Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched “Mission LiFE” on Thursday (October 20, 2022), a global action plan aimed at saving the planet from the disastrous consequences of climate change.
Speaking at the launch event for the mission, which aims to encourage people towards sustainable living, Modi said people are experiencing the effects of climate change on their environment and “unexpected calamities” have been witnessed in recent decades. He also called on people to embrace the concept of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ and the circular economy.
Fight against climate change
He pointed to the prevailing notion that climate change is a purely policy-related issue leading to a thought process that leaves this very important issue only to the government or international organizations, saying that climate change goes beyond formulation of policies and people. they themselves are finding that they must contribute as individuals, families and communities to the environment.
“Mission Life’s mantra is ‘Lifestyle for the Environment,'” he said, emphasizing the benefits of Mission LiFE connecting people’s powers for the protection of this earth and teaching them how to use it in a better way.
He stressed that Mission LiFE makes the fight against climate change democratic, in which everyone can contribute to the best of their abilities.
“Mission LiFE inspires us to do everything in our daily lives to protect the environment. Mission LiFE believes that by making changes to our lifestyle, we can protect the environment,” Prime Minister Modi said.
What is Mission LiFE
Mission LiFE aims to follow a three-pronged strategy to shift our collective approach to sustainability. Firstly, by encouraging people to practice simple but effective actions that favor the environment in their daily lives (demand); the second is to allow industries and markets to respond quickly to changing demand (supply) and; the third is to influence government and industry policy to support both sustainable consumption and production (policy).
Mission LiFE 2022-23
In 2022-23, Mission LiFE will focus on Phase I, Change in Demand, by nudging individuals, communities and institutions to practice simple environment-friendly actions (LiFE actions) in their daily lives. In view of Mission LiFE being launched in the 75th year of India’s independence, a comprehensive and non-exhaustive list of 75 individual LiFE actions across 7 categories is identified such that most actions are:
- Specific and measurable
- Easy to practice by individuals, communities and institutions, with minimal supply-side dependencies
- Non-disruptive to ongoing economic activity, and, in fact, promoting economic activity in the foreseeable future
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ concept
The Prime Minister shed light on the concept of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ and the circular economy and mentioned that it has been part of the Indian lifestyle for thousands of years. Speaking of other parts of the world, the Prime Minister said that these types of practices are frequent, which inspires us to walk in harmony with nature. “Mission LiFE will encompass all lifestyles related to nature conservation that our ancestors embraced and that may be part of our lifestyle today,” he said.
India is committed to addressing the threat of climate change. Today, the Prime Minister reported: “India’s annual per capita carbon footprint is just 1.5 tons, compared to the global average of 4 tons per year.”
However, India is working at the forefront to solve global problems like climate change. Prime Minister Modi spoke about initiatives such as Ujjwala Yojana, 75 ‘Amrit Sarovars’ in each district, and an unprecedented emphasis on turning waste into wealth. Today India has the fourth-largest renewable energy capacity in the world. “Today we rank fourth in wind energy and fifth in solar energy.
India’s renewable energy capacity has increased by 290 per cent in the last 7-8 years. We have also achieved the goal of reaching 40 per cent of electrical capacity from non-fossil fuel sources 9 years ahead of the deadline. We had also achieved a goal of 10 per cent ethanol blending in gasoline, and that too 5 months before the deadline.
Achieve goal of net zero
Through the National Hydrogen Mission, India has moved towards an environmentally friendly source of energy. This will help India and many countries around the world to achieve their goal of net zero,” the Prime Minister added.
India has become a prime example of how progress and nature can go hand in hand. Now that India has also become the fifth largest economy in the world, our forest area is also increasing and the amount of wildlife is also increasing, he said.
The Prime Minister pointed to the fact that every time India and the United Nations have worked together, they have found new ways to make the world a better place.
PM Modi said: “India had proposed International Yoga Day, which was supported by the United Nations. Today it is inspiring millions of people around the world to lead a healthy life.”
Giving the example of the International Year of Millet, which found deep support from the United Nations, the Prime Minister commented that India wanted to connect the world with its traditional and organic coarse grains. He said that the International Year of Millet next year will be discussed around the world.
He added: “Mission LiFE will succeed in taking it to every corner of the world, to every country.” “We have to remember this mantra: Prakriti Rakshati Rakshita, meaning those who protect nature, nature protects them. I believe that we will build a better world by following our LiFE Mission”, concluded the Prime Minister.
Dangerous times for our planet
Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres said that in these dangerous times for our planet, we need all hands on deck. Lifestyle for the Environment: The LiFE initiative is designed to highlight essential and hopeful truths. All of us, individuals and communities, can and must be part of the solution to protect our planet and our collective future.
After all, excessive consumption is at the root of the planetary triple emergency of climate, change, biodiversity loss and pollution. We are using the equivalent of 1.6 of planet earth to support our lifestyle. Added to this great excess is great inequality, he said.
He hoped that the initiatives of the LiFE movement would spread throughout the world. “I am immensely encouraged by the commitment India has made to pursue environmentally sound policies and its promise to significantly increase investment in renewable energy, championing the International Solar Alliance… we need to spark the renewable revolution and I look forward to working with India. to advance this agenda.
Speaking about the upcoming CoP 27 in Egypt, the Secretary-General said that the conference presents a key political opportunity to reveal confidence and accelerate action on all pillars of the Paris agreement. “With its vulnerability to climate shocks and its huge economy, India can play a critical bridging role,” he said.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Guterres said: “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”
He further added that we must treat the earth’s resources with wisdom and respect. The UN Secretary General has pledged to change economies and lifestyles so that we can share the earth’s resources fairly and take only what we need.
He also urged everyone to count on India when it takes over the G20 presidency to help usher in a new era of sustainability, fully in line with its history, culture and tradition.”
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