.

Discussing India’s rich history of environmental conservation, the prime minister said recycling and reusing are inherent to the nature of Indian people and their ethos.

He informed Gates that the jacket he was wearing was made of recycled materials.

Gates said consumers should prefer clean products “when they are buying a car or when they are buying any product”.

“Changing their food consumption, even if they don’t go all the way to be a vegetarian, they can eat less beef, more chicken, or less chicken and more fish, they can moderate quite a bit, and we know that it also has some health benefits as well,” he said.

To this, Modi said that even a vegetarian diet needs improvement and this can be done through the inclusion of millets.

“We celebrated 2023 as the ‘Year of Millets’ with the UN. Millets have great benefits. They grow in barren land, need minimal water, and don’t require fertilisers. They are a superfood. Promoting millet can be a big step forward,” he said.

Even with vegetarian options, some choices are more harmful, he added. PTI


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




More like this

Heart-warming scenes of unity at Zadibal as Sikhs, Sunis, Pandits pay homage to Karbala martyrs

Mubashir Aalam Wani Srinagar, Jul 17 : The Zuljinah procession...

Gambhir discusses squad for SL series with selectors; outlines his vision for Indian team

Gautam Gambhir is finally off the blocks and his...

Might Be His Personal View: J&K ADGP On Police Chief’s Remarks

SRINAGAR: A senior police officer on Wednesday said DGP...