Climate change a challenge caused by human beings: Piyush Goyal

New delhi: Power Minister Piyush Goyal today squarely held human beings responsible for the climate challenge, saying they can address it ultimately.

“It is time that human beings understood that climate change is a challenge caused by humans only and ultimately it is humans who can address it,” Goyal said while addressing the World Conference on Environment 2017 here in a statement.

According to a power ministry statement, the minister said such conferences are very appropriate in the current scenario as these discussions help us come up with new ideas and bring back the focus on sensitive subjects like climate change.

Goyal observed that “we are living on this planet and using its resources as if we have an another planet to go to later”.

The minister noted that the largest loss experienced due to climate change is by the poorest and the underprivileged.

In 1911, he said, Mahatma Gandhi had used the phrase ‘Economy of Nature’ that brought out his deep understanding regarding the need to maintain a balance between what the nature has to supply and the demand of the human existence.

“The Earth provides enough for every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed,” the minister quoted the Mahatma as saying.

About steps being taken to combat climate change, Goyal said this government has been following a 360 degree holistic approach towards energy, environment and balancing the needs of a growing economy.

The LED project, under which the government is looking to lighten the lighting load, will reduce carbon dioxide emission by 80 million tonnes per annum and the economically prudent project will help the consumer save around Rs 40,000 crore in electricity bills annually.

Similarly, when it comes to energy generation, India is trying to move from a highly thermal power generation dependent economy towards renewable energy, the minister said.

The solar power programme has been scaled up from a 20 gw target to 100 gw by 2022. All the renewable sources, including large hydro projects, taken together, India has set sights on on 225 gw of renewable and clean energy by 2022.

About Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for converting all vehicles in India to electric vehicles, Goyal added that the Prime Minister has directed a group of senior ministers to lead the initiative and make sure that latest by 2030, if not all, most vehicles in India are powered by electricity.

The minister added that this conversion of India’s vehicles into electrical ones has a potential to save fossil fuel worth about USS 100 bn annually, which in turn would save the country precious foreign exchange, prevent the dependence on imported petroleum products and reduce pollution in cities by 80-90 per cent.

According to a government study, India can power its entire vehicular traffic in 2030 on solar power by using only 1 per cent of the land area of Rajasthan.

The government is committed to expanding the project rapidly across the country.