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Sansad TV: Perspective- Mission LiFE & Climate Change





Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for people’s participation and collective efforts in combating climate change. Addressing the World Bank Event on How Behavioral Change Can Tackle Climate Change PM Modi said Climate change cannot be fought from conference rooms alone, must be fought at dinner table in every home. He also said that under Mission LiFE, the government’s efforts are spread across many domains such as making local bodies environment-friendly, saving water, saving energy, reducing waste and e-waste, adopting healthy lifestyles, adoption of natural farming and promotion of millets. A Global call for Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) was given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while delivering India’s National Statement, at CoP26, held at Glasgow in October-November, 2021. Subsequently, Mission LiFE was launched by PM Modi on 20 October 2022

Life mission and its analysis:

  • The Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) campaign was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The prime minister called upon global leaders to join the movement for safeguarding the environment by adopting environment-friendly lifestyle.
  • It recognises small individual actions can tip the balance in the planet’s favour.
    • But we need guiding frameworks, information sharing and the scale of a global movement.
  • It recognises that accountability is relative to contribution.
    • Emissions across the poorest half of the world’s population combined still fall short of even 1% of the wealthiest.
  • Differentiated approaches: Each ‘Pro Planet’ stakeholder is nudged according to differentiated approaches.
  • Mindful choices cultivated by LIFE animate this spirit — actions such as saving energy at home; cycling and using public transport instead of driving etc. and leveraging our position as customers and employees to demand climate-friendly choices
  • Nudging: Many of the goals of LIFE can be achieved by deploying ‘nudges’, gentle persuasion techniques to encourage positive behaviour
    • The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) employs proven nudging techniques such as discouraging food waste by offering smaller plates in cafeterias; encouraging recycling by making bin lids eye-catching
    • According to the UNEP, more than two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to household consumption and lifestyles — thus it requires widespread adoption of greener consumption habits.

Challenges in addressing climate change:

  • Regional Inequality:
    • The principle of Common but differentiated responsibilities was proposed to tackle climate change by addressing the regional inequality.
    • However, the indifferent behaviour by the developed countries has led to partial success of many global initiatives. Eg. Kyoto Protocol.
  • Developed Countries not taking responsibility:
    • Historical emissions and pollution caused due to industrial revolution is not accepted by the industrialized nations.
    • Developed nations are unwilling to accept the responsibility and are moving away from global agreements. Eg. USA rejecting the Paris deal.
  • Finance:
    • Huge amount of funds are required for adaptation and mitigation measures to be adopted.
    • For eg: electric mobility, certainly is a green measure, but is actually expensive, in immediate terms, in terms of cost per vehicle kilometre.
    • The cost of shifting into renewable energy is also a fiscal challenge to most countries.
  • Technology:
    • Many adaptation and mitigation measures need sophisticated technologies and Research and Development which is an impediment to many developing and small island nations.
    • Commercialization of technology in form of Patents, evergreening has made it unaffordable.
  • Increasing use of fossil fuels.
  • Complex linkages among emissions, concentrations, climate changes, and impacts.
  • Lack of certainty about the details of future climate change.
  • Significant time lags in human response systems.
  • Risks, judgments about risk, and adaptation needs are highly variable across different contexts.

Way Forward

  • India has a proven track record of translating the aspirations of national missions into whole-of-society efforts
  • Localized Climate risk atlas at national scale level.
  • Democratization of climate data.
  • The real challenge is to get other developed countries on board.
  • Wealthy nations like the U.S., and those of the EU argued that emissions from developing countries are consistently rising and they need to commit to more serious emission cuts. A consensus needs to be developed at the earliest.
  • Investment in R&D is needed to spur innovations in sustainable climate-friendly and climate-proof productivity, and the private sector can help on this.