COP28 actions on Indian streets, setting the stage for net-zero reality

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COP28 actions on Indian streets, setting the stage for net-zero reality

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As India positions itself for post-COP28, this youth-led initiative not only captures the attention of the masses but positions youth as catalysts for sustainable transformation.

With COP28 on in Dubai, with typical and routine pledges and paper promises,  Indian university youth have started their own COP on the streets of the vibrant city of Pune.

“The action on climate has to start on the roads where people are on the move. Neither those people nor the climate crisis has time for negotiations, declarations, summits and speeches.  Youth in the universities are simply showing at crossings the roadmap for climate action, ” said Dr Rajendra Shende, founder and director of Green   TERRE Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that strongly believes in the motto, ‘To think is good but to act is better’.

Energetic youth from MIT World Peace University decided to go to those very people on the streets not for climate advocacy but to fill in for the inadequacy of global actions. Thirty students from MIT WPU thought that holding the COP messaging placards at the street crossing and traffic signals was not for the delivery of speeches but for communicating the powerful message of the Net-Zero goal that most people did not know. The landmark squares in Pune like the Deccan Crossing, Balgandharv Square and Swargate Chowk sparked actions to address climate change, setting a precedent for grassroots movements influencing global narratives.

Encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mission LiFE, youth displayed day-to-day impactful practices on Green and Clean energy /Efficient Fossil Fuel Usage, Single-Use Plastic-Free, Water Conservation, and Energy Efficiency (Electricity) linking to reducing carbon footprint. Messages were meant to spark on-ground initiatives aimed not only to spread awareness but also to kickstart tangible action on Net-Zero practices among people at large.

The impact was palpable as citizens engaged with the youth, initiating conversations on sustainable practices during the red-light halts at crossings. The strategic placement of the messages at key traffic signals ensured maximum visibility, turning these intersections into hubs of brief and quick environmental consciousness.

‘ MIT World Peace University is leading the actions where it is needed on climate for World Peace”, stated Dr Prasad Kulkarni of the Department of Sustainability of MIT WPU.

This initiative by GTF marked the concluding apex of the month-long “PlanetPulse: Climate Month 2023,” which engaged 150 campuses nationwide launched on National Unity Day on 31 October and continued throughout November. Campuses across India have embraced the movement, with 10,000 students engaged in promoting the impactful Net-Zero actions.

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