Legislators At GLOBE India Regional Consultation call for closer cooperation between states and centre on climate change
Legislators, cutting across party lines, expressed their concern over the dangers of Climate Change and underlined the need for united effort to tackle the problem. They called for closer cooperation between States and Centre, Strengthening of Environment protection laws and most importantly creating mass awareness on Climate Change related issues.
After the initial formalities the chief speaker, Pranab Prakash Das, Energy Minister of the state outlined the steps being taken by the State Government to tap the solar and wind energy potential to lessen the dependence on coal-based energy source. Pointing that there are several villages in the State without electricity, the Minister said the State government has commissioned several solar energy projects to provide electricity to villages, particularly far flung villages. In this context, he also underlined the significance of NET metering and solar housing system.
Highlighting the importance of the Regional Conference, GLOBE India President Bhubaneswar Kalita said the suggestions and outcome of this Regional Consultation in Bhubaneswar would help in shaping up India’s stand on Climate Change in the run up to CoP21 Paris. He also elaborated the key issues that are important for India’s articulation during the Climate Change negotiations. He also underlined the importance of Green Climate Funds and Patent free transfer of technologies from developed countries to developing countries to mitigate climate change.
Kalikesh Narayan Deo, Member of Lok Sabha from Bolangir, Odisha and Founding Trustee of GLOBE India highlighted the dilemma of developing countries like India that needs to produce more energy to meet its growing energy consumption. Country like India needs to use coal to generate more energy but use of coal also results in more carbon emission. .. Here is the dilemma, he said. He also expressed his desire to set up a GLOBE State Chapter to hasten the convergence between the policy makers and implementers.
IELO representative made an elaborate presentation on threats posed by Climate Change, particularly to coastal states. The presentation also spelt out the historic perspective on the Climate Change negotiations and the issues that are crucial in the run up to CoP21 in Paris later this year.
This consultation was an imperative event to initiate state consensus on various issues related to mapping legal options and also come up with relative working alternatives for establishing the States’ approach to climate change negotiations and reach the national and then the international level. The suggestions of different guests will have to be prioritized within the existing timeline and dealt together with a combined strong convergence.
Anubhav Patanaik expressed the need to plant trees and also the need to create more awareness on the impact of both afforestation and deforestation. He also said that if every department takes up energy saving initiatives it will create a massive positive impact.
Amar Satpathy clearly put across his views on the burning issue and wanted the gathering to give more attention to prevention than the after math and extensive inclusion and concentration on National policies. He also put emphasis on the need of a mass campaign.
Devajit Patanaik wanted the state to incentivize the plantations and also to build more mangroves. He also showed more keenness towards open cast coal mines.
Priyanshu Pradhan came up with a unique proposition of converting destructive ocean energy into positive energy that will benefit mankind and also to experiment with the new offshore technology for generating fruitful source of usable energy.
Shashi Bhushan Behera emphasised on the need for compulsory budgetary provision for climate change initiatives by all departments in their annual budgets. He also felt that more unrelenting advocacy is essential on promoting domestic and institutional subsidies and to popularize alternative sources of energy. He also felt the need to frame more need based policies to support climate change initiatives.
Combating issues before hand and giving equal concentration on preparedness should solve many problems said Prashanth Mudali. He also wants that the forest law must be made more flexible, especially in the coastal areas.
P. D. Rai Secretary, GLOBE India wrapped up the consultation with his concluding remarks. Climate Change is already on us and we should not think it is the problem of the future, but it’s the present and all the MPs and MLAs must understand their responsibilities and role play to push this issue forward. We need to start thinking about innovation and how to convert destructive force into constructive energy. Emphasising that a lot needs to be done at the local level to have effective implementation, he implored the guests to revisit the existing State Plans and formulate policies to create a positive difference. He reiterated that Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar was very much glued to GLOBE India activities because he was the founder President of the organisation. Therefore, the Minister has a huge personal stake in formulating policies, he added.