India’s ‘Mission LiFE’ makes every individual a trustee in initiating climate change and will help in bringing long-term behavioural shifts, unlike long-term commitments made at Conference of Parties—or COP meetings—year after year, said G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant.
“Countries won’t make the difference; it is individuals and communities that will bring the change,” said Kant, while speaking at the G20 Development Working Group Meeting in Mumbai.
“We have seen not one commitment made by developed world being lived up to since COP 1,” he said. “And all such long-term commitments will remain unfulfilled in future too.”
India’s ‘Mission LiFE’ or ‘lifestyle for environment’ initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October this year.
“If the world has to achieve the objectives of Mission LiFE, individuals and communities will have to be nudged to make small behavioural changes towards patterns of excess consumption—be it of water, electricity or any resources.”
LiFE is not about being anti-consumerism but developing new models of growth for urbanisation, transport and mobility, and adoption of green fuels, he said.
India has to move towards decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors such as steel, fertiliser and refineries, and become independent of fossil fuel import by 2047.
“Circular economy, where every output is an input for some other product, can play a critical role in achieving that objective,” Kant said.
However, he highlighted a challenge: “Indian startup entrepreneurs will need to work really hard to make the backward and forward integration of these products through research development and innovation, before they can really claim to be part of the circular economy.”
According to him, the developing world will have to exit the old mindset of aping the developed world growth strategy based on excess availability of land and water. Today, the scenario is different where the excess needs to be curtailed, Kant said.
India spends $200 billion on import of fossil fuel, which will increase to $350 billion in the next 15 years, he said. The expenses can be saved if the country uses climatic conditions to become a massive producer of green hydrogen, he said.