With the Union Government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi completing eight years, DD News is organizing a week-long News Conclave titled ‘आठ साल मोदी सरकार: सपने कितने हुए साकार from 3rd to 11th June, 2022. Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change; and Labour & Employment Shri Bhupender Yadav participated on the fifth day of the conclave on 7th June, 2022 and spoke on ‘पर्यावरण संरक्षण बनी प्राथमिकता.
In his interaction, Shri Bhupender Yadav said that during the last eight years, India has, under the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, taken decisive actions in all areas of Climate Change. He remarked that India is one of the few countries to have achieved most of its voluntary NDCs submitted to the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement before schedule. India set an ambitious target of 40 percent installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources to be achieved by the end of this decade, which has already been achieved, 8 years ahead of schedule. The target of 10% ethanol blending in petrol has been achieved 5 months ahead of the November 2022 target.
The Minister further enumerated how India has taken leadership at several global fora for Climate Justice and Climate Equity. Whether it is the International Solar Alliance (ISA) along with France mobilizing 106 countries, or the new initiative for Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) with UK, Australia and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), India has been at the forefront. The Minister mentioned how recently India and Sweden hosted the LeadIT forum that contributed to the UN Conference ‘Stockholm+50’, in setting the agenda for COP27.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s global initiative ‘Lifestyle for the Environment – LiFE Movement’ announced at COP26 Glasgow has also been launched, promoting an environment-conscious lifestyle that focuses on ‘mindful and deliberate utilisation’ instead of ‘mindless and destructive consumption.’
At the domestic front in the last eight years, India has consistently increased its forest cover. Moreover, due to effective protection, monitoring and management of protected areas, the number of Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Rhino and other animals have also increased. Provisions for Access and Benefit Sharing for indigenous communities have been strengthened alongside, he added. The Government has also taken several steps to ensure clean air, river water purification etc. He cited the setting up of a time-bound National Clean Air Programme, Rejuvenation Plan for 13 major rivers, banning of Single Use Plastic (greater than 120mm), promotion of circular economy, among others. Further, India is targeting more wetlands to be declared as Ramsar Sites this year, he added.
With regards to employment, Shri Bhupender Yadav said that through institution-based and area-based surveys, GST collection data, EPFO registrations, SME registrations, the Government has been tracking creation of new jobs. Further, with initiatives like Labour Code, SVANIDHI scheme for urban poor, e-Shram Portal for migrant workers, and integration of National Career Service Portal, Government has empowered both the organized and unorganized sector workers.