Shimla: Climate change is a topic that cannot be ignored or neglected anymore. It manifests in different ways and support from developed countries is required for developing countries, German Ambassador to India, Walter J. Lindner, said on Saturday December 18.
“Germany and India have a long standing cooperation, especially in Himachal Pradesh, on topics such as climate change, hydropower and agriculture among others. This is a very important two-day conference, because the focus is on the exchange of views and ideas of experts rather than just long speeches,” he said.
He was in the state capital at the opening of the climate conference being organised by the state Department of Environment, Science and Technology, in association with The German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
The conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur alongside Lindner, and Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh Director Sonam Wangchuk.
The Chief Minister said the glaciers are important part of the ecosystem and concrete measures needed to reduce the impact of climate change.
He said major steps have been taken to ensure sustainable development and environment protection in the state.
“To reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the state is focusing on the use of green fuels like hydropower and solar energy.”
He said the state is rich in hydropower resources and 10,519 MW has been tapped so far. The state clean fuel policy would soon be brought to reduce air pollution.
German Ambassador Lindner visited a nearby village to interact with women farmers and get a better understanding of their day-to-day problems due to the constant climate change.
Titled “Secure Himalaya — Safe India: Reducing Climate Change Induced Risks and Vulnerabilities due to GLOF-Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in Himalayas”, the conference discussed climate risks, community preparedness, role of financial institutions and climate change action plan in the region to reduce climate induced risks.
The Chief Minister and the Ambassador jointly launched the revised State Action Plan on Climate Change.
Wangchuk said: “The future will see many unprecedented calamities if we don’t act now. It is important to engage the youth to build the prosperity of the mountains. Eco literacy and climate literacy should become paramount in the education system, especially in the mountain regions.”
“Bigger cities owe the people in the mountains the support and finances to deal with hazards and prepare better. We have to come up with original, fundamental solutions for mountainous regions since the challenges and lives are different from those living in New Delhi or New York. One cannot just keep adapting to climate change. Mitigation is the key,” he added.