World Sustainable Development Summit

News: Recently, the Prime Minister addressed the The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) World Sustainable Development Summit.

What is the World Sustainable Development Summit?

  • The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is the annual flagship event of TERI. It was earlier known as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit. Instituted in 200. It is the only Summit on global issues, taking place in the developing world.
  • It has been conceptualized as a single platform to accelerate action towards sustainable development and climate change. It aims to bring together global leaders and thinkers in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment sectors on a common platform.

India’s stand at latest summit:

  • India has fulfilled its commitments by ensuring that equitable energy access to the poor remains a cornerstone of its environmental policy. These included initiatives such as 90 million households getting access to clean cooking fuel under the Ujjwala Yojana scheme. And farmers being encouraged to set up solar panels under the PM-KUSUM scheme where farmers could use and sell surplus power to the grid, which would promote sustainability and equity.
  • Discussed the LED bulbs distribution scheme (UJALA)that has been running for over seven years that had reportedly saved close to 220 billion units of electricity and prevented 180 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The National Hydrogen Mission aims to tap into ‘green hydrogen’ and it was up to the academic and research institutes such as TERI to come up with scalable solutions.
  • Mentioned international recognition for India’s efforts by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and India now having 49 Ramsar sites (wetlands) spread over more than 1 million hectares. India is a megadiverse country. With4% of the world’s land area, India accounts for nearly 8% of the world’s species.
  • Restoring degraded land has been one of the main focus areas since 2015 and more than 5 million hectares have been restored. India is on track to achieve the national commitment of Land Degradation Neutrality under the Bonn Challenge. India firmly believes in fulfilling all its commitments made under the UNFCCC. India also raised its ambitions during CoP-26 at Glasgow. For example, India announced that it will reach carbon neutrality by 2070 by 2030.
  • Sustainability requires coordinated action for the global commons. India’s efforts have recognised this inter-dependence. Through the International Solar Alliance, India’s aim is ”One Sun, One World, One Grid”.
  • The world must work towards ensuring availability of clean energy from a world-wide grid everywhere at all times. This is the ”whole of the world” approach that India’s values stand for.
  • It also urged countries to act on the basis of globally agreed rules taking into account the principles of equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities(acting on climate change based on national circumstances). The Paris Agreement goals cannot be reached unless equity is implemented by all countries staying within their fair share of the global carbon budget.
  • The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (C.D.R.I.), aims to build strong infrastructure in areas prone to frequent natural disasters. On the side-lines of CoP-26, India also launched an initiative called ”Infrastructure for Resilient Island States”. The Island Developing States are the most vulnerable and hence need urgent protection.
  • India launched LIFE – LIfestyle For Environment Initiative. LIFE is about making lifestyle choices to improve our planet. LIFE will be a coalition of like-minded people across the world who will promote sustainable lifestyles. They will be called 3Ps – Pro Planet People. This global movement is the Coalition for LIFE.