New Delhi: On the occasion of 45th World Environment Day, for which the theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the need to protect the environment by shunning the use of single-use plastics. PM Modi’s address was part of the plenary session, which he chaired, culminating the five-day celebrations of World Environment Day. State environment ministers, representatives from the United Nations, and members from various industry bodies were among the various dignitaries attending the session. During the plenary session, PM Modi also released the ‘Single Use Plastics’ report by United Nations, along with commemorative stamps on the occasion of World Environment Day 2018.
Here’s what PM Modi said on World Environment Day
- On behalf of 1.3 billion Indians, I am delighted to welcome you all to New Delhi. Proud to be the global host for World Environment Day 2018. We recall our ancient ethos of universal brotherhood. Mahatma Gandhi had said earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s need but not everyone’s greed. Also Read: World Environment Day Is A Mission For India, Not Just A Symbolic Celebration: Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan
- India is the fastest growing economy in the world today. Committed to ensure green growth, 40 million cooking gas connections have been given. We freed rural women from misery of poisonous smoke and eliminated dependence on firewood. Also Read: Combating Indoor Air Pollution: Cleaner Cooking Fuel For 300 Million In India By 2021
- Over 300 million LED bulbs have been installed across India. Besides saving electricity, the government has also prevented carbon dioxide release in atmosphere, and given a massive push towards renewable energy generation. India produces 100 Gigawatts of solar energy, making it the 5th largest producer.
- The government aims to provide electricity connection to every household, reduce dependency on environmentally degrading forms of fuels.
- We are committed to reduce 33-35 percent of emission intensity (an emission intensity is the emission rate of a given pollutant relative to the intensity of a specific activity, or an industrial production process) of GDP. India is also on track to meet Copenhagen pledge.
- India supports 7-8 percent recorded species diversity and at the same time supports 18 percent human population. In terms of the forest cover, it has been increased by 1 percent in the last few years. Wildlife population is also on the rise.
- While speaking at the plenary session, PM Modi said that the water availability is a major challenge in India.
- The government has launched Namami Gange programme, which will help revive the precious Ganga River. The Prime Minister further highlighted that continued availability of water is needed for agriculture. Also Read: Ganga Pollution: Perception That ‘Nothing Significant’ Being Done To Clean Ganga Is Not Correct, 80% Ganga To Be Clean By March 2019, Says Nitin Gadkari
- “The government has also launched a massive campaign to ensure farmers turn agricultural waste into manure,” added PM Modi.
- “Plastic threatens to become a menace to humanity. A lot of it doesn’t make it to recycling plants and lot of it is also non-biodegradable, and it has a deadly impact on our marine ecosystem. Declining fish, warming oceans and vanishing habitats are results of plastic waste. Understanding that microplastic is a major transboundary problem and is now entering our food chain, India is preparing to join Clean Seas campaign. Also Read: #WorldEnvironmentDay: Indians Are Taking Initiatives Towards Making Their Cities And Beaches Cleaner, Says UN Environment Head Erik Solheim