AhAt the UNFCC CoP26 in November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Mission Life’ with the slogan ‘Lifestyle for the Environment’. The website of his Niti Aayog, a government think tank, says, “This mission encourages individuals to take simple actions in their daily lives that, when accepted worldwide, could make a significant contribution to climate change.” It is my intention to encourage you to do so.”
Sitharaman’s ‘Green Growth’ provision mainly focuses on clean energy and transport, waste-to-energy plants and wetlands transition. The budget provides him 35,000 kroner towards the energy transition. It also focuses on lowering import tariffs on lithium-ion batteries to encourage electric vehicles.
However, the budget makes no mention of India’s continued and growing dependence on coal, nor does it provide allocations to improve the efficiency of the grid (India has the highest losses in the grid and the global average ). Nor does it address the need to protect forests designated for coal mining or reduce coal use to achieve net zero.
Sitharaman also did not mention the sustainability of construction through the mitigation of air and noise pollution during the construction phase, but the budget allocation to Prime Minister Awas Yojana, the mass housing project, increased by 66% to Rs 79,000. exceeded.
Again, much of the pristine forests inhabited by the tribes remain largely untouched despite the allocation of Rs.15 crore for welfare and infrastructure development for designated tribes and other vulnerable populations It does not take into account the fact that it is assigned to mining or mining. Cement-concrete heavy projects such as harbors, power plants, roads and railways.
The Shompen and Great Nicobarese Tribes live on the fragile island of Great Nicobar, where a Rs 75,000 development project was recently approved. Sitharaman’s budget speech makes no mention of the negative impact of building this massive new infrastructure on the tribal population. Nor does it tell us how the effects of deforestation affect our international climate commitments.
Sitharaman emphasized how the G20 Presidency has given India a “unique opportunity to strengthen India’s role” and emphasized a “people-centred agenda to meet global challenges”. However, residents of Mumbai, Delhi and other overdeveloped cities continue to face increasing health impacts from air, water and noise despite their presidency of the G20.
India’s financial hub Mumbai’s air pollution is alarmingly worse than that of Delhi due to several factors other than energy and transport, such as garbage burning, construction and road dust. In 2019, the Lancet report found that India led the world in air pollution-related deaths and lost Rs 7 billion in GDP to air pollution. emphasized that
Finally, Sitharaman’s Budget 2023-24 recognizes the importance of youth in the model of ‘sustainable growth’. Young people in India, like elsewhere in the world, fear climate change as the greatest emergency they face. “There is a lot of environmental anxiety, depression and pessimism about the future that influences my decision-making, especially about whether or not to have children.”
Will this budget help the public, and our young people in particular, to meet the growing burden of climate change through the right, viable tools to address this world’s greatest emergency?
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