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Modi govt will continue to balance development and environment protection: Bhupender Yadav

Yadav's role as Environment minister will be crucial as India proposes to host the international climate talks (COP33) in 2028.
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 08:48 IST
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 08:48 IST

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New Delhi: The Modi government will continue to balance development with environmental protection and conservation, Bhupender Yadav said on Tuesday after taking over as Union Environment minister.

Yadav's role as Environment Minister will be crucial as India proposes to host the international climate talks (COP33) in 2028. If accepted, it would be the next major global conference in India after the G20 Summit last year.

Listing the major achievements of the Modi-led government, which enters its third consecutive term, he said, "India met the quantitative and qualitative targets set under its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - the national climate plan to achieve Paris Agreement goals - nine years ahead of schedule."

"Our achievements in emission reduction and the renewable energy sector are significant milestones of the Modi government over the past decade," Yadav told reporters.

The minister, who also expressed satisfaction with the progress of the cheetah project, said Prime Minister Modi launched Mission Life at COP26 in Glasgow to promote mindful consumption of resources and called upon people to plant one tree each in the name of their mother to address rising temperatures, desertification, and biodiversity challenges.

"Both planting trees and protecting them are important," he said.

He said that India marked 50 years of Project Tiger and 30 years of Project Elephant last year and initiated the MISHTI programme to protect mangrove ecosystems.

According to Yadav, India has implemented crucial reforms in the environment sector and launched several key initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilience and Infrastructure and International Big Cat Alliance.

India achieved two quantifiable targets under its first NDCs -- reducing GDP emissions intensity by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels and achieving 40 per cent installed power capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. Both were ahead of schedule.

The country now aims to reduce emissions intensity of GDP by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels and achieve 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.

It has also committed to becoming a net-zero economy by 2070.

Kirtivardhan Singh, the BJP MP from Gonda and a first-time minister in the Modi government, has been appointed Union minister of state for Environment.

Yadav, who took over as Environment minister from Prakash Javadekar in the second Modi government in July 2021, defended India's dependence on coal at international climate talks in Glasgow and Dubai.

He previously served as the Union Labour and Employment minister, a portfolio now allotted to Mansukh Mandaviya.

Under Yadav's leadership in the Environment ministry, India's climate actions were rated the fourth strongest in an annual performance index released by Germanwatch in 2023, an improvement of one place from the year before.

His accomplishments also include a ban on identified single-use plastic items, and an increase in Ramsar sites – wetlands of international importance – in India.

The country made significant amendments to forest, wildlife, and environmental laws during his previous term, some of which drew criticism from opposition parties and environmentalists.

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Published 11 June 2024, 08:48 IST

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