I keep on searching the answer. How Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) would address reducing inequality over next 15 years? It is still unanswered question.Even after scores of documents and speeches. (more…)
Leonardo DiCaprio, as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change, delivered acceptance speech (more…)
2015 was the year of building a new set of foundations for the global economy, and signaling new directions for the financial system . (more…)
I liked the timing of his words on climate change. (more…)
Russia to reduce greenhouse gases by 70% until 2030. That was bold and aggressive judo play by Putin. But media did not highlight it. Confident speech:Read and see. (more…)
My speech at Positive Economy Forum at Le Havre- Voluntary Initiatives including that of Private sector hold the key to Climate Change challenge. (more…)
The Volcan and Théâtre de l’Hôtel de Ville of Le Havre in France welcomed record 7000 attendees, more than 300 business leaders, NGO representatives, thinkers and change-makers from all over the world, (more…)
Hoardings on ‘ Poverty Eradication’ inside and outside the audaciously lavish Headquarters of World Bank in Washington DC, that I had visited number of times, is the most prominent contrast and dichotomy that I have ever seen. (more…)
Dr. Vandana Shiva’s power words . Let us celebrate the 22nd of April which is now Mother’s Earth Day (more…)
The developing countries are poised to be the precious solar and biomass mines of the renewable energy that will be increasingly sought by the developed countries. The history will repeat , except that instead of exploring for for spices now the developed country explorers will seek solar energy.
Renewable energy will account for the majority of worldwide power capacity growth over the next 15 years.
Investment for power generation infrastructure is migrating from the developed economies in the North to the developing economies, in political known as “global south” and from digging underground like for fossil fuels to flapping in the skies and riding on the oceans.
A message that I gave in my speech to engineering and research students from Sahakar Maharshi Shankarrao Mohite Patil Institute of Technology and Research was:
“ Renewable energy will empower youth in the developing and emerging economies like India. India has the potential to become important country for export of renewable energy technology and equipment. The hidden potential for employment opportunities could be realized if competitiveness and innovation in renewable energy new trade potential. Consistent policy prioritizing the innovation and deployment of renewables is essential.”
Watch the presentation that I gave :
Speech by Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE Policy Centre at Workshop in side event in Bangkok
My long journey in United Nations has more than proved that global environmental negotiations pose complex diplomatic challenges and formidable legal conundrums. (more…)
Jeffrey D. Sachs presents how global citizens can take a holistic pathway forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.
I was there in audience in New York when UN Secretary General gave this speech. Will be useful to see how much of these passionate promises, rocky determinations and financial commitments get realized.
“By 2030, the Protocol may be preventing 2 million cases of skin cancer each year. It will have prevented significant loss of food crops which in turn would have compounded future severe food security challenges” Achim Steiner, USG and ED of UNEP.
Distinguished delegates, Dear colleagues,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you today to the joint meeting of the Conference of the parties to the Vienna Convention and the parties to the Montreal Protocol.
As we gather here, other events are forming around us. We are now on the eve of 2015, a year which will mark 30 years since the adoption of one of the most successful environmental conventions, the Vienna Convention and also a year of important negotiations – economy, sustainable development , climate change.
Overview / Setting the scene
Your work on ozone-depleting substances is one of the greatest success stories of international environmental management in global partnership with universal ratification.
Great success not only of science informing policy, of nations acting together on the basis of science via the Montreal Protocol, but also a shining example of using the United Nations as a platform upon which technology development, technology transfer and financing have been implemented successfully to reach the objective of protecting the global commons. I intentionally left out capacity building just to give emphasis on one of the most precious tools that you have in your hands, the fact that every developing country has its own ozone officer with the respective infrastructure that accompanies him/her. Your decisions have empowered you with the resources and the knowledge to act.
The Montreal Protocol has been and will continue to be a journey of success, a journey of challenge and a journey of hope. Success because of the Protocol’s achievements; Challenge because of the recognized imperative to maintain the world’s commitment to phasing out ozone-depleting substances; and Hope because by combining international efforts where we come to see the common interest, we can achieve further breakthroughs in protecting the environment and human wellbeing.
The success and tangible results
In this journey of almost 30 years now, we have succeeded not only through the commitment of all parties but also through the daily choices of all individuals around the world, to phase out more than 98% of ozone-depleting substances.
