Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement’, a global initiative, and asserted that its vision is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it.
Those who live such a lifestyle are called ”pro-planet people,” he said in a video address, and added that ”Mission LiFE’ borrows from the past, operates in the present and focuses on the future.
Giving the slogan of ”one earth, many efforts”, he said India is ready to lend its support to actions to make environment better and improve global wellness.
With the launch coinciding with World Environment Day, Modi said our planet’s challenges are well-known, and the need of the hour is human-centric, collective efforts and robust actions that further sustainable development.
”Reduce, reuse and recycle are the concepts woven in our life. Circular economy has been an integral part of our culture and lifestyle,” Modi said, noting that gods and goddesses in India have plants and animals associated with them, and nature equated with divinity.
”Mahatma Gandhi talked about a zero-carbon lifestyle. In our daily life choices, let us pick the most sustainable options. Let us follow the principle of reuse, reduce and recycle. Our planet is one but our efforts have to be many. One earth, many efforts,” he said.
India has been able to do many good things for the environment, with its forest cover increasing and so is the population of lions, tigers, leopards, elephants and rhinos, he said.
India stands ready to support any effort for a better environment and to further global wellness. The country’s track record speaks for itself, the prime minister said.
He added, ”Our commitment to reach 40 per cent of installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources has been achieved, nine years ahead of schedule. We have achieved 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol, five months ahead of the November 2022 target. This is a major accomplishment given that blending was hardly 1.5 per cent in 2013-14 and 5 per cent in 2019-20.” He said renewable energy has a very high focus in the government. Way ahead, he said, is all about innovation and openness. When technology and tradition mix, the vision of life will be taken further, Modi added. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the launch will initiate ”LiFE global call for papers,” inviting ideas and suggestions from academics, universities and research institutions to influence and persuade individuals, communities and organisations across the world to adopt an environment-conscious lifestyle.
Modi reminded the gathering that this global initiative was proposed by him at COP26 last year, adding the vision of LiFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it. Bill Gates, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lord Nicholas Stern, Climate Economist, Prof. Cass Sunstein, author of Nudge Theory, Aniruddha Dasgupta, CEO and president of World Resources Institute, Inger Andersen, UNEP global head, Achim Steiner, UNDP global head, and David Malpass, World Bank president, were among those present on the occasion.
Gates lauded Modi for taking a lead on this global initiative of citizen action to promote pro-climate behaviours.
”Together we can build a green industrial revolution. The necessity for collective global action to address climate change has never been greater and India’s role and leadership are crucial in ensuring that we reach our climate goals,” he said. An official statement quoted Sunstein as saying that India and PM Modi have been the world leaders with respect to environmental protection and climate change and human behaviour and ”many of us are looking at India for inspiration and ideas”.
It noted the idea of LiFE was introduced by Modi during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow last year. The idea promotes an environment-conscious lifestyle that focuses on ”mindful and deliberate utilisation” instead of ”mindless and destructive consumption”.