Free Press Journal

‘Extravagant lifestyle in developed countries not sustainable’


prakash javdekar

New Delhi: India today hit out at the developed countries for adopting “extravagant” lifestyles compared to its “need based consumption” and asserted only “sustainable” lifestyles can mitigate the climate change challenge. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also demanded that the lifestyle issue must be debated at the Paris climate change conference later this year.

The minister said that Indian lifestyle is “against” such extravagant consumption and the country has an “ingrained” sense of responsibility where wasteful consumption is “abhorred”.

“Lifestyle adopted in developed countries is unsustainable and it will require five Earths to fulfil their lifestyle demands. On the other hand, Indian lifestyle is sustainable where one earth is sufficient. “This is not because of poverty but because of Indian value systems. We believe in need-based consumption and our lifestyle is against extravagant consumption. We have an ingrained sense of responsibility where wasteful consumption is abhorred. Therefore, the Paris conference must include a debate on lifestyles,” Javadekar said.

He was making an intervention at the informal Conference of Parties (COP-21) meeting in Paris today. The minister said this while referring to the latest ‘Earth Overshoot Report’ which is brought out by Global Footprint Network (GFN) every year which maps consumption and requirement of natural resources to sustain it.

Terming the report as an “eye-opener”, Javadekar said that the report has indicated that the ecological footprint of developed countries ranges from 8 to 4 whereas India is at 0.9. Noting that India and other developing countries have priority of eradicating poverty, Javadekar said that these nations “cannot” be asked to compromise on that goal in the name of climate change.

“Every poor of the world has the right to emerge out of poverty and poor and developing countries need sufficient carbon space to ensure sustainable development. As climate change impacts the poorer and vulnerable sections severely, we must ensure climate justice,” he stressed.