United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here on Tuesday that India should lead the campaign to arrive at a “universal and meaningful agreement” at the U.N. Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris during the year-end.
He was speaking to presspersons during a visit to Paryavaran Bhavan, the headquarters of the Union Environment and Forests Ministry, at the invitation of Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Mr. Ban said he was “counting on the continuing leadership of India in the ongoing efforts to address climate change issues” as it was an important and critical state.
“Climate change is a defining issue of our times, and I am encouraged by such a strong commitment under Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi’s leadership,” he said.
During his trip to Gujarat where he attended the Vibrant Gujarat summit last weekend, Mr. Ban visited a10-MW canal-top solar-power plant on a branch canal of the Sardar Sarovar project in Vadodara and dedicated it to the nation.
He said he was impressed with the project, and called for the world to adopt such projects which served the dual purpose of saving land and promoting renewable energy. “I hope many countries in the world will emulate such leadership initiatives of India,” he said.
He said it was important to address climate change, “our moral and political responsibility” — young people were looking to leaders for a sustainable future. “Nature will not wait or negotiate with us, we human beings will have to help the only planet we have and we have to make it environmentally sustainable for the future,” he said.
Mr. Javadekar pointed out the salient features of Paryavaran Bhavan, an energy-efficient building which uses solar power. Mr. Ban and he planted a sapling on the premises to mark the Secretary-General’s visit.