Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a change in lifestyles globally as a means to adapt to the disastrous impacts of climate change. Speaking at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 being virtually hosted by the Netherlands, PM Modi said, “to adapt to climate change, our lifestyles must also adapt…”
“India’s civilizational values teach us that importance of living in harmony with nature. Our ancient scripture Yajurveda teaches us that our relationship with planet earth is that of a mother and her child. If we take care of mother earth, she will continue to nurture us. To adapt to climate change, our lifestyles must also adapt to this ideal,” he said adding that one of the other important measures to adapt to climate change is disaster resilient infrastructure.
“I call upon the Global Commission on Adaptation to work with Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) to enhance infrastructure resilience globally. And, I invite all of you to the Third International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure later this year in India,” he said. The Global Adaptation Commission was launched in 2018 to focus on adaptation measures globally. It is overseen by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.
“Climate adaptation is more significant today than ever before. And, it is a key element of India’s developmental efforts. We have promised ourselves that we will not just meet our Paris Agreement targets but exceed them; we will not just arrest environmental degradation but reverse it, and we will not just create new capacities but make them an agent for global good,” PM Modi added.
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India is targeting 450 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030; promoting LED lights and saving 38 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. New Delhi is also committed to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, among other measures.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an urgent increase in funds for climate change adaptation. He said 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance provided by all donors to be allocated solely to adaptation and resilience building of developing countries.
“We are already witnessing unprecedented climate extremes and volatility affecting lives and livelihoods on all continents. According to the World Meteorological Organization, there have been more than 11,000 disasters due to weather, climate and water-related hazards over the past 50 years at a cost of some 3.6 trillion dollars. Extreme weather and climate-related hazards have also killed more than 410,000 people in the past decade, the vast majority in low and lower-middle-income countries. That is why I have called for a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience,” he said.
“The recent United Nations Environment Programme Adaptation Gap Report calculates annual adaptation costs in developing countries alone to be in the range of $70 billion. These figures are likely to reach $140-300 billion in 2030 and $280-500 billion in 2050. But huge gaps remain on financing for adaptation in developing countries. That is why I have called for 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance provided by all donors and multilateral development banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience,” he added.