So, what does this achievement mean?
When people ask “why do these achievements matter for me” or “why does the ozone hole matter for me?” you can very proudly respond that by 2030, the Protocol may be preventing 2 million cases of skin cancer each year. It will have prevented significant loss of food crops which in turn would have compounded future severe food security challenges. Your Environmental Effects Assessment Panel provides you with this information. According to the US EPA, with the 1997 amendment of the Montreal Protocol, 22 million additional new cataract cases avoided for Americans born between the years 1985 and 2100.
As a result of your coordinated efforts, our planet has responded. According to the latest assessment from the Scientific Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol that I had the honour to launch in the second week of September, the world avoided a global problem by getting rid of ozone-depleting substances via the Montreal Protocol.
Without the Protocol, we would probably have seen large ozone layer depletions around the globe and Antarctic ozone hole would be larger and deeper today. And with it, we are starting now to see encouraging signs that the ozone layer is on track to recovery by the middle of this century. The Earth is healing itself because we are taking away the ozone depleting substances.
This recovery sends to the global community three powerful messages directly to policy:
- First, we needed strong global partnership and united action to achieve results,
- Second, we needed to be patient and persistent to see the positive results of our actions. It can take a significant amount of time for vital support systems on the planet to recover. Simply turning off the source of emission doesn’t immediately solve the problem.
- Third, a decision taken at one point in time will bring results much later in the future and this need to be factored into any international discussions and negotiations.
The success and the unintended side effect
Ozone layer protection has contributed a lot to climate change mitigation. Although the parties have been mindful of not causing adverse impacts on the environment, the climate change effects of HFCs in the future may off-set the good work done by the Montreal Protocol in climate change mitigation if not addressed.
Science provides us with a much clearer understanding today that we are dealing here with an issue that couples the ozone layer with climate change. Between these two, there are connections in science, in man-made emissions that cause them and in the policy options for dealing with them.
Key issues on the agenda of the meeting
I would like to turn to some key issues on the agenda of the meeting and first of all the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund.
The replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for the 2015 to 2017 triennium will enable the continuation of the HCFC phase out activities.
As developing countries grow, they will produce more refrigeration and air conditioning systems not only to improve their standards of living but for export around the globe. The more countries become developed, more energy will be needed, and more chemicals will be used.
Many developing countries are rightly addressing energy efficiency as a primary concern. Addressing energy efficiency in the HCFC phase out process, especially in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors, can play an important role for ensuring technology choices that benefit the ozone layer, reduce the climate impact and reduce energy consumption.
This is the equation of multiple benefits and triple dividends that the countries have to achieve. Only in this way will it be possible to capture the HCFC phase out as an opportunity for making the right technology choice and investments.
Negotiation of the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund comes at a critical stage when developing countries are in the midst of planning and implementing the HCFC phase-out activities and many developed countries are facing financial difficulties. It is a challenge to ensure continuity of the world’s first financial mechanism of its kind that has been at the foundation of the Montreal Protocol’s global partnership. A successful outcome of sufficient replenishment that will enable climate friendly choices will have implications that uphold an impact for several years to come, and send a profound signal for the Montreal Protocol moving forward on all of the challenges ahead.
But money is not the only concern for developing countries.
There are issues such as technical questions on the availability of low GWP alternatives for phasing out HCFCs, the costs involved and the real technology transfer that need to be addressed.
So, the question we face is how we can best make the transition to HCFC phase-out through a very successful instrument like the Montreal Protocol, and by best using the Multilateral Fund which precisely is here to help countries access technology which previously had been out of their reach.
Our challenge is to ensure access to technology and development of technology appropriate for all regions including those with hot climates by addressing at the same time intellectual property concerns. The ingenuity of the Montreal Protocol is its flexibility, to use regulatory framework to allow science to become the foundation for a market-compatible deployment strategy. Industries around the world are also hearing the messages of the Montreal Protocol and are responding as they have done in the past.
In order for the global partnership between the developed and the developing countries to work, we must continue to build on the foundation of the “principle of common but differentiated responsibilities” and “fairness”.
The discussion on high GWP or low GWP alternatives for HCFC phase out is a discussion that takes place at a period when the low GWP alternatives are gaining a market niche globally due to national or regional policy measures.
