Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment Shri Bhupender Yadav said protecting and restoring ecosystems can help us reduce the extent of climate change and cope with its impacts. Speaking at the Plenary Session at the G7 Ministers‘ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo, Japan he said it is therefore important that we address issues related to climate change in tandem with environmental action, holistically. We do hope that this is at the core of deliberations of this meeting of the Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers of the G7 Countries, he added.
Shri Yadav said climate change, desertification and biodiversity loss are deeply interlinked and pose existential challenges to humanity. In response to these challenges, Rio Conventions have made remarkable progress, through a consensus driven approach, based on principles, he said.
Shri Yadav said very recently at the CBD conference in Montreal we adopted the Global Biodiversity Framework and at CoP27 at Sharm el Sheikh, landmark decisions on issues like the Loss and Damage fund were taken. However, there still is a long way to go.
The Union Minister said India in its Presidency of G-20, for example, has taken this approach and embedded mitigation and adaptation deeply across priority areas of arresting land degradation, accelerating ecosystem restoration, and enriching biodiversity. He said the approach promotes a sustainable and climate resilient blue economy; encouraging resource efficiency and circular economy; with Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) as a cross-cutting theme, thus mainstreaming climate change, and addressing the impacts in an ambitious, decisive and action-oriented manner.
Shri Yadav said India has been part of providing solutions, while it historically has not been part of any of the problems. He said India has rather taken strong domestic actions, set challenging ambitious targets for itself and is also steering international actions through various initiatives.
Shri Yadav said India’s approach has been focused on the convergence of the issues related to Climate Change, Biodiversity loss and pollution. This has reflected in taking up initiatives based on specific interventions through International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), Lead IT.
The Union Minister said India has also focused on action by all, including individual and community actions through Mission LiFE. Changing individual and community behaviour alone can make a significant dent in the environmental and climate crises.
Shri Yadav said the recently launched International Big Cat alliance, on the occasion of 50 years of Project Tiger, is rooted in the fact that conserving big cats and their habitats can secure some of the most important natural ecosystems on Earth leading to natural climate change adaptation, water, and food security for millions of people, and provide livelihood and sustenance to forest communities.
Shri Yadav said it will be important to ensure country-driven approach along with the principles of equity and CBDR-RC to undertake decisive action. At the same time the voice of the global South needs to be recognised for a truly global leadership of G7 and to receive valuable inputs towards implementation of G7 initiatives. He said this approach will ensure that while we take decisions impacting the whole world, we leave no one behind.
Shri Yadav said we look forward to the leadership of G7 Nations to ensure an effective fight against the triple challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, for unity of purpose and unity of action conscious of the fact that we have One Earth, we are One Family and have One Future. The Union Minister said he looked forward to welcoming all at G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministerial Meeting at Chennai in July.
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