The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today said, India, which has had a long tradition of living in harmony with nature, should lead the global fight against climate change. Inaugurating the Conference of State Environment and Forest Ministers in New Delhi today, the Prime Minister expressed disappointment that India's culture of respecting and loving nature has not been sufficiently projected on the global arena, and the country is occasionally perceived to be a barrier in the global fight against climate change.
The Prime Minister said the people of India have been the protectors and devotees of nature. He said we need to project this fact properly, so that the world realizes that India cannot be questioned in this regard. He said Indians have always conserved nature, and even today, have among the lowest per-capita carbon emission, globally. He said the way forward is not just restrictions, but changing lifestyles. He said the culture of recycle and re-use is not new for India. Instead of being forced to follow parameters laid down by others, India should lead the world in the fight against climate change, he added.
Shri Narendra Modi said development and environment protection can go hand in hand, but there are serious misconceptions being spread in this regard. Giving the example of the Land Acquisition Bill, he said the provisions of the Bill do not touch tribal and forest land. But serious misconceptions and lies are being spread about this Bill. He urged those spreading such lies, to desist from doing so, and said these attempts to misguide society are harming the nation.
The Prime Minister called upon the world to ease restrictions for India on import of nuclear fuel, so that India could also produce clean nuclear energy in a big way. He said the Government is focusing on clean energy generation in a big way, through solar radiation, wind and biomass.
The Prime Minister, who was presented a report on the status of tigers in India, expressed satisfaction at the reported increase in the country's tiger population, and said it was an illustration of India's commitment to respect for nature.
Earlier, the Prime Minister visited an exhibition at the Conference venue. He released a "Standard Terms of Reference for Environment Impact Analysis", which was described by the Union Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar as a step that would contribute to "ease of doing business." The Prime Minister also launched a National Air Quality Index, which will monitor the quality of air in major urban centres across the country on a real-time basis.