Environment not a cost or obligation but intrinsic to business and growth: Jairam Ramesh

April 9th, 2011 - 3:53 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Apr. 9 (ANI): In a panel discussion titled ‘Environment Security: Beyond Copenhagen and Cancun’,Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday highlighted that environmental security is important due to domestic concerns rather than growing international pressures of mitigating climate change.

He said it is imperative for the corporate sector to meet the objective of high growth with environmental security. The Minister said that “the corporate sector should take environment not as a cost or obligation but intrinsic to business and growth”. The Minister said that “there are environmental laws and legislations in the country but the onus is on the corporate sector to adhere to them so that it does not affect growth”.

Ramesh stated four reasons for environmental considerations for India the first one being “concern for livelihood”. The Minister stated that “while growth brings development at the macro level, it incurs costs at the micro level”. These micro effects of macro successes have not instilled confidence amongst people. As a result, even projects which targeted benefits for millions of people have become hostage to a few thousand protestors due to livelihood concerns.

The second concern emphasized by the Minister was “the impact of climate change on public heath”. Increasing evidence of environmental pollution causing intolerable illnesses like cancer has necessitated a need for urgent corrective action.

Further, the Minister said that India was relatively more vulnerable to the impact of climate change than any other country due to its high dependence on monsoon. Finally the last concern mentioned by the Minister was how to meet the needs of the growing population in a sustainable way.

In the global perspective he said that “India has a historic opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the developed nations and has the capability to assume leadership position of innovating a green-growth model”

Y.C Deveshwar, Past President, CII and Chairman, ITC Ltd provided an industry perspective of how India can adopt a green growth strategy. He said that the existing growth model for corporate sector which is based on “Value proposition” should be changed to customer satisfaction along with measurable ecological and social impact.

He further elaborated that through innovation and harnessing entrepreneurial energies it is possible to move towards green growth. However, the Government needs to create new growth drivers in the form of additional benefits for the corporate sector with the objective of achieving sustainable development and green GDP.

M. K. Venu, Managing Editor, Financial Express, while moderating the session said that at some stage India will have to accept targets for mitigation of green house gasses. Therefore, the challenge for the country is how to balance the energy needs of a large growing population along with legal commitments. (ANI)

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