Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar released India’s INDC as a measure towards U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015. There are eight goals given to balance all components - mitigation, adaptation, technology, finance and capacity building towards achieving 2030 targets. Major emphasis is on sustainable living to reduce carbon footprints, sustainable consumption and production and renewable energy as measures for energy for all by 2030. These goals aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and protect the environment by 2030. The measures listed in the hope of reducing emissions and generating funds include increased taxes on coal and transportation reforms. As per trends demand for electricity continue to increase, dependency towards coal is critical, hence the need for new clean technologies that will supplement demand. We need a global education system which will guide our next generations. We believe that the development of new skills should be a priority in order to empower the poor. As by 2030, 40% of Indian population will be living in urban areas that spaces still need to be developed thus standard policies, monitoring of this space and its related services are another crucial aspect towards climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

As per our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji address at the UN General Assembly:

… when we think of the scale of need in the world - 2.5 billion people without access to basic sanitation; 1.3 billion people without access to electricity; 1.1 billion people without access to drinking water, we need a more comprehensive and concerted direct international action. In India, the most important aspects of my development agenda are precisely to focus on these issues. The eradication of poverty must remain at the core of the Development Agenda and command our fullest attention.

This highlights that there is a strong emphasis on changing lifestyles, which in turn, which would potentially reduce energy dependency as per traditional culture and values prevalent within Indian society. We believe that young people will be the driving force in generating a more sustainable lifestyle. Youth can create awareness about sustainability and act as agents of change for mitigation, adaptation, knowledge sharing, “greenovation” for sustainable development. Thus, adaptation efforts such as sustainable habitats, optimizing water use efficiency, creating ecologically sustainable climate resilient agricultural production systems, and safeguarding the Himalayan glaciers and mountain ecosystem are essential for state government action to restore balance in land and forest cover for sustaining resources.

A significant proportion of India’s population is still below the poverty line and are vulnerable to climate change impacts. India accounts for 2.4% of the world surface area, but supports around 17.5% of the world population, 24% of the global population without access to electricity (304 million), about 30% of the global population relying on solid biomass for cooking and 92 million without access to safe drinking water needs better standard of life. We believe that international cooperation is key in addressing climate change; the world’s most pressing issue. We must talk of climate justice to deal with climate change. Besides this, we need stakeholder’s involvement in planning and monitoring of these sustainable development efforts. Involvement also means investment. It is estimated that $ 2.5 trillion of investments is required to address these issues within India alone. Thus, we need mechanisms and agreement for the following:

  • Finances from developed to developing countries for mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and capacity building

  • Provision of green technology development, transfer and diffusion

  • Global Standards for sustainable consumption and production to create “Sustainable Consciousness”

  • Days and Campaigns to save water, energy, biodiversity, zero transport and waste

We believe through sincere efforts the following targets can be achieved as per India’s INDC: increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based electricity to 40% by 2030 and accelerating afforestation efforts to create additional carbon sinks of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent through mobilization of resources to execute plans for combating climate change across sectors using low carbon-intensive lifestyles on a mass scale through sustainable living based on traditions, values of conservation and moderation for “Sustainable Consciousness”.

HaritaDhara Research Development and Education Foundation (HRDEF) is a non-profit organization committed to establish processes aimed at educating for sustainable development goals, management of environment, water, energy, waste, climate change, and transport issues through involving children, youth, and elders using ICT. HRDEF develops capacity building mapping with skills development, CSR initiatives, and learning transformation. HRDEF promotes natural, land resource management, sustainable agriculture, bio-diversity enrichment, and disaster management using educational inventiveness for smart cities and villages.

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