Feb 02, 2012
Sustainability demands interconnecting society, economy and environment, says a latest UN report launched at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2012.
New Delhi: “We have to steer away from fossilfuel growth,” insisted Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action at the 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi.
Hedegaard is a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability which launched its report Resilient People, Resilient Planet: a Future Worth Choosing. Besides Hedegaard, panelists include Tarja Halonen, President of Finland and Co-chair of the Panel, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway and Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Rural Development, GoI.
The report opens with the famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed.” It argues that sustainability revolves around this very concept. Sustainable development is not a destination, but a dynamic process of adaptation, learning and action. It demands interconnecting society, economy and environment, the report emphasises.
“The report is a recipe to green growth,” Hedegaard said as she highlighted one of the key recommendations from the report – diverting fossil-fuel subsidies towards renewable ones.
The biggest threat to sustainable development comes from the changing climate. Developing nations are least responsible, though, unfortunately, worst victims of climate change. For instance, last year’s drought in Somalia compelled a transition to methods of sustainable agriculture that simultaneously resilient to climate change so that food security is built into climate resilient communities.
India’s Minister for rural development, Jairam Ramesh, announced at the sixth anniversary of India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) (coinciding with the launch of the report) that “the government will make provisions to build social assets for climate change adaptation in the coming year.”
“Sustainability of consumption patterns and lifestyles coupled with the security of livelihoods are key to a sustainable future,” noted the Minister.
Gro Harlem Brundtland called to end discrimination against women and integrate them in the development process. “This is impeding growth in the developing nations,” she added, giving grist to the argument on social equity.
The report enlists recommendations to empower people to make sustainable choices, strengthening institutional governance towards building a sustainable economy. This will in turn, the report says, feed in the discourse at the Rio+20 summit to be held in June later this year.