Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Conference of Environment Ministers in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat via video conferencing today. It was organised to foster greater cooperation between the Central and State Governments in developing better policies on issues like eliminating plastic pollution through a multi-pronged strategy and developing state action plans to combat climate change that effectively emphasise a LiFE- Lifestyle for Environment,
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister highlighted that the conference is being held when India is setting new goals for the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal. Talking about the significance of Ekta Nagar, the Prime Minister said that its holistic development is a prime example of an environmental pilgrimage when it comes to forests, water conservation, tourism, and our tribal brothers and sisters.
New India progressing with new approach & new thinking
The Prime Minister cited the International Solar Alliance, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and the LiFE movement as examples of how India is not only making significant advancements in the field of renewable energy but also setting an example for other countries around the world. He said, “New India is progressing with a new approach and new thinking.”
Speaking of the Cheetahs, Prime Minister Modi remarked that Lions, tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinos, and leopards have increased in numbers over the years and the homecoming of Cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh has become a new excitement.
Net zero target till the year 2070
The Prime Minister emphasised the nation’s commitment on green growth and green jobs and announced the net zero target for the year 2070. He emphasised the need of keeping the natural world in balance and stressed the importance of the state environment ministries in attaining these objectives. “I urge all environment ministers to promote a circular economy as much as possible in the states,” the Prime Minister stated. He said that the ‘Circular Economy’ has been a part of Indian traditions and culture for years and it is the need of the hour to bring back those practices and inculcate them in our daily lives. He said that it will help to give a boost to the Solid Waste Management campaign and will free us from the clutches of single-use plastic.
He also mentioned the Scrapping Policy which was introduced last year and said that it would lead as an example to promote the circular economy.
“LED bulb saves electricity, carbon emission & money,” Prime Minister Modi. He asked the Environment Ministry and State Ministries to persistently monitor whether the LED bulb is installed on every street and in government offices. He added that this could be one of the ways for the states to lead for a sustainable future.
States should give top priority to environmental protection-related innovations
PM Modi said that the universities and laboratories of states should give top priority to innovations related to environmental protection and must follow the mantra of ‘Jai Anusandhan’. He also underlined the adoption of technology in protecting the environment and stated, “Study and research on the conditions of forests in the forests are equally important.”
The prime minister reaffirmed that the states currently have more than 6000 requests for environmental clearance and 6500 applications for forest clearance. “Efforts should be made by the states to clear every proper proposal soon. You can guess that due to this pendency, projects worth thousands of crores of rupees will be stuck,” he continued. The Prime Minister also emphasised the necessity to alter the working environment in order to reduce the waiting time and speed up clearance.
Prime Minister Modi urged to use of the Parivesh Portal, which is a single-window mode for all types of clearances related to the environment while stressing its transparency and efficacy in reducing the rush for getting approvals.
Green Industrial Economy
The PM noted that since the implementation of the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan, coordination in infrastructure projects has increased and several projects have gained speed. He said that the Gati Shakti national master plan is an excellent resource for environmental protection and also has infrastructural resilience to disasters. PM Modi stated that in order to effectively address the difficulties brought on by climate change, the central and state governments must work together to transform into a green industrial economy.
The Prime Minister added in his concluding speech that the Ministry of Environment is not only a regulatory organisation but also a medium for empowering the people’s economy and generating new sources of employment. “You will find a lot to learn, see and do in Ekta Nagar. Sardar Sarovar Dam, which gives Amrit to crores of people of Gujarat, is present here itself,” he added.