Poverty major polluter, Javadekar tells at UN climate summit

Union Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar in his speech at the UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23 said that poverty remains a major polluter,  just as the fossil fuel led model of industrialization that began in the West a couple of centuries ago is seen responsible for the growing human impact on the climate. According to a text of his speech, the minister said  latest UN studies talk of over 1.2 billion people still living in extreme poverty despite gains made in recent years. Therefore, this talk about changed realities can only be misleading and motivated, he pointed out.

Listing out the initiatives taken by the new government, he said it had the political will to act. At the same time, over $ 15 million have been allocated to the ‘National Adaptation Fund’, $ 80 million for setting up Ultra Mega Solar Projects in several states of India, $100 million for Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology, and $16 million for the development of 1 MW solar parks on the banks of canals.

He said evidence shows that countries that have achieved a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.9 or more have per capita energy consumption of at least 2.5 tonnes oil equivalent (toe) per year. The current per capita energy consumption in India is about 0.6 toe per year, which is a fraction of the figures for the developed world. With today’s technologies and living standards, the energy consumption in India would need to increase by 4 times as India’s HDI increases from the current value of 0.5 to a value of 0.9.

The key challenge, he pointed out, is to enable this higher energy consumption at a cost that people are willing and able to pay, and with lower carbon intensity. In an intervention, Mr. Javadekar made at the multilateral and multi stakeholder action session on transport and environment, he said in India in the last decade alone, the number of vehicles has doubled from 80 million to 160 million. The recently introduced Corporate Fuel Average Savings standard is an initiative which is expected to yield potential savings of over 20 million tones of fuel by 2025, he said.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 8:29:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/poverty-major-polluter-javadekar-tells-at-un-climate-summit/article6442337.ece

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