Free Press Journal

Sustainable growth not at cost of poor, India says


prakash javdekar

Nairobi: Efforts to put the global economy on a sustainable path must not be at the cost of the poor, India today said and asked developed countries to take a lead in committing to technology transfer for developing nations to achieve balanced growth.

Speaking at a UN Environment Conference in Nairobi, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also said that the proposed amount for the Green Climate Fund should be utilised in purchasing green technologies and it should provided to the developing countries free of cost.

“It has been agreed to establish Green Climate Fund of US USD 100 billion per year by 2020. This amount should be utilised to purchase Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) of most crucial technologies for public good and these technologies should then be freely available to the developing countries to facilitate sustainable development,” he said at the Ministerial Plenary of the First UN Environment Assembly.

Javadekar said that developed countries must provide enhanced financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building support to developing countries to meet the vast requirements of sustainable development.

“Our efforts to put the global economy on a sustainable path must not be and cannot be on the backs of the poor. The wide difference between the average per capita consumption of energy and other resources in the developed and developing countries as also the huge wastage of food at consumer level in developed countries makes it imperative for developed countries to take the lead to shift towards Sustainable Production and Consumption (SCP) patterns.

“The developed countries have to lead from the front and commit technology transfer to developing countries for them to achieve this,” Javadekar said.

The environment minister rued the fact that “not much progress” has been made on the issue of technology transfer despite the fact that the Rio+20 document mandates relevant UN agencies to identify options for a facilitation mechanism that promotes the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.

“India strongly feels that technology transfer is the most important means of implementation and an effective and functional Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) is a must for a meaningful Post-2015 Development Agenda,” he said.

He said that the TFM should meet the technology transfer needs of developing countries in various sectors like health, energy, food, water, sanitation and others.

“The developing countries need to be assisted in technology needs assessment, adaptation, rollout and human and institutional capacity building,” Javadekar.

Javadekar said that India attaches utmost importance to the evolution of the post-2015 development agenda and strongly believes that it must be an agenda for development which can propel sustained and inclusive economic growth in all countries, particularly developing countries.

“Poverty eradication, which has been identified at Rio+20 as the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, must remain the central and overarching objective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda,” he said.

He also advocated for making the SDGs and the Post 2015 Development Agenda universal in nature and said that it cannot remain a series of policy prescriptions from the North to the South unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“A universal agenda means that developed countries must also take on obligations in relevant areas,” he said.

He said that the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda must address the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced manner, both across goals as well as within them.

In terms of global development cooperation, Javadekar said that it is important that aid commitments are not only met in earnest but that they are expanded and extended in the post-2015 period.

He said that India has gone through a democratic transition through world’s largest elections, in which 550 million voters exercised their franchise.

“Our PM Narendra Modi has wished this UNEA session a grand success,” he said.

The environment minister said that India has its National Climate Action Plan with eight missions — solar energy, energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, water, Himalayan eco-system, Greening India, sustainable agriculture and strategic knowledge for climate change.

He said that his country’s new initiatives relate to integrated coastal development, forest conservation, combating desertification, island development and cleaning the river Ganga.

“We are committed to energy and resource efficient development. We have designed low carbon strategy and have on our own set up ambitious renewable energy targets,” the minister said.

Noting that since the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) is separately assessing the financing requirements of SDGs, he said that India welcomes the decision to hold the third ‘Financing for Development’ Conference in the middle of next year before the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.