Question of sustainability has moved centre stage: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

“We will have to pay for sustainability. It isn’t going to happen just by talking about it,” said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, providing the finishing touches at the valedictory session of the 13{+t}{+h}Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) here on Saturday.

“The question of sustainability has moved centre stage which is also reflected in the 12th Plan, which is about faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth,” Dr. Ahluwalia said, suggesting economic responses to deal with sustainability issues such as pricing and incentives, regulation and technological responses.

“More important is the mind-set change which is what makes these summits important. Non-economic perceptions of change are what makes people realise what the issue is,” the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman added.

“Landmark year”

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid praised the summit and said not everything on sustainable development happens at Davos. A large part of it happens here in Delhi.

“The year 2012 may well be remembered by our successors in humanity as the landmark and foundation of sustainable development,” Mr. Khurshid added.

2014 summit theme

Reflecting on the three-day summit, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Director-General R. K. Pachauri said: “We owe it to the coming generations, and the underprivileged of this generation, to see that we bring about a major shift in priorities and conserve our depleting resources. TERI has been at the forefront of addressing key ecological and environmental problems that we see at the global level.”

Dr. Pachauri also revealed the theme of the 2014 Summit: “Energy, Water and Food Security for All.”

Awards presented

The session also saw the presentation of the first ever Georgescu-Roegen Awards to Professor Kozo Mayumi, Professor at the Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, University of Tokushima, for “Unconventional Thinking”; and organisations Acción Ecológica and Oilwatch for “Bio-economic Practice.”

In addition, the 2013 Sustainable Leadership Award was presented in absentia to President of Seychelles James Alix Michel.

The award was received by Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam on his behalf.

The summit, which is organised annually by TERI, provides an international platform for comprehensive discussion on issues pertaining to resource efficiency, climate change, clean energy and sustainable development.

This year, the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit featured representatives from over 30 countries including heads of State, policymakers, academicians and corporate members.

The Hindu was the media partner for DSDS-2013.