Making it Personal: How Behavioral Change Can Tackle Climate Change, says Narendra Modi

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The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today addressed the World Bank Event titled ‘Making it Personal: How Behavioral Change Can Tackle Climate Change’ via video message. The Prime Minister acknowledged his personal connection with the theme and expressed happiness that it is becoming a global movement.

Quoting Chanakya, the Prime Minister underlined the importance of the small deeds and said “by itself, each good deed for the planet may seem insignificant. But when billions across the world do it together, the impact is huge. We believe that individuals making the right decisions for our planet are key in the battle for our planet. This is the core of Mission LiFE.”

Talking about the genesis of the LiFE movement the Prime Minister remembered that in 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly he spoke about the need for behavioural change and in October 2022, the UN Secretary General and he launched Mission LiFE. He mentioned that the preamble to the outcome document of CoP-27 also speaks about sustainable lifestyle and consumption. If people understand that it is not just the government but they too can contribute, the Prime Minister pointed out that “their anxiety will turn into action.” He elaborated “climate change cannot be fought from conference tables alone. It has to be fought from the dinner tables in every home. When an idea moves from discussion tables to dinner tables, it becomes a mass movement. Making every family and every individual aware that their choices can help the planet can provide scale and speed. Mission LiFE is about democratising the battle against climate change. When people become conscious that simple acts in their daily lives are powerful, there will be a very positive impact on the environment.”

 Modi illustrated his thinking with examples from India and said “in this matter of mass movements and behaviour transformation, the people of India have done a lot in the last few years.” . He gave examples of improved sex ratio, massive cleanliness drive, adoption of LED bulbs which helps in avoiding nearly 39 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions every year. Saving water by coverage of nearly seven hundred thousand hectares of farmland by micro-irrigation.

Shri Modi informed that under Mission LIFE, the government’s efforts are spread across many domains such as making local bodies environment-friendly, saving water, saving energy, reducing waste and e-waste, adopting healthy lifestyles, adoption of natural farming, promotion of millets.

These efforts, he said, will save over twenty two billion units of energy, save nine trillion litres of water, reduce waste by three hundred and seventy five million tons, recycle almost one million tons of e-waste and generate around one hundred and seventy million dollars of additional cost savings by 2030. “Further, it will help us reduce the wastage of fifteen billion tons of food. Let me give you a comparison to know how big this is. The global primary crop production in 2020 according to FAO was about nine billion tons”, he elaborated. 

Prime Minister Modi emphasized that global institutions have an important role to play in encouraging countries across the world. Referring to the World Bank Group’s proposed increase in climate finance from 26% to 35%, as a share of total financing, he said that the focus of this climate finance is usually on conventional aspects. “Adequate financing methods need to be worked out for behavioural initiatives too. A show of support by the World Bank towards behavioural initiatives such as Mission LiFE will have a multiplier effect”, he concluded.