Plastic waste management is the way forward in making India clean and green
NEW DELHI, 5 June 2018. Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, declared here today that even as India continues to be the fastest growing economy in the world, the government remains committed to raising the standard of living of the people in a sustainable and green way.
Addressing the Plenary Session of the World Environment Day 2018 celebrations, the Prime Minister said that the use of plastic threatens to become a menace to the society and therefore plastic waste management has been made a major component of the 'Swachh Bharat Mission'.
The Prime Minister said that environmental degradation hurts the poor and vulnerable sections of the people most. In keeping with the 2030 global agenda- 'Leave No One Behind' - Mr. Modi reiterated the government's commitment to sustainable development. "The choices that we make today, will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices," he said.
Enumerating the green initiatives taken by India, Mr. Modi said 40 million new LPG gas connections have been given to the poor and needy in the last four years. Besides saving electricity, this has also prevented huge additional amounts of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
"We are engaged in a massive push towards renewable energy generation. We have targeted generation of 175 GigaWatts of solar and wind energy by 2022. We are already the fifth largest producer of solar energy in the world. Not only this, we are also the sixth largest producer of renewable energy. We aim to provide an electricity connection to every household, which will further reduce dependence on environmentally degrading forms of fuel. We are reducing dependence on fossil fuels. We are switching sources of fuel where possible. We are transforming cities and public transportation," the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Modi added that the government's stress is on 'zero defect and zero effect' manufacturing. This means manufacturing that is without defect, and which does not harm the environment.
As part of the Nationally Determined Contributions, India is committed to reducing 33-35% of emission intensity of its GDP during 2005 to 2030. "We are on track to meet the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution. According to the UNEP Gap Report, India is also on track to meet its Copenhagen Pledge. We will reduce the emissions intensity of India's GDP by 20-25% over 2005 levels by 2020," the Prime Minister said.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change,appealed to the industry and also the users to find sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic products. The government, on its part, he said, had framed plastic management rules and initiated action to make all public buildings free of single-use plastics.
Mr. Erik Solheim, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Program, said the focus of the World Assembly on Environment was on sustainable lifestyles. India's long history of sustainable lifestyle is a lesson for the world community to emulate.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Environment, said that India's leadership on the environment front was an inspiration to the global community to dedicate itself to protecting the environment and eliminating one-use plastic.
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