We need to recognize all of these factors in the discussions that are taking place.
Otherwise, resulting banks, “waste banks”, the sources of future emissions will be huge.
We all need to see the wider picture.
We have ahead of us a difficult year of negotiations.
Negotiations that will have an impact on climate, on our planet, on our lives.
Negotiations under the UNFCCC that will have an impact on the energy choices we make.
Negotiations under the Montreal Protocol that will have an impact on the chemicals we use.
The issue is not always to compare the two options but to go forward with steps that will have a positive impact and that can help discussions in other international fora as well to move forward.
Successful implementation to achieve sustainable development as an ultimate goal has to rely on relevant tools, sound governance structures and enhanced capacity to respond. This is exactly the success story that the DNA of the Montreal Protocol has delivered in continuing to inspire and catalyze us to further action in facing the challenges ahead. Addressing many of them may not be easy, but with the spirit of cooperation, openness, fairness and respect for all views, I am confident we can achieve our ambitions.
The commitment that helped to breathe life back into the ozone layer is still with us – we only need to tap into it.
– See more at: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?l=en&DocumentID=2813&ArticleID=11077#sthash.zCLKGqCB.dpuf
This year is 325th anniversary of the French revolution that changed the world, and India hopes to see in Paris next year in 2015, yet another revolution on climate change to reset the world clock towards climate resilient society.
This meeting marks the mid-point to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets. It offers a unique opportunity to take stock and evaluate progress to ensure we are on track in achieving common goals. The outcome of the meeting will also contribute to the discussion around the critical links between biodiversity and long-term human development, in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
I would like to begin by sharing with you a rather simple reflection; one which, in many ways, underpins the purpose of our mission: what distinguishes Earth is that it is the only planet in our solar system that harbours life. And what is extraordinary about life is its diversity: More than 90 million types of plants, animals and other life-forms inhabit the planet. So do 7 billion people, soon to grow to 9 billion.
There is ample evidence that the pressure humanity is placing on the planet has exceeded life’s support systems. Species’ extinctions are continuing at up to 1,000 times or more the natural rate, according to IUCN figures.
Global Biodiversity Outlook 4, which offers a thorough assessment of the state of the world’s biodiversity, reveals that despite increased financial investment in protecting biodiversity, it will be difficult to meet the Aichi targets due to accumulated and increased pressures on the natural world.
Unless we do more – and do it fast – our actions will continue to dismantle the very fabric of the natural world.
Species will continue to disappear at an alarming rate; the functioning of ecosystems and their ability to provide society with the goods and services they need to prosper will be altered, and our natural capital will diminish.
18,788 species out of 52,017, so far assessed by IUCN, are threatened with extinction.
From habitat destruction and climate change to land degradation and pollution, the drivers of biodiversity loss continue to grow in severity.
Habitat loss and degradation are identified as the main threat to 85 per cent of all species described in the IUCN’s Red List.
Decreasing wetland extent and declining coral cover reflect large-scale habitat loss.
More than 500 million people globally depend on coral reefs for protection against sea level rise and for their livelihoods, yet, 70 per cent of reefs are threatened or destroyed.
And while around half of all original forests have disappeared, the remaining forest cover is being removed at a rate 10 times higher than any possible level of regrowth.
Ecosystem services losses in SE Asia from the predicted destruction of mangroves from 2000 to 2050 are estimated at more than US$ 2 billion.
The clearance of 17 million hectares of tropical forest annually puts the lives of at least half of the Earth’s species – which inhabit these forests – in great danger.
We are witnessing what is by far the greatest biodiversity loss, comparable in its magnitude only to when dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the planet 65 million years ago.
The impacts of biodiversity loss are irreversible and pose a serious threat to human well-being, and to life on earth.
These facts should not be interpreted in the context of a ‘doom and gloom’ scenario, but should be seen as elements of the challenge that we need to bravely confront and effectively manage.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is up to us – here and now – to build momentum, strengthen political will and take decisive measures to keep the Aichi Targets on track.
Evidence shows that the Aichi targets are still within reach and substantial progress is being made on a number of them, for example:
- Certification schemes for forests and fisheries are becoming more widespread. Policy interventions have resulted in reduced deforestation and led to better managed fish stocks in a number of regions.
