Honourable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminded global citizens of their responsibility towards battling Climate change. In his words, “Climate change cannot be fought from conference tables alone. It has to be fought from the dinner tables in every home.”
The Prime Minister said this at a World Bank Event titled ‘Making it Personal: How Behavioural Change Can Tackle Climate Change’, where he addressed the gathering virtually. In his address, the PM also said that how under Mission LiFE, the government’s efforts are spread across many domains including making local bodies environment-friendly, saving water, saving energy, reducing waste and e-waste, adopting healthy lifestyles, adoption of natural farming and promotion of millets.
Impact of Behavioural Change on Climate Change
While virtually addressing the event, Prime Minister Modi said, “Impact of behavioural change on climate change is an issue close to my heart. It is great to see this becoming a global movement. By itself each drop of water may not seem much but when it comes together with many other such drops, it makes an impact. By itself each good deed for the planet may seem insignificant, but when millions across the world do it together, the impact is huge. We believe that individuals making the right decisions for our planet are key in the battle for our planet. This is the core of Mission LiFE.”
Talking further about Mission LiFE, he said, “The seeds of this movement were sown long ago. In 2015, at the United Nations General Assembly, I spoke about the need for behavioural change. Since then we have come a long way. In October 2022, the UN Secretary General and I had launched Mission LiFE. The Preamble of the outcome document of COP27 (The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference) also speaks about sustainable lifestyle and consumption. It is wonderful to see that experts in the climate change arena have also adopted this mantra.”
Role of citizens in battling climate change
Reminding citizens across the world of their responsibility in the global battle against climate change, PM Modi expressed, “People across the world hear a lot about climate change. Many of them feel a lot of anxiety because they do not know what they can do about it. They are constantly made to feel that only governments or global institutions have a role. If they learn that they can also contribute, that anxiety will turn into action. Climate change cannot be fought from conference tables alone. It has to be fought from the dinner tables in every home. When an idea moves from discussion tables to dinner tables, it becomes a mass movement making every family and every individual aware that their choices can help the planet get scale and speed.”
Role of Mission LiFE
Talking about the role of Mission LiFE in battling Climate change, the Indian Prime Minister expressed, “Mission LiFE is about democratising the battle against climate change. When people become conscious that simple acts in their daily lives are powerful, there will be a very positive impact on the environment. In this way, a mass movement and behavioural transformation can happen. The people of India have done a lot in the last few years. People-driven efforts have improved the sex ratio in many parts of India. It was the people who led a massive cleanliness drive. Be it rivers, beaches or roads, they are ensuring public places are free of litter. It was the people who made this switch to LED bulbs a success. Nearly 370 million LED bulbs have been sold in India. This helps in avoiding nearly 39 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. The farmers of India ensure the coverage of nearly 700,000 hectares of farmland by micro-irrigation, fulfilling the mantra of per drop more crop. This has saved a huge amount of water. There are many more such examples.”
“Under Mission Life, our efforts are spread across many domains, such as making local bodies environment-friendly, saving water, saving energy, reducing waste and e-waste, adopting healthy lifestyles, adoption of natural farming and promotion of millets. These efforts will save over 22 billion units of energy and 9 trillion litres of water, reduce waste by 375 million tons, recycle almost one million tons of e-waste and generate around 170 million dollars of additional cost saving by 2030. Further, it will help us reduce the wastage of 15 billion tons of food,” he further said.
Role of Global Institutions
While concluding his speech, the PM said, “Global institutions have an important role to play in encouraging countries across the world. I am told that the World Bank group is looking to increase Climate Finance from 26 percent to 35 percent as a share of total financing. The focus of this Climate Finance is usually on conventional aspects. Adequate financing methods need to be worked out for behavioural initiatives to a show of support by the World Bank towards behavioural initiatives such a Mission LiFE will have a multiplier effect.”
Ahana Bhattacharya can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org