BATHINDA: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen has said there is no vaccine for climate change. We must embed sustainability into Covid-19 recovery. She was speaking at a webinar organised by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on Thursday.
Ms Andersen also stated that the economy cannot be revived at the cost of the environment. “We all know we have to change, but now with Covid-19 and the rise in poverty, we have no more time. Once ecosystems collapse, there is no coming back.” she said.
CEEW is policy research institution, which uses data, integrated analysis, and strategic outreach to explain – and change – the use, reuse, and misuse of resources.
The discussion on shifting sustainability from the margin to the mainstream was the first in a series of sessions being organised by CEEW as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations. The session also included Jamshyd N Godrej, Chairman, Godrej & Boyce and Chairperson, CEEW; Bahar Dutt, Environment Journalist and Associate Professor, Shiv Nadar University; Miniya Chatterji, CEO, Sustain Labs Paris and Founding Director, Anant Fellowship for Climate Action; Archana Soreng, Member, UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change; and Kanika Chawla, Director, CEEW Centre for Energy Finance.
She said, “As we move towards the delayed COP26 UN Conference on Climate Change, we are calling for all countries, including India, to take earnest efforts to make real the promise of Paris and to also stretch their commitments in the new Nationally Determined Contributions. Humanity’s best bet is to minimise the risks and impacts of crises such as Covid-19 by putting sustainability at the heart of Covid-19 recovery.”
She further added, “We have seen sustainability move closer to economic decision making and while we have made many promises, legislatures and commitments, action is missing. We are facing a triple planetary crisis — the loss of nature, climate change and pollution, which has led to millions of premature deaths, disability and diseases amongst the poor, who are often those living closest to sources of dirty air, power plants, waste dumps and so on.”
Jamshyd N Godrej said, “CEEW has been contributing deep analytical insights that have aimed towards plotting low-carbon pathways to inform India’s mid-century strategy, driving low-carbon industrialisation through its pioneering work on green hydrogen, creating a democratic demand for clean air, assessing climate risks, and championing the energy transition”.
Archana Soreng said, “For shifting Sustainability from the Margin to the Mainstream, it is important to promote the process of dialogue between the two stakeholders – those at the ‘Margins’ and those in the ‘Mainstream’, enable dissemination of knowledge and experience, and develop a common strategy that would perpetuate sustainability.”
Miniya Chatterji said, “up to 18 million children in India are homeless. They need shelter, food and care so that they can become champions for the environment. Empty stomachs cannot save the planet. We need to incentivise social good and environmental sustainability for the private sector.” (TOI)