New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi today castigated developed nations which lecture India but deny it nuclear fuel for clean energy and reaffirmed the country’s commitment to fight against climate change. See the irony. The world gives lecture on climate but if we tell them that we want to move forward in nuclear energy as it is a good path for environment protection and when we ask them to provide necessary fuel for nuclear energy, they refuse, he said.
Modi rejected suggestions that India was posing hurdles in the fight against global warming and climate change, asserting protecting environment is our tradition. Everybody has come to believe that the world is concerned about climate change but India is posing hurdles ….We have grown up in a culture where nature is worshipped like God and protecting nature is linked to humanity. But, due to some reasons, maybe we have been ruled by others for centuries, we are inhibited in expressing our point of view.
Till the time we gain confidence in ourselves, we will not be able deal with the problem, he said. The Prime Minister, who was addressing a conference of state environment ministers and officials, urged the global nuclear community to ease restrictions on India to enable it import environment friendly nuclear fuel for producing clean energy in a big way.
Modi’s assertions came against the backdrop of criticism by western countries of the very unhealthy air quality in country’s metros including the national capital, which has been categorised among one of the most polluted cities, prompting many embassies and international establishments to install air purifiers. Maintaining that India had taken several initiatives in solar and wind energy sectors, the Prime Minister said the country should lead the world in finding solutions to global warming.
India should be a global leader in the fight against climate change. Instead of being forced to follow parameters laid down by others, India should lead the world in the fight against climate change, he said. It should not be that we follow the world, follow the guidelines set by them…the truth is that we have a legacy of thousands of years in this field and we can lead the world and we can guide the world. India can show the way to the world out of this crisis, Modi said.
The Prime Minister noted that the relation between economic development and environment protection was not adversarial and that both can go hand in hand. Questioning those who questioned India’s credibility in tackling environmental degradation, he said,Indians have always conserved nature and, even today, have among the lowest per-capita carbon emission globally. He said the culture of recycle and re-use was not new for India.
Referring to government’s ambitious Clean Ganga initiative, Modi said state governments should not compromise with the mission’s objective and urged banks to lend money at lower rates for installation of effluent and sewerage treatment plants. If we successfully stop the pollution going into the 2500 kms stretch of Ganga, we can inculcate in people confidence that we can check pollution through normal efforts, he said.
He suggested switching off street lights on full moon nights and use of bicycles at least once a week to conserve energy. Modi also launched The National Air Quality Index to monitor the quality of air in major urban centres across the country on a real-time basis. The air quality will be monitored in Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
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