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Civil 20: Dialogues on Net Zero Emission

February 17, 2023 - 4:37
Civil 20: Dialogues on Net Zero Emission

More than 400 people took part in a Civil 20 workshop on net zero emissions and the contribution governments, industries, and citizens must make.

The Civil 20 (C20) Working Group on Sustainable and Resilient Communities (SRC) organised a workshop in Delhi on “The Role of Technology Cooperation, Finance and Adoption Strategies for Addressing Net Zero Emissions Management”. The Working Group is focused on civil society’s role in addressing climate, environment and net-zero targets.

As representatives of the people’s voices, C20 has resolved to push governments, industries, and G20 and G7 countries to uphold their commitments in technology development/transfer, financing the transition to net zero emissions, creating policies, and policy implementation environments. This includes the nations that signed the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 Parties in 2015.

Including virtual participation, more than 400 people from 27 countries attended the hybrid workshop jointly organised by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Vasudha Foundation, and Climate Action Network South Asia. They hailed from community service organisations, think tanks, industry, academia, World Bank, CII, German Embassy, and other G20 Groups such as Business20, Foundations20, Urban20, and Think20. The deliberations focused on three areas: technology cooperation, sustainable finance for climate resilience and justice, and challenges in the on-the-ground adoption of solutions.

As Chair of C20, Amma and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Sri. V. Muraleedharan, jointly inaugurated the virtual event.

In her address, Amma cautioned that we had walked too far, too fast in polluting Mother Earth, causing too much destruction, and threatening the very survival of humanity. Blinded by narrow selfish, short-term goals, we have forgotten that the entire world is divine, she said. Amma stressed the importance of simple yet holistic initiatives like planting trees and carpooling to reduce our footprint on polluting nature.

Muraleedharan highlighted the need to unite communities to make India’s G20 presidency a People20 presidency. He pointed to the inter-connectedness of all life forms. The G20 motto Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam signifying ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ shares the value of oneness, he said.

He urged Civil 20 to facilitate knowledge sharing and best practices in accelerating the world to a low-carbon economy, justice, and equitable finance. He also asked to promote Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi’s call for LiFE—Lifestyle For Environment—a community-led introspection and adaptation of each of our lifestyles for sustainable development.

Dr. Maneesha Sudheer, SRC Working Group Coordinator and Provost, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Sri Srinivas Krishnaswami, CEO, Vasudha Foundation, and Sri Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia, also addressed the inaugural event.

“What gives an edge to India’s G20 presidentship is the deep commitment to Indian values that are universal. Climate issues, environmental issues, and net zero targets are all interlinked. We cannot bring change without working together and building resilient communities,” said Dr. Sudheer.

Krishnaswami added: “For a country to achieve its net zero targets, everyone has to play their role. Civil society’s role in this journey is crucial. They can play at multiple levels, from creating knowledge and awareness on issues to developing compelling stories on the need for compassion for nature and the environment to providing technical support to various agencies to achieve net zero.”

Dr. Sasangan Ramanathan, Dean, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, also took part. He emphasised how implementing the climate action agreements requires global awareness and willingness to re-invent lifestyles.

“G7 and G20 countries can lead by example, allow access to technology and equitable financing, and build on success stories across continents. Any new technology should look at a circular economy and avoid creating new problems for future generations. Net zero targets in the Paris Agreement need to be complemented through a global agreement on energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables,” he said.

The working group promised to promote community-led, women-led, participatory development of decentralised, contextual solutions financed through innovative public and private means. It emphasised the need to think above the growth versus emissions paradigm, accelerating inclusive growth in LDCs and developing economies while adopting sustainable solutions.

The event ended with inputs from the C20 Troika – 2022 (Indonesia) Mr. Ah Maftuchan, 2023 (India) Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, and 2024 (Brazil) Ms. Alessandra Nilo. Amb.

Sri Vijay Nambiar was the Chief Guest for the valedictory ceremony. Prof. Vinod Menon, C20 Principal Coordinator, SRC Working Group Coordinator, and also the Founder of the National Disaster Management Authority, also gave his insights.

The Civil 20 engagement group will develop documents recommending policy interventions to India’s G20 presidency through the contributions from this event and many such events over the next six months.

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