Agencies, New Delhi Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today stressed the need for re-engineering of economies for using scarce natural resources and warned developed countries that if they failed to reduce carbon emissions, it would be hard to persuade governments, industry and public in India and other developing nations step up the pace of emission cut.
Inaugurating the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), 2013, he said protection of environment and promoting development need not amount to a zero sum game. He underlined the importance of ‘’regulatory regimes’’ that are transparent, accountable and subject to oversight and monitoring to ensure that environmental and economic objectives were pursued in tandem. Reaffirming India’s commitment to meeting its domestic mitigation goal of reducing the emissions intensity of the GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels, he said India had already taken several major steps for low carbon growth.
‘’Now is the time for the richer industrialised countries to show that they too are willing to move decisively along this path. If they fail to do that in the commitments they will make under the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements, then it will be difficult to persuade governments, industry and the general public in India and other developing countries to step up the pace at which they are moving on this path,’’ the Prime Minister said. Voicing concern over India and other developing copuntries at the depletion of groundwater, the Prime Minister said meeting the rising urban demand for fresh water implied rising costs as supplies had to come from great and greater distances.
Projections of water demand and availability gave an alarming picture of rising scarcities, he said and stressed the need to focus attention on water conservation and water efficiency with the same zeal as given to energy issues. Pointing out that success in sustainable development efforts also depended on use of innovative mechanisms, he said adequate attention should be given to the importance and economic value of ecosystem services in development strategies and policies, particularly while addressing the needs of the vulnerable and poor and marginalised communities. Concepts like Green National Accounting were useful tools that could help ensure that goods and services were produced with minimal ecological and social impact.