The Environment Ministers’ Session as part of the two day ‘Voice of Global South Summit’ was held virtually, yesterday. The topic of the summit was “Balancing growth with environment friendly lifestyles”. Ministers from fourteen countries of the Global South participated in the session.
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, Shri Bhupender Yadav gave the opening remarks. In his address Shri Yadav said that there is a need for developing policies which are inclusive and sustainable to reduce inequality and contribute to the empowerment and improvement of the quality of people’s lives. He mentioned the role of India in supporting and raising the voice of Global South in dealing with the issue of climate change and environment at various international fora.
Shri Yadav highlighted the role of the developed world in providing the financial and technological assistance to the developing countries. The problems faced by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) countries due to the climate change and the initiatives taken by India in this regard such as Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS), International Solar Alliance (ISA) etc. were also mentioned. The experience of India in tackling with the natural disasters through the institutional mechanism was also highlighted. The G20 presidency and the topics of blue economy, circular economy and land restoration were mentioned to the ministers of the Global South.
The Union Environment Minister stressed that the environment-friendly actions (LiFE Actions), on a mass scale across the globe, can be a significant positive contributor to saving our common and the only world. He highlighted the importance of the Mission LiFE (Lifestyle For Environment) in tackling the global issue of climate change.
The Ministers from the Global South raised various problems being faced by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Food security, sea level rise, coastal erosion, economic downturn due to COVID 19 pandemic were some of the common issues raised by them. The developing coastal countries also stated the catastrophic impacts of climate change. Many developing countries highlighted the role of the adaptation policies they are developing to tackle climate change. Use of green energy, renewable energy, circular economy, sustainable development, biodiversity conservation was some of the common attempts mentioned by the developing South. Many countries highlighted their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases.
All the countries congratulated India on G20 presidency and expected positive outcomes on the topics of blue economy, circular economy and land degradation. The Ministers mentioned that the problem of the climate change is common for all countries whether developed or developing but the solution is not easy for the developing states as they lack the technological and financial support. They highlighted the role of South-South Cooperation in tackling the challenges of climate change.