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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Current parameters to map progress anti-climate, should develop concept of green gross domestic product: PM Modi to Bill Gates

In a free-wheeling conversation with philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, he also said that climate action has gained momentum since the G20 Summit in India in September last year

PTI New Delhi Published 29.03.24, 11:34 AM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates during a meeting at his residence, in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates during a meeting at his residence, in New Delhi. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said parameters used to measure progress are detrimental to the climate and suggested developing the concept of a green gross domestic product.

In a free-wheeling conversation with philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, he also said that climate action has gained momentum since the G20 Summit in India in September last year.

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When Gates asked if the green approach could be made more affordable for easier adoption, the prime minister said the world needs to adopt a two-pronged strategy: first, nature- and climate-friendly innovation, and second, environmentally friendly lifestyles.

The prime minister said, "Our current challenge is how we perceive progress. For example, a country's development is often judged by its steel consumption and energy usage. Based on these criteria, we calculate the country's economy." "If we continue to rely on these parameters, we will consume more electricity and steel, resulting in increased carbon emissions. This means we need to change our mindset. We need to make lifestyle choices and measure progress in ways that are climate-friendly. Currently, all our measures of progress are detrimental to the climate," Modi said.

He suggested that the world adopt the concept of Green GDP that would be incorporated into the overall gross domestic product.

"We need to change the global terminology," Modi said.

The prime minister noted that his and Gates' perspectives on climate change closely align.

The philanthropist praised the "Mission Innovation" spearheaded by the prime minister at the 2015 Paris climate meeting.

"Mission Innovation", termed by Prime Minister Modi, involves collaboration among 23 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) to accelerate the clean energy revolution and progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and pathways to net zero. India is a founding member of "Mission Innovation".

The prime minister recalled that he, the then US and French presidents, and Gates had discussed their strategy in depth during that time, but unfortunately, their efforts did not progress significantly.

"However, post-G20, an atmosphere has been created where everyone has resolved to fulfil their responsibilities towards the climate. The foundation we laid together with your involvement being instrumental... I am optimistic that these efforts will flourish, much like a banyan tree," Modi said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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