New Delhi: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched a global initiative ‘Lifestyle for the Environment – LiFE Movement’ today via video conference. The launch will initiate ‘LiFE Global Call for Papers’ inviting ideas and suggestions from academics, universities & research institutions etc to influence and persuade individuals, communities and organisations across the world to adopt an environment-conscious lifestyle.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that today is an apt day for the launch of the global initiative ‘Lifestyle for the Environment – LiFE Movement’. He said we begin the LiFE – Lifestyle For Environment Movement. He stressed the need of the hour to solve the challenge faced by our planet using human-centric, collective efforts and robust action that further sustainable development.
The Prime Minister reminded the gathering that this global initiative was proposed by him at COP26 last year. He added that the vision of LiFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it. And those who live such a lifestyle are called “Pro-Planet People”. Mission LiFE borrows from the past, operates in the present and focuses on the future. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are the concepts woven into our life. The Circular Economy has been an integral part of our culture and lifestyle.
The Prime Minister said that thanks to 1.3 billion Indians in the country he was able to do many good things for the environment in our country. He added that India’s forest cover is increasing and so is the population of lions, tigers, leopards, elephants and rhinos. He said that India’s commitment to reach 40% of installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources has been achieved, 9 years ahead of schedule. The target of 10% ethanol blending in petrol has been achieved 5 months ahead of the November 2022 target. This is a major accomplishment given that blending was hardly 1.5% in 2013-14 and 5% in 2019-20. He said renewable energy has a very high focus in the government. Way ahead, he said, is all about innovation and openness. When technology and tradition mix, the vision of life will be taken further.
The Prime Minister recalled that Mahatma Gandhi talked about a zero-carbon lifestyle. In our daily life choices, let us pick the most sustainable options, he said. He urged the gathering to follow the principle of reuse, reduce and recycle. Our planet is one but our efforts have to be many – One earth, many efforts. “India stands ready to support any effort for a better environment and to further global wellness. Our track record speaks for itself,” he concluded.
The programme also witnessed the participation of Mr Bill Gates, Co-Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Lord Nicholas Stern, Climate Economist; Prof. Cass Sunstein, author of Nudge Theory; Mr Aniruddha Dasgupta, CEO and President of World Resources Institute; Ms Inger Andersen, UNEP Global Head; Mr Achim Steiner, UNDP Global Head and Mr David Malpass, World Bank President, among others. Union Minister, Shri Bhupendra Yadav, and CEO NITI Shri Amitabh Kanth were among those present on the occasion.
Mr Bill Gates, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said that he was inspired by India’s leadership and efforts to curb rising emissions. “I am excited to learn about the LiFE movement and its potential to draw in the full power of collective action. To eliminate greenhouse gases we need innovative technologies and participation from all. Ensuring that these innovative technologies are widely adopted will not only require large investments and partnerships between private and public sectors but also demands from individuals. Individual actions will send market signals that will encourage governments and businesses to invest in these innovations and create the breakthroughs we need”, he said. Mr Gates said “I congratulate Prime Minister Modi for taking a lead on this global initiative of citizen action to promote pro-climate behaviours. Together we can build a green industrial revolution”. He continued “The necessity for collective global action to address climate change has never been greater and India’s role and leadership are crucial in ensuring that we reach our climate goals.”
Prof. Cass Sunstein, author of Nudge Theory said that India and the Prime Minister have been the world leaders with respect to environmental protection and climate change and human behaviour and ‘many of us are looking at India for inspiration and ideas. The Professor spoke about the EAST framework of behaviour change. EAST stands for Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely. He added a new letter ‘F’ to the framework to make it FEAST. F is for Fun and he said that pro-environment activities are often fun and India has shown this in recent times.
Ms Inger Andersen, UNEP Global Head also spoke on the occasion and welcomed the launch of LiFE by the Prime Minister. “With more than 1 billion people, and home to a thriving generation of innovation and entrepreneurship, India is central to global environmental action”, she said.
Mr Achim Steiner, UNDP Global Head said that countries like India are serving as kinetic energy behind the decisive climate action on the world stage. That includes its work through cutting edge initiatives like International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and One Sun One World One Grid.
Mr Aniruddha Dasgupta, CEO and President of World Resources Institute also thanked the Prime Minister for a much needed global movement and conversation on how we live, how we consume and how we take care of the planet.
Lord Nicholas Stern, Climate Economist recalled Prime MInister’s landmark speech at CoP 26 at Glasgow to set out an inspiring vision of a new path of development. ‘It would be the development and growth story of the 21st century both in raising the living standards of the communities and saving the future of our future generations.
Mr David Malpass, World Bank President recalled the words of Indian scriptures on the centrality of the environment in the Indian ethos. He remembered seeing this urgency while working with the Prime Minister on Civil Service capacity building in Gujarat in 2019. He also praised India’s local initiatives like POSHAN, ASHA, and Swachh Bharat people helping in financial inclusion and localising the initiative.
The idea of LiFE was introduced by the Prime Minister during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow last year. The idea promotes an environment-conscious lifestyle that focuses on ‘mindful and deliberate utilisation’ instead of ‘mindless and destructive consumption.