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India, China, EU To Lead If US Withdraws From Paris Pact: UNEP Chief

UNEP
World leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. (Image courtesy: Google)

Even if US pulls out its Paris Agreement, as President Donald Trump has threatened to do, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will bank on India, China and the European Union (EU).

India for the success of accord will aim to limit global temperature rise of 2 degree Celsius.

Mr Erik Solheim is a UNEP Executive Director. He told in an interview, “I am optimistic of whatever happens in the White House. India, China and European Union and other major players have decided they will move (go ahead). They are long past from the point of return. The idea is now to provide global Leadership.”

Participating in Climate Change:

He even added that US private sectors will even participate in the efforts for climatic change.

Solheim says, “The private sector also will move whatever happens in the White House. Companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft will participate. Also, companies like WalMart will do it for customers and for their own benefit.”

Mr Solheim even says that a US pull out will seriously be denting the country. He further added, “The US has already lost 400,000 jobs and its withdrawal (from the Paris Pact) will take away jobs to China, India and other places.”

It is terming the Kigali Agreement where 197 countries has stuck a newer landmark deal during last October. It was done for phasing out by the 2040s regarding the use of hydroflorocarbons (HFCs). It’s a kind of breakthrough.

Solheim even says, “The process has just started and I am confident that it will happen. It will be implemented the same way, we implemented the Montreal Protocol, that is 100 per cent.”

Kigali agreement has went one step ahead of the 1987 Montreal Protocol of phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

Energy Efficient Mechanisms:

Mr Solheim says that UNEP is having plans for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Railways. It is for the green procurement for promoting the use of clean energy over larger scale.

Green procurement is focusing over procuring or buying things from vendors. It includes things which are environment compliant, clean energy efficient and is not using HFCs.

Mr Solheim says, “The Indian Railways is not a backyard company. If it starts procuring or buying environmental friendly things, it will have huge impact on market.” Similar MoU was planned to be signed with an industry lobby to engage the private sector.

Similarly UNEP has started working with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). It is for financing a solar revolution in India according to Mr Solheim.

He adds that the investment in solar and wind energy has helped in bringing down rapidly environmental crisis. Even UNEP is having its focus over the major Indian cities which are among most polluted in the world.

Yet, road traffic was a source of pollution everywhere, burning down agriculture waste has added to pollution at some places. He adds that they are ready for supporting the government with measuring equipment.

They will be utilized for measuring pollution or to see its source and how pollution can be controlled. They will be assisting them for switching to electric buses and vehicles.

Even government should come up with the policies. Yet they can provide best expertise, technology, contacts with other governments which are working on these.

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