Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav warns of “greenwashing and tendency of profiteering”`

The article talks about comments made by the environment minister at a recent climate change summit in New Delhi. He’s implied that other nations are indulging in greenwashing and profiting from it, which is not the case with India. 

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While India has made great strides in its global commitment to going eco-friendly to stop the climate crisis, it is often criticised for its use of coal. The country faces the urgent need to meet the energy requirement of its vast population while simultaneously balancing development and climate action. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, India’s Environment Minister, Mr Bhupendra Yadav, said, “I would like to remind, especially friends from the global north, that we must understand that this crisis is starkly different from other global crises of trade and finance.”

The Raisina Dialogue is India’s premier geopolitical and geoeconomic conference dedicated to tackling the most difficult problems that the world community is currently confronting. Leaders from the worlds of politics, business, media, and civic society meet annually in New Delhi to exchange ideas and look for ways to work together on a variety of current issues. Mr Yadav used this platform to discuss further traditional responses and how “ the tendency of profiteering from a disaster need to be shunned.”

Greenwashing is when a company purports to be environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but actually isn’t making any notable sustainability efforts. As a result of greenwashing, most corporate consumers do not believe company claims about their sustainability practices. Mr Yadav criticised this practice of “greenwashing”, abrogating historical responsibilities and protectionism in the name of climate action.

“Greenwashing [deceptive claims of eco-friendliness], abrogating historical responsibilities and protectionism in the name of climate action need to be stopped,” said the minister. 

Mr Yadav said India’s climate policy was focused on sustainable development and poverty eradication while striving to decouple carbon emissions from growth and achieve energy efficiency across sectors.

India sets example as G20 President

He claimed that India was chosen to lead the G20, an association of the 20 largest countries in the world, because it set an example regarding climate action. According to the minister, India became the only G20 member to complete its first voluntary pledge to address the climate crisis in 2015, nine years before the deadline.

“Our Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy document is premised on two major pillars of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles alongside principles of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities,” he said.

“Combating climate crisis cuts across several verticals where a coordinated and integrated approach serves as an effective tool for a tangible change at the grassroots.”

“India’s G20 presidency on similar lines intends to bring an integrated, comprehensive and consensus-driven approach to address climate change and pursue sustainable growth.”

He emphasised India’s successes in combating climate change, noting that the South Asian nation comes in fourth place for installed green energy capacity, including installed wind capacity, and fifth for installed solar capacity.

In an effort to meet even more ambitious goals in line with its Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy, which was unveiled at Cop27, the UN climate summit held in Egypt last November, India updated its voluntary commitment, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and submitted it to the UN in August.

India’s use of renewable energy has increased significantly in recent years, but analysts said much more needs to be done. The independent organisation Climate Action Network evaluates different NDCs from various nations and finds India’s targets to be woefully inadequate.

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