Is India Leading the Way in Economic and Environmental Sustainability?

We at The Energy Net had the opportunity to engage in conversation with major leaders of India during the recent Re-emerging and Resilient India Virtual Conference. Everything from environment to economy was discussed on how we as a global nation could recover from the current climate crises and global pandemic. Solutions provided left us wondering if India just might find the answers to most of our global problems.

Put People First!

The 4-hour session began with an address by Honorable Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu, a member of Parliament within the Government of India, who suggested that all attention be given back to that of the people. When asked by Energy Net how he suggests we improve the world problems in a nutshell, he responded with “We must understand that progress of this world can only happen when we focus on people. Without social interactions, there would be no means in which to improve the problems of this world.” According to Minister Prabhu, the world has chosen to focus its attention on the economics and health problems that we are all now facing.

The biggest problem with this limited focus is that it takes away our ability to remember why these problems are so prevalent. We forget that this world is comprised of people who not only suffer as a result of these issues, but the world is also comprised of people who can be a major part of the solution to these problems. “People have purchasing power, spending power, and the ability to use the voice that God gave them to say what they demand of those they consider leaders.”

Money Matters!

The second phase of needed focus for Minister Prabhu was that of economy. He shared during his presentation that without economy, there would be no means in which to improve our environmental health or situation. The bottom line was his belief that without a focus on people, the planet, and our ability to improve them both, we will continue to see great suffrage throughout the world.

The ideas shared by Minister Prabhu were shared by most of the panelists who participated in the conversation. Panelists like Aditi Maheshwari, the Director for Climate Action within the United Nations Secretary General Executive Office, and Shloka Nath, Head of Sustainability and Special Projects and the Tata Trusts & Executive Director of the India Climate Collaborative, were completely on board with the concept that people and economy were key in ensuring a positive change.

Partnership with a Purpose!

According to Nath, “partnership plays a major role in the betterment of our global crises with the agreement of a low carbon sustainable future. Partnership will allow a diverse set of people from business to philanthropy to work alongside the government in developing a resilient economy.” She went further to state that partnerships with existing organizations should not be ignored because it will allow everyone to work together toward a sustainable future. “After all,” Nath continued, “we have to stand on the shoulders of one another during this time.”

Taking calculated risks, coordinating the potential of people and organizations, building awareness and urgency for bold climate action, and piloting impact or climate strategies were all suggested as answers to solve the crises we are all facing as a result of the current pandemic and global warming.

We’re All In This Together!

Many of India’s leaders and progressives seem to feel that the answer is clear if we could all just get on the same page. Without a unified agreement on solving the current crises of climate and health, it is virtually impossible to see a realistic solution. Plans are imperative to solving any crises, but what good are they without everyone working those plans in a unified fashion?

As Punit Lalbhai, Executive Director of Arvind Ltd, stated at the end of our session: “The answer to our climate crises is clear…but only if we are all looking through the same lens.”


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