As India looks ahead at rapid economic development, proactive steps by the Indian government to address the ultra-sensitive issue of climate change are getting worldwide recognition. Ministry of Environment and Forests, in May 2014, was renamed to the current title of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, further highlighting the priority of the Modi government as soon as it took over.
India is highly dependent on its natural resources, Agriculture being a major part of the economy and livelihood of crores of Indians, is very sensitive to changes in the climate. Recognizing the issue at hand, the Indian government with its programmes has been successful in starting a perpetual evolution of the Indian economy to the stage where sustainable development leads the economy.
While maintaining a high rate of economic growth, to uplift a major section of society to better living standards and reducing their exposure to effects of climate change remains the top goals of the government, National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) was devised.
Recognizing India’s efforts in this domain, Apolitical, an organization which works in facilitating innovative solutions to the government over various challenges published a list of world’s top 100 people contributing to the efforts for countering climate change, titled ‘Climate 100 – THE WORLD’S MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN CLIMATE POLICY’.
Featuring the list is senior minister of the Modi government, Piyush Goyal. Piyush Goyal is the Minister of Railways and Coal, India and is leading India’s efforts to fast track electrification of more than 18000 villages has considerably reduced dependence of local people on coal for power, distribution of energy efficient LED bulbs further help India to reduce its dependence on energy generated by fossil fuels. Under the tenure of Piyush Goyal, India saw the largest initiatives towards deploying renewable energy. Goyal also received the 2018 Carnot prize for his contribution to energy policy.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who is the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, also features in the list. He has been leading the efforts with suitable policies to aid processes towards cleaner energy goals. He has focused on motivating researchers to develop new innovative technologies that address social and environmental problems. He has also played an integral role in making India a leader in environmental preservation.
India’s firm support for the Paris climate agreement further indicates its commitment to tackling climate change. As part of the Paris Climate Agreement, India has targeted to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions up to 35 percent by 2030. As a responsible member of the International community, India stands at an important crossroad to contribute in solving this major challenge for the welfare of Humanity as a whole. International Solar Alliance (ISA) an initiative by India and France aimed at countering the threats of climate change and global warming, is aimed at producing 1 TW of power by solar means by the end of 2030.
With its multitudes of initiative in the international and national level, India has been a responsible and committed member of the world community in tackling this challenge of climate change.
Focus on different levels of the Modi government to develop capacity and capability to address the challenges of sustainable development has been the top agenda of the Modi government. Focus on energy generation through cleaner methods has also been the case with focus on energy from renewable resources. With combined efforts of the government and the citizens, India is poised to set an example for the world in combating climate change.