Mahatma Gandhi is one of the greatest environment champions to have ever lived: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at the CERAWeek 2021 through video conference. He was awarded the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award. He said “It is with great humility that I accept the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award. I dedicate this award to the people of our great Motherland, India. I dedicate this award to the glorious tradition of our land that has shown the way when it comes to caring for the environment.” He added that Indian are leaders when it comes to caring for the environment for centuries. He said in our culture, nature and divinity are closely linked.

The Prime Minister said that Mahatma Gandhi is one of the greatest environment champions to have ever lived. If humanity had followed the path laid down by him, we would not face many of the problems we do today. He urged the people to visit Mahatma Gandhi’s hometown of Porbandar, Gujarat where underground tanks were constructed years ago to save rain water.

The Prime Minister said there are only two ways to fight climate change and calamities. One is through policies, laws, rules and orders. The Prime Minister gave examples. Share of non-fossil sources in India’s installed capacity of electricity has grown to 38 percent, adoption of Bharat – 6 emission norms since April 2020 which is equal to Euro – 6 fuel. India is working to increase the share of natural gas from the current 6% to 15% by 2030. LNG is being promoted as a fuel. He also mentioned recently launched National Hydrogen Mission and PM KUSUM which promotes an equitable and decentralized model of solar energy generation. But the most powerful way to fight climate change, Shri Modi said, is behavioural change. He gave a call to fix ourselves so the world will be a better place. He said this spirit of behaviour change is a key part of our traditional habits, which teach us consumption with compassion. A mindless throw away culture is not a part of our ethos. He felt proud of Indian farmers, who are constantly using modern techniques of irrigation. He noted that there is growing awareness on improving soil health and reducing use of pesticides.

The Prime Minister remarked that today the world is focussing on fitness and wellness. There is a growing demand for healthy and organic food. India can drive this global change through our spices and our Ayurveda products. He announced that in India, the Government is working on metro networks in 27 towns and cities for eco-friendly mobility.

The Prime Minister said for large-scale behaviour change, we need to offer solutions that are innovative, affordable and powered by public participation. He cited examples like people embracing LED bulbs, Give It Up Movement, increased LPG coverage, affordable transportation initiatives. He expressed happiness about the growing acceptance of ethanol across India.

The Prime Minister noted that over the last seven years, India’s forest cover has grown significantly, the population of lions, tigers, leopards and water fowls has grown. He cited these as the great indicators of positive behavioural changes.

Shri Modi talked of Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of trusteeship. At the core of trusteeship are collectiveness, compassion and responsibility.Trusteeship also means using resources responsibly

Shri Modi concluded “now is the time to think logically and ecologically. After all this is not about me or you. It is about our planet’s future. We owe this to our coming generations.”

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