- There are more financial resources made available to address biodiversity issues, though more investment is still needed to meet all the targets.
- Protected areas are one of the most effective tools for conserving species and natural habitats. Well-planned and well-managed protected areas can help to safeguard freshwater and food supplies, reduce poverty, and reduce the impacts of natural disasters.
- And the good news here is that the terrestrial area of the planet protected for biodiversity is increasing steadily, as recent assessments show, and the designation of marine protected areas is accelerating.
- Nearly a quarter of countries have already passed the target of protecting 17 per cent of their land area. At the current rate of growth we are on track to meeting the percentage targets for terrestrial areas by 2020. While achieving the marine component requires additional efforts.
- The Nagoya Protocol enters into force in 6 days’ time. 51 parties to the CBD have ratified it, so far, in advance of the 2015 deadline. This opens up opportunities for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. At the same time, Parties need to put in place the institutional, legislative and administrative structures for implementation.
Each of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, however, cannot be tackled in isolation. Actions towards certain targets will have an especially strong influence on the achievement of the rest.
UNEP is delighted to be supporting many countries in developing their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, contributing to their efforts to identify appropriate indicators and design associated monitoring schemes to reach the Aichi Targets.
We are pleased to see that biodiversity-related treaties, like the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), are feeding into the process. We also continue to work with important partners such as the Global Environment Facility, UNDP and, of course, the CBD Secretariat.
With the progress achieved so far, it is clear that plausible pathways exist to end biodiversity loss and acheive global goals in areas such as climate change, land degradation and sustainable development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The current sustainable development agenda provides an opportunity to bring biodiversity into the mainstream of the broader development agenda.
Meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Targets would contribute significantly to the broader global priorities addressed by the post-2015 development agenda, namely; reducing hunger and poverty, improving human health and ensuring a sustainable supply of energy, food and clean water.
But to achieve those objectives we need to use natural resources more efficiently and to rethink and transform our consumption patterns.
Without pre-empting the UNGA process, in particular the Ad Hoc Open Ended Informal Working Group for Biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, countries need to continue to progress towards a decision that will ensure the conservation and wise use of biodiversity in areas that most of us will never visit, but are key to our survival. Oceans are the next engine for sustainable economic growth which can only be realised if biodiversity, features prominently and allows for wise management for humankind.
It is true thousands of species are teetering on the edge of extinction. But whether or not they tip over depends in large part on our actions today.
This meeting is a critical opportunity to inject renewed impetus into our commitment to reach the Aichi Targets and to shape the Sustainable Development Goals by revisiting national strategies and plans that have been designed to ensure more efficient use of land, water, energy and materials.
This meeting should act as a timely reminder to all that ‘business as usual’, in our present patterns of behaviour, will not get us to the vision of a world with ecosystems capable of meeting human needs into the future.
We now have a valuable opportunity to renew our support for policy, legislation and international conventions that will help us reach our common goals for a more equitable and sustainable future.
In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Korea, especially Prime Minister Jung Hong-won and Minister Yoon Seong-kyu, for their unwavering commitment and efforts towards the success of this event.
President Obama speech at U.N. Climate Change Summit
United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York
23 Sept 2014
The Indian Institutes of Technology Alumni Canada (IITAC), in collaboration with PanIIT-USA, hosted the PanIIT 2014 International Conference in Toronto, from June 6 to 8, 2014. (more…)
Top 10 quotes on environment : When our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did. (more…)
Al Gore, Nobel Laureate stated that President Obama’s speech on June 25 2013 at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.as the best ‘by any president ever’. But does it provide leadership for the world? Not until he walks the talk. Here is that Monumental speech. (more…)
Without global alliance for collective and collaborative effort not only on the HFC phase down but enhancing the energy efficiency of the Refriegration and AC appliances, the Montreal Protocol could turn into the glaring example of global complacency leading to climate disaster.
Humanity has been receiving the wake up calls for long to warn about bio-diversity losses and depletion of the natural resources. (more…)
I was invited to speak In New Delhi in the function of Earth Care Awards, instituted by Times of India and Jindal Steel Works on 9th Sept 2011 . The Speech: (more…)
2009 USEPA’s Stratospheric Ozone Protection and Climate Protection Awards
Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington DC,
By Rajendra Shende, UNEP DTIE ,
21 April 2009
Ms. Elizabeth Craig, award winners, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
My hearty congratulations to the award winners and my sincere appreciation to USEPA for admirable organization of this evening’s momentous award ceremony in the landmark venue of Washington DC. I consider it as immense privilege to address such a distinguished gathering and I thank the organizers for giving me this distinctive opportunity.
