Mumbai: Activist Sonam Wangchuk on Tuesday (December 13) said the planet does not need people’s money but lifestyle modifications to overcome challenges like climate change. Mr Wangchuk, an innovator and educational reformer based in Ladakh, cited recent events in the mountainous region in the north like flash floods, which illustrate the impact of climate change, and said these changes have been caused by people in big cities of the world.
“We want to appeal to the world to live simply so that we in the mountains can simply live,” Mr Wangchuk said while addressing a G-20 event here.
“… the planet doesn’t need your money. It needs lifestyle change,” he added, describing a ‘crowdfunding’ project launched by his NGO where people ‘earn’ dollars for every commitment on lifestyle change, like walking or cycling in lieu of driving a car.
He said so far, 23 million ‘green dollars’ have been collected by people under the initiative, but added that there is a need to do more.
Climate finance has been made one of the key themes which India is pressing for during its ongoing G-20 presidency, wherein the local policymakers emphasise on not causing the climate crisis and look up to the developed world for help in financing the changes to be implemented in the developing countries.
Speaking at the same event, India’s G-20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant questioned governments’ commitment to stated goals on green initiatives. Mr Kant remarked,
Governments across the world… their track record is very poor. They will give long term commitment (which) they will never fulfil.
He said over half a billion people will shift into Indian cities over the next five decades and the country does not have the luxury of building sprawling cities like the ones built in US. We will have to create cities which are vertical, depend a lot on cycling, walking, renewable energy and e-mobility, he noted.
The career bureaucrat, however, sounded sceptical about the talent availability to handle the challenge. He said,
You will have to train your urban planners for another pattern of urbanisation which Indian planners are not equipped to. They have all been trained in the American model of urbanisation. You will have to bring in a lot of behaviourial change.
He underlined that the idea of ‘Life’ being mooted by India at the G-20 forum is not anti-consumerism.
“‘Life’ is not about being anti-consumerism, it is about a completely new model of development which involves a behaviourial change towards completely new areas,” he said, adding that decarbonising needs to be the focus area.
(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.