Pollution, climate change affecting everyone: Rajnath
New Delhi, March 26 (PTI): Pollution and climate change are adversely affecting people of all age groups and these are also going to have a serious impact in the future, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
Addressing the valedictory session at the NGT World Environment Conference here, he said climate change has now a days been recognised as a major global challenge.
“We in India believe that climate change is the result of emission of greenhouse gases and the resultant global warming that came from the industrial advancement in developed nations, powered by fossil fuel,” he said.
The Home Minister said although a developing country like India has little to do with this phenomenon, it has to face the consequences.
“Pollution and Climate change are adversely influencing our present and they are also going to have a serious impact on our future.
“Climate change poses a big threat to millions of our farmers with the changes in weather patterns and increasing intensity of natural disasters,” he said.
The Home Minister said India is deeply concerned about the rising level of the oceans as the planet was melting at both the ends.
The Arctic and Antarctica have hit a record low ice extents this year and melting poles are a threat to the coastlines.
“We in India are also worried about the retreat of glaciers in Himalayas that feed our rivers and nurture our civilisation,” he said.
Singh said while the climate-change challenge is formidable it also presents the opportunity to accelerate sustainable development and ensure a better future for everyone on the planet. Under the Paris agreement, the governments of the world have committed to reducing their carbon emissions drastically, in order to keep global warming below 2 C. The vast majority of signatory countries have already presented national action plans for achieving this goal.
The Home Minister said these nationally-determined contributions would include renewable-energy targets and proposals for sustainable transportation and energy efficiency. In addition, all countries should consider adopting policies to manage natural capital in a judicious manner. The Paris agreement itself recognises the important role that natural ecosystems play in limiting the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
“We should adopt ways and means to conserve the existing ecosystems and expand degraded ecosystems in people-friendly ways,” he said.
Singh said this is particularly true of wetlands, which include all land areas such as lakes, floodplains, peatlands, mangroves, and coral reefs that are covered with water, either seasonally or permanently.
The Home Minister said India is playing a significant role in fighting against these global threats.
The Government of India has recently set a target for renewable energy generation of 175 Gigawatt by 2022. By 2030, 40 per cent of India’s installed capacity will be based on non-fossil fuel.
“The Government of India is raising fuel standards for automobiles. India is one of the few countries in the world to impose a tax on coal,” he said.
Singh said India has also reduced subsidies on petroleum products and has even introduced tax free bonds for renewable energy.