Initiatives needed to stop destruction of environment: French Ambassador to India Francois Richier

In view of incessant rains and floods causing massive destruction in Jammu and Kashmir, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier on Wednesday said governments should take initiatives to stop disruption of environment to prevent catastrophes in the future.

New Delhi: In view of incessant rains and floods causing massive destruction in Jammu and Kashmir, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier on Wednesday said governments should take initiatives to stop disruption of environment to prevent catastrophes in the future.

Referring to a media report which suggested that a report on disruption caused to the environment in that particular region was submitted to the State and Central Governments five years ago, he said, "One cannot be sure whether JK floods is a result of climate change or not, but efforts should be made to stop climate change and help prevent future destruction.

"We can assume that this report, which was made under the auspices of the Jammu and Kashmir government and sent to the central governments is well established by saying that some destruction of the environment has been made and that is causing risk for the near future.

He was speaking at the Global Leadership Summit on 'Climate Change and Calamities...Sharing experiences and strategies' organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) here.

Noting that one per cent of the country's GDP is lost in post disaster management, Head/Scientist in the Department of Science and Technology in the Ministry of S&T, Akhilesh Gupta, said the country would really benefit if the government invests 0.1 per cent of the GDP in preparedness for disaster.

Speaking on the occasion, Mangu Singh, Managing Director, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) also highlighted the need to invest in public transport system in the country, that is undergoing rapid urbanisation

He said the rail-based transport system like Delhi Metro, which consumes only one fifth energy as against road- based system, is the most efficient mode for transportation in the country.

"With rapid urbanisation and increased economic activities this scenario will further deteriorate if corrective actions are not taken, if public transportation is not raised in all the cities," Singh said.

Delhi Metro is the first in the country, with a network of over 190 kms, with energy efficient systems and it is registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project which generate Certified Emission Reduction units, he added.

On the occasion, a Knowledge Paper on 'Climate Change and Calamities' was published by ASSOCHAM.

The French Ambassador said his country is ready to facilitate and hear out all countries which will participate in the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015, where the next report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released.

"France, as the Chair, is seeing the process with no predetermined mindset. Its not only coagulating diverging views. Our role will be of an impartial facilitator, during the course of negotiations and we will reach out to all countries and all segments (civil society and business community) and maintain global bonding," Richier said.

He also appreciated efforts being made by the business community and people across India to use sustainable and alternate energy resources in their day to day lives.

"In India you have a strong movement that is emerging on which we can bet. Solar energy, wind, hydro are being utilised and it would be a pity not to use the sun, which you have in plenty. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a saffron revolution in the solar energy domain which is essential," he said.

The Ambassador noted that nuclear energy output in India is only three percent of the total energy output, "If you don't use all the possibilities at the maximum, and nuclear energy is a valid option."

"That does not mean at all that somebody wants to impose upon India, obligations that were against poverty eradication, that would be absolutely absurd," Richier added.

The Ambassador urged all the public and private sectors, including business sector to participate in the fight against climate change and move to more practical solutions to generate business opportunities.

 

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