ET View: An award to spur sustainable consumption and production systems
Prime Minister Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron have been recognised for their leadership in addressing one of the major challenges confronting humanity. This recognition should give greater impetus to transitioning to a circular economy.
The award focuses on the International Solar Alliance, a novel effort in global co-operation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow down global warming, is also a major initiative to address energy poverty. It also highlights the Prime Minister’s World Environment Day pledge to eliminate single-use plastic in India by 2022.
With global recognition comes accountability. India must now focus its energies on ensuring that it works with all member countries to deliver on the promise of the International Solar Alliance. This global co-operative effort has the potential to lift millions in the Global South out of poverty was ensuring access to energy. This will have a direct impact on livelihoods and help transition economies to a low carbon trajectory. The alliance has the opportunity to ensure that countries bypass the high carbon polluting path to development while fulfilling the promise of better lives for all. The pledge of eliminating single-use plastic is another opportunity to transition to a more sustainable pathway. India needs to focus on developing alternatives, implementing existing laws relating to plastics, as well as converting existing plastic waste into resource.
But both the solar alliance and the pledge to ban single-use plastic must serve as a starting point for action. India must take this opportunity to promote more sustainable patterns of consumption and production. Using resources more efficiently, putting in place policies that promote and sustain a circular economy. Accepting the award on behalf of the people of India, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to make climate a central part of culture to avoid calamity.
This award must be an opportunity to deepen India’s efforts and commitment to put in place policies that make the transition to sustainable consumption and production pathways the cornerstone of its developmental policies.