The Prime Minister was speaking after virtually launching a global initiative 'Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement'. The launch will initiate 'LiFE Global Call for Papers' inviting ideas and suggestions from academics, universities, and research institutions to influence and persuade individuals, communities and organisations across the world to adopt an environment-conscious lifestyle.
Addressing the gathering, he said that today is an apt day for the launch of the global initiative 'Lifestyle for the Environment - LiFE Movement' as he stressed the need of the hour to solve the challenge faced by our planet using human-centric, collective efforts and robust action that further sustainable development.
The Prime Minister reminded the gathering that this global initiative was proposed by him at COP-26 last year. "The vision of LiFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it. And those who live such a lifestyle are called 'Pro-Planet People'. Mission LiFE borrows from the past, operates in the present, and focuses on the future. Reduce, reuse, and recycle are the concepts woven into our life. The Circular Economy has been an integral part of our culture and lifestyle," he said.
He noted that thanks to 1.3 billion Indians in the country, he was able to do many good things for the environment in our country.
"India's forest cover is increasing and so is the population of lions, tigers, leopards, elephants and rhinos. India's commitment to reach 40 per cent of installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources has been achieved, nine years ahead of schedule. The target of 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol has been achieved five months ahead of the November 2022 target. This is a major accomplishment given that blending was hardly 1.5 per cent in 2013-14 and five per cent in 2019-20," he said.
He also mentioned that renewable energy has a priority focus in the government. "Way ahead is all about innovation and openness. When technology and tradition mix, the vision of life will be taken further," he said.
The Prime Minister recalled that Mahatma Gandhi talked about a zero-carbon lifestyle. "In our daily life choices, let us pick the most sustainable options," he said and urged the gathering to follow the principle of reuse, reduce, and recycle.
"Our planet is one but our efforts have to be many - One earth, many efforts. India stands ready to support any effort for a better environment and to further global wellness. Our track record speaks for itself," he added.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chairman Bill Gates, who also participated in the programme, said: "I congratulate Prime Minister Modi for taking a lead on this global initiative of citizen action to promote pro-climate behaviours. Together we can build a green industrial revolution. The necessity for collective global action to address climate change has never been greater and India's role and leadership are crucial in ensuring that we reach our climate goals."
World Bank President David Malpass recalled the words of Indian scriptures on the centrality of the environment in the Indian ethos. He remembered seeing this urgency while working with the Prime Minister on Civil Service capacity building in Gujarat in 2019. He also praised India's local initiatives like POSHAN, ASHA, and Swachh Bharat people helping in financial inclusion and localising the initiative.
The idea of LiFE was introduced by the Prime Minister during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow last year. The idea promotes an environment-conscious lifestyle that focuses on 'mindful and deliberate utilisation' instead of 'mindless and destructive consumption.'