Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called for ‘collective action’ from the people, along with enabling policies, for limiting the impacts of climate change.
“To be able to achieve the 1.5-degree Celsius global warming limit, we must aim at both macro-level systemic changes as well as micro-level lifestyle choices. We need a people’s movement for environmental protection,” Naidu said.
Calling for serious introspection and bold actions to mitigate the reality of increasing extreme events and diminishing biodiversity, Naidu said: “It is not only the duty of the government to deliberate, but it is the duty of every citizen and human being on earth to save this planet.”
The Vice President was inaugurating the International Conference on Environmental Diversity and Environmental Jurisprudence at Chandigarh University, Mohali.
Addressing the gathering, Naidu stressed that India has always been leading the world in climate action. He reiterated India’s commitment to fulfil the ambitious national targets set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year.
Referring to how Indian culture has always revered and worshiped nature, Naidu said India had enshrined principles of environmental protection in the Constitution and passed many related laws “even before environmental discourse gained pace in the developed world”.
“This spirit draws heavily from our ancient values that look at human existence as part of the natural environment and not as one that exploits it,” he added.
Lauding the Indian higher judiciary for upholding environmental justice over the years, he suggested that “lower courts too must uphold an ecocentric view and keep the best interests of the local populations and biodiversity in their judgments”.
He also called for stringent action against violators of pollution laws and strict enforcement of the ‘Polluter Must Pay’ principle.