India not only focussed at home but also steering global commitments: Bhupender Yadav

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Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav has today said that India is not only focused on progress at home, but also on steering global commitments to build a sustainable world for the present and generations to come. This value is enshrined in the spirit of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ – One World, One Family, One Future that drives India’s actions towards climate. The Minister was speaking at an event marking the launch of Green Rising, aimed at fueling Youth-led Climate Actions and Solutions.

Speaking on the topic ‘The Green Rising: Powering Youth Action & Solutions for Climate’ at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, the Minister has said that the young are the most crucial key to attaining a sustainable world. He has said that the young people are among the most vulnerable groups impacted by climate change. While they bear the least responsibility for the climate crisis, they are suffering its worst consequences, he said.

However, the Minister added, there is also no denying that the youth are valuable contributors to climate action. They are agents of change as entrepreneurs, innovators, and environmentally conscious individuals with a will to drive positive change.

Shri Yadav credited the youth for using their agency to compel governments world over to bring sustainability to the center stage of governance. He added that It was our responsibility to equip them with the right knowledge and skills to usher in this change. This right knowledge must include a blend of technological prowess and environmental sense.

The Minister delved into the climate crisis and the blame rested on our disconnect with Nature. He further said that merely trying to restore balance for the limited purpose of fuelling economies is a self-defeating idea.

To that end, Shri Yadav emphasized that India is marching with the principle of ‘saving ecology and driving economy’ and he was glad that a global beginning is being made in that direction. It is important that joint initiatives, aimed at building the capacity of youth as future leaders and driving forces of the climate regime, are undertaken.

India’s traditional cultural practices are in harmony with modern practices and Shri Yadav exemplified this saying India’s National Mission for Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change, under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), has a focus on creating awareness and understanding regarding climate change issues, particularly among students and youths.

India is a champion of the idea that contribution to the fight against climate change must go beyond organisation and national level and to the individual and community level. The Minister said that the Green Credits Initiative launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at COP28 earlier, will incentivize voluntary pro-planet actions and facilitate global collaboration, cooperation and partnership through exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices in planning, implementation and monitoring of environment positive actions.

He encouraged businesses, both from the public and private sectors to join hands in the pursuit of sustainable lifestyles and actions.

Speaking about the Green Rising Global Initiative, Shri Yadav said that it creates pathways for at least 10 million children and youth, especially girls, in developing countries, to act, acquire green skills and contribute to countries’ ambitious National Action Plans on Climate Change alongside public, and private stakeholders. This resonates strongly with Government of India’s vision for sustainable progress of youth, nation and the world at large, he added.

Kevin Frey, Chief Executive Officer of Generation Unlimited during his speech said “We can proactively address the challenges of a climate-changed world by scaling up climate education, promoting green skills, fostering green job opportunities and entrepreneurship, and ensuring meaningful participation of children and youth.”

UNICEF, Generation Unlimited and partners have launched the Green Rising initiative at Dubai Cares-hosted RewirEd Summit on the first-ever COP Youth, Children, Education and Skills Day in a major drive to mobilize world leaders to scale children- and youth-led grassroots climate action.

Green Rising aims to unite leaders across sectors at COP28 to spotlight commitments to integrate children and youth as partners, influence policymakers toward a more youth-centered perspective, and encourage organizations to contribute their resources and expertise. Prominent leaders are pledging support for the Green Rising in a significant crowding-in of global partners committed to this vision.

The Minister was accompanied by by Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment, Republic of Rwanda and Dr. Kevin Frey, CEO, Generation Unlimited, UNICEF who were part of the launch of the initiative.