What a day it was for me! In a single day, in Washington today, I met a Governor, a Senator, officials of EPA. NGO and Industry representatives and the action-enthusiasts who ‘just want to do it’. The spring is not only on the DC’s trees and around the Potomac river, I felt it in minds of the people. I smelled hope, I felt the change and I saw the signs of actions to address the climate change.
I was here in 2005 to accept the USEPA Ozone Protection award. Four year later, here I am again for the Climate Protection award. Getting such award in this ambience replete with hopes of change is rewarding experience.
Today I will receive 2009 Climate protection award. My colleague Samira De Gobert would receive Ozone layer protection award. We work in the same office, for same programme with same objective. We promote single solution to two of the world’s most formidable challenges that we are facing today.
I do not intend to speak on how the Montreal Protocol is the most successful global environmental accord so far. Nor am I standing here to draw the list of lessons from the Montreal Protocol. I am aware that there is, to a certain degree, an “ozone’s success fatigue” and even what some of you in a lighter mood might call yet another global crisis: the “ozone success crisis”.
What I wish to convey this evening , however , are the compelling messages emanating from another part of the world – the world where I come from and for whose assistance my programme in UNEP’s offices in Paris, Bangkok, Nairobi, Bahrain and Panama city is dedicated to.
From Afghanistan to Argentina, Maldives to Mali, from Iraq to Ivory Coast, and from Peru to Pakistan, the messages resonate :
- Firstly, That developing countries who are just eight months away from the finish line of 1st January 2010, are all set to put CFCs and Halons in the history book,
- Secondly, That number of countries including India and China, , have shut off their production plants of CFCs and Halons much ahead of the target dates stipulated in the Montreal Protocol
- Thirdly, That the ratification of the Montreal Protocol is now almost universal, a feat achieved by no other global agreement so far. Only two countries, East Timor, a developing country, and Saint Marino a developed country, have yet to ratify the Protocol.
Without dedication of the governments and commitments from industries in the developing countries, persuasive backing by developed countries experts like Dr Steve Andersen and technical and policy experts from TEAP/IPCC and without tireless work of my colleagues from UNEP, I would not have been able standing here to convey you these messages.
Let me not spend time much time on what you already know as to how the Montreal Protocol has “bailed out” the climate change treaty, by reducing the emissions of Greenhouse gases 5 to 6 times more than the targets under the Kyoto Protocol. In any case, many think that it was an unintended side benefit of the ODS phase-out. What I want to reveal, however, is the real and convenient opportunities that we have ahead of us to address the inconvenient truth of anthropogenic Climate Change – undoubtedly the greatest threat that mankind has ever faced.
The accelerated phase-out of HCFCs is an historic opportunity , not only to finally close the ozone hole, but also to open up the roads and vistas to further significant reductions of GHG emissions. The prospect of reduction in emission of 18 to 25 Gt of CO2 equivalents over the coming decades is a very impressive feeling, but it will depend, as Durwood Zaelke Dr. Steve Andersen inform us , on the replacement technologies of low or zero GWP alternatives to HCFCs that we will be able to develop and deploy.
More than that, I would like to emphasize that the energy efficiency of equipment using HCFC alternatives would lead the way for amassing further significant climate benefits. Humanity has already benefited by about 60% improvement in energy efficiency in domestic refrigerators since the industry started looking at their design in order to change from CFC-12. We now stand to benefit similarly from improving the energy efficiency in window or room air-conditioning. If we can just achieve 15% improvement in energy efficiency of room air-conditioning over the next 20 years in China alone, , it would mean shutting up of 100s of coal power plants with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions . And improving energy efficiency is not a rocket or missile science. We have already done it for domestic refrigerators.
Let me end with what Robert Frost, an American poet said:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by
and that has made all the difference
Many of you in this audience have selected that different path. Now is the time for
us to network together in order to catalyze the actions so that others will learn from
our steps on the road less traveled…and we have to walk miles ahead on this less travelled path till we reach there .