29174 citizens across the country have endorsed and collaborated in the Green Recommendations initiated by Greenpeace India
New Delhi, November 17: The pandemic has hit the world hard. We can understand that the government is trying to promote economic growth, better health care and repair the losses that occurred. At the same time, India is also witnessing extreme weather events in the form of cyclones, floods, droughts, earthquakes et al at an increasing rate in the past few years. Even in the midst of the pandemic, the country experienced cyclone Amphan which has displaced thousands of people in West Bengal and Odisha. A report “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” by the Ministry of Earth Sciences maintains “The rapid changes in India’s climate projected by climate models will place increasing stress on the country’s natural ecosystems, agricultural output, and freshwater resources, while also causing escalating damage to infrastructure.” We have seen that while all gets impacted by climate change and Covid pandemic, the poor in the society are more vulnerable.
The question to us as a society is – how should our development trajectory shape post-COVID-19? Greenpeace India along with 29174 citizens across the country reimagine a future which is environmentally resilient, socially just and economically equitable. It not only means to envisage policies that fetch us positive environmental outcomes but also attempts to mend the existing systematic fault lines which are impacting lives and livelihoods of people.
These recommendations were being collated since June 2020 as part of an initiative called #TowardsBetter, in consultation with various stakeholders that includes farmers, workers, urban dwellers and issue experts.
The recommendations on clean energy and transport include systemic reforms such as the promotion of decentralized model of renewable energy, generation of green jobs, strict enforcement of emission standards, measures taken to promote electric vehicles, rebuilding trust in public transport, redesigning urban transport to prioritize low cost, active and carbon-neutral vehicles and climate-resilient infrastructure. There is then recommendations to improve the sustainable agricultural ecosystem and nutritional security of Indians include measures such as shifting the agrochemical subsidies in developing decentralised infrastructures for farmers for boosting Soil Organic Carbon, incentivisation of biomass, special package for small and sustainable farmers, and investment in food and biodiversity parks to name a few.
Reacting to the submission of Green Recommendations to the NITI Aayog, Binu Jacob, Executive Director at Greenpeace India said, “Green recovery would promote sustainable and just society better than return-to-normal stimulus measures’. NITI Aayog has advocated for sustainable development goals in the past, we are hopeful that the think-tank body would seriously consider the Green Recommendations endorsed by citizens of the country.”
During the initial days of lockdown, when the unorganised sector received a massive blow, Greenpeace India with the support farmers practicing sustainable farming reached more than 20,000 people through ration kits and community kitchens in five geographies of Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Jamui in Bihar. The initiative was called ‘Circles of Solidarity’.
Greenpeace India also expresses its desire to engage with the NITI Aayog as and when they require more research and development of the ideas mentioned in the Green Recommendations. Greenpeace looks up to policymakers to drive these recommendations into concrete policies.
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The COVID19 crisis has revealed the vulnerability of our food, economic, healthcare, and welfare systems. We have the power to move humanity towards a better future.