10,000 students urge politicians to include green issues in manifestos

March 12th, 2009 - 12:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 12 (IANS) As politicians get busy with campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls, 10,000 students from various parts of the country have urged the political parties to include environmental issues like use of green energy sources and climate change in their manifestos.
“We are aware that climate change will have a severe impact on the future generation. To keep this world liveable, it is extremely important that we start using green energy sources like solar energy, wind energy, biomass etc and stop wastage of water and electricity,” the students said in a letter to parties and top leaders March 6.

The letter was the product of a signature campaign carried out by the Independent Journalists Society Foundation and green job generation institution Arkanir in various educational institutions in West Bengal, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tripura and Assam.

“We are also of the opinion that this (the environmental goals) cannot be achieved only through awareness. The new government may make it clear about its positive initiatives towards addressing of climate related issues and transition from fossil fuel energy sources to renewable energy sources.

“We expect that the national parties will come up with a clear vision on the above issues through their election manifesto,” the students said in the letter addressed to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani.

Copies of the missive have also been sent to Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and the Samajwadi Party.

“We think that now is the time to take on the political parties and clarify their Green Agenda, if any,” said Suman Debnath, a student of Ashutosh College.

Arkanir president S.P. Gon Chaudhuri, who is also the managing director of West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation (WBGEDC), told IANS that if environmental issues are not addressed immediately, India will face a crisis 15-20 years later.

“Now we import 75-80 percent of our petroproducts requirement. Then this will go up to 90 percent. Again, we now import seven percent of the coal we use. Then we will be importing 37 percent,” he said.

“If fossil fuel is continued to be burnt like this, then even if the global temperature is increased by 1 degree Celsius, the world will see diseases and disasters,” he added.

Gon Chaudhuri said that if even one party includes the issues in its manifesto, others will follow suit. “And then we can raise these issues more vocally.”

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