New Delhi: In a run up to COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom, starting from October 31, team Banega Swasth India in an exclusive chat with Actor and Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, Dia Mirza talked about the issue of climate change and how leaders and individuals can come forward and contribute.
Talking about climate change and how it has become more evident, Dia Mirza said,
Climate change is real and it is evident with the increased frequency and intensity with which we are experiencing forest fires, floods, storms, rising sea levels caused by melting ice caps, droughts, water stress, changing crop yield, habitat degradation, extreme weather phenomena like heatwaves and extreme cold.
She further said climate change is also evident from the way it is impacting all of us and global warming is causing increased inequalities. Stressing on the facts that got highlighted in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, she added,
The report brought home more starkly the truth we have known for years that our current state of efforts will not stop global warming.
The actor said climate change can only be tackled if all the individuals come forward and do their bit for the planet. She said,
Unless each and every one of us doesn’t acknowledge the urgency with which we need to demand climate action and bring changes in our personal choices towards leading more sustainable lives, things won’t change.
Talking about Sustainable Development Goals and how we can ensure all the 17 goals are achieved, Dia Mirza said,
The Sustainable Development Goals highlight the fact that all of our lives are interconnected and interdependent as are the goals. If we are to achieve any of the 17 goals, it will now only be possible when we ensure goal 13 – climate action is achieved. We must redouble our efforts and build momentum towards climate action.
Giving an example of COVID-19 pandemic and how it gave everyone a red signal for taking climate change seriously, Dia Mirza said,
COVID-19 is another stark reminder that we need to fix our broken relationship with nature and restore earth’s balance for everyone’s good. We must also remind our leaders to limit global heating to 1.5 °C , cut carbon pollution, invest in renewable energy, no more coal and fossil fuel, invest, support and fund climate action in developing countries and stop the destruction of nature.
The actor, who is the United Nations Environment Programme National Goodwill Ambassador said, while we continue to question policy and demand change from our leaders and society, we must question our own lifestyle choices. She added,
Every action counts and the power of 7 billion people making responsible choices is undeniable.
She suggested that each and every individual must contribute towards climate action. Sharing seven steps on how individuals can contribute towards climate change, she added,
“Individuals can contribute by doing the following:
1. Eating mostly plant-based diets and consuming more local and seasonal fruits and vegetables
2. Consuming less and wasting less. The Gandhian principles here are most relevant. Before we purchase anything why can’t we ask ourselves do I really need this, is this healthy and safe for the environment. Where will it go when I discard it. Chances are what’s healthy for the environment will be healthy for you
3. Grow more indigenous trees, I personally replaced all material gifts with planning trees in the name of people I would want to give something and what a wonderful gift treeS are
4. Refuse all single use plastic and packaging. Carry your own reusable metal water bottle, mug, cutlery and straw, when you are travelling or are on the go
5. Save energy, water and fuel. Simple actions like replacing regular light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs, investing in energy efficient gadgets, turning off the mains and appliances when not in use, taking shorter baths lasting upto 5 minutes or single bucket baths. Turning taps off while soaping, ensuring water tanks are not overflowing by installing water check systems can save a lot of water. Carpooling, avoiding unnecessary travel, using public transportation are again some examples of saving fuel
6. Make festivities and celebrations waste free and earth friendly. Manage your waste at home by segregating, composting, recycling and repairing
7. Support individuals and organisation that work towards the protection of forests and wildlife”
Dia Mirza signed off with a message ahead of COP26, she said,
As we approach COP26, the world and all our leaders need to build momentum and translate words into definitive climate actions and while we compel our leaders to do so, there is a lot every one of us can do at an individual level.
A Look At COP26
COP26 stands for Conference of the Parties, which is a global climate summit, organised by the United Nations. The conference is being held since 1995 and has been signed by parties from more than 190 countries. The 2021 meeting will be the 26th annual summit, which is why it is called COP26.
This year, the agenda of COP26 is:
– Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
– Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats – Mobilise finance and deliver on the first two goals – Work together to deliver changes in ground and fight climate crisis
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via 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, that 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.