New Delhi: All educational institutions in India should make their campuses carbon neutral by 2030 to help the country achieve the target of net-zero emissions by 2070, former environment minister Prakash Javadekar said. Addressing the launch of “U75: Net-Zero in the University Campus”, a new initiative by environment NGO Green TERRE Foundation to make educational institutions in India carbon neutral by 2030, Mr Javadekar said the initiative will create “required environmental sensitivity amongst students whose future depends upon our fight against climate change”.
Launched National Campaign of 'U75' – A Global movement of 'Carbon Neutral University' in campus for making Universities & colleges #carbonneutral.
Watch My Inaugural speech for insights..Pt 1. pic.twitter.com/IuRu1vBlBi
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) May 2, 2023
More than 450 universities and colleges of the Smart Campus Cloud Network – SCCN are also part of this carbon-neutral campus movement.
Mr Javadekar, who had earlier held the education portfolio as human resource development minister, said education institutes need to save and generate energy and water, plant more trees, convert waste into wealth and promote electrical mobility on campus.
Erik Solheim, former under-secretary general of the United Nations, praised the movement, saying that to act on global environmental challenges, “we need to make climate change a people’s issue”.
Mr Solheim also advised faculty members and students to take “inspiration from the Indian traditional system of respecting nature”.
Rajendra Shende, the founder of Green TERRE Foundation, emphasised that the university campus is an incubator for moulding the minds of the youth to be ready for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) mission and meeting India’s net-zero target.
PM Modi had last year launched ‘Mission LiFE’, which calls for a global mass movement for inducing behavioural changes focused on “mindful and deliberate utilisation” of resources.
At COP26 in Glasgow, PM Modi committed India to a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2070. Net zero means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and those taken out.
India has also allocated Rs 35,000 crore in the Union Budget for 2023-24 for priority capital investment towards energy transition and achieving the net-zero emission goal.
Mr Shende added that “no place is more appropriate than the university campus to groom young talents to scale up and speed up actions on SDGs (sustainable development goals) and climate neutrality”.
National Board of Accreditation Chairman Prof Anil Sahasrabudhe said 75 universities should become role models for net-zero emissions for another 750 varsities and 7,500 colleges during the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
He said carbon neutrality should be part of the curriculum to make the youth climate-ready, starting from schools.
All India Council for Technical Education Chairman Prof T Sitharam supported the objective of “U75 and Smart Campus Cloud Network”, saying “societal efforts like this are essential along with government initiatives”.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.