Published On: Sat, Feb 7th, 2015

Need to redefine growth and development to de-carbonize the global economy: DSDS 2015

dsdcNew Delhi: On the last day of the landmark 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2015 (DSDS), Heads of State, Nobel Laureates and thought leaders forged consensus on developing new pathways to find and replicate sustainable solutions for our common future.

DSDS, the flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), opened new gateways
to meet the challenges of ‘Sustainable Development Goals and Dealing with Climate Change’,
the theme this year. The DSDS 2015 assumes significance as the post-2015 development agenda
is being finalized — the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is expected to adopt the
new set of goals in September 2015 and the climate negotiations (Conference of Parties –
COP21) will be held in Paris later this year.

Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, said: “We need to redefine growth and development.
The North and the South will have to work together to come up with sustainable solutions.
We cannot achieve sustainable development unless we meet the aspirations of the people. To
move towards a low carbon economy, we need to come up with innovative solutions. We need
buildings and shopping malls that can reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent. We need
clean and affordable transportation systems and learn from countries that have made cycling
as an efficient mode of transport. We need a technological transition to de-carbonize the
global economy. We need a strong agreement in Paris, which should be open to scrutiny and
monitoring.”

Prof Jeffrey D Sachs, Director, Earth Institute & Special Advisor to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations, said in a video message: “Though most governments have said they
have accepted the 20C limit target, they are yet to implement carbon reduction measures.
There is no back-up plan. Climate funds of $100 billion a year is not much, considering the
scale of the global economy. We need to harness clean energy sources such as solar, wind,
and nuclear energy and bring about a transformation in our energy policies to move towards
a low carbon economy. We need research and demonstration of low carbon technologies. ”

At a session on ‘Climate Change: Ethics, Equity and the Poor’, Dr Rajiv Gupta, Principal
Secretary (Water Supply Department), Principal Secretary (Climate Change Department) &
Managing Director, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited, said:
“Sustainability is ultimately a moral issue. Our ancient scriptures have always underlined
the sustainable use of our natural resources. Climate change has exposed the vulnerability
of poor people. The issue of equity is at the core of the climate change debate.”

“But there are ways to overcome the crisis. For example in Gujarat, the establishment of
water infrastructure provided water security to more than 11,000 villages. This was
possible only due to the vision of one man – Shri Narendra Modi, who is now the Prime
Minister of India. Only a strong political leadership can overcome ‘inconvenient truths’,”
added Dr Gupta.

Dr Arvid Hallén, Director General, The Research Council of Norway, said: “As we march
towards a new climate agreement in Paris, we must reaffirm the issue of ethics and equity.
Climate change is about social and economic justice, and we must address these issues. As
Indian Minister Piyush Goyal said yesterday, developing countries cannot take the sole
responsibility for climate change. Rich nations must take the lead to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. In this complex process, the context and interests of the poor must be
reflected.”
“Access to clean water and clean energy are the core issues of climate change. Over 80 per
cent of diseases are water-related and by 2020, the gap between water demand and supply
will increase by 50 per cent. Therefore, collaboration is very important. Contamination of
water bodies needs to be addressed by various stakeholders. Lastly, it is not important
just to build toilets for access to clean sanitation; they must be used as well,” stressed
Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, HSBC India, & Executive Director on the Board of HSBC Asia-
Pacific.
“India is the ultimate laboratory for development; It is also a terrific field to analyze
how development processes work. While dealing with climate change, we must remember that
we have a responsibility towards the poor,” said Dr David M Malone, UN Under-Secretary-
General & Rector, United Nations University (UNU).

Ms Ekaterina Zagladina, President, Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace
Laureates, said: “No one will escape from the effects of climate change. Further, there is
the issue of justice – those who are suffering the most are not responsible for climate
change.”

Among the highlights of day was the launch of a partnership between TERI and UBrain TV to
widen the outreach of sustainable development issues and sustainable solutions.

About the Author

-