Climate change: Mass behavioural changes can make a difference, experts opine
* Jaydip Chakrabarti
With growing concern about the environment and climate change, world leaders have come together through different forums to find solutions that will preserve nature and reduce carbon emissions without affecting the sustainable development of human civilization across the globe.
A group of G20 delegates attended the Science20 Conference in Agartala on April 3-4 and held extensive deliberations on Hydrogen based clean and green energy. Following the S20, at least two more back-to-back events were held in Agartala in which speakers came out with proposals suggesting behavioural changes can make a difference against climate change and save mankind from a bleak and grim future.
Former Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura Jishnu Dev Varma, speaking at Chinmaya Mission organized programme – G20 seminar on ethics, education and Environment – explained the existential dependency between nature and human beings. According to him, a Dharmic Approach can teach us about the values of such dependency and help us behave in the right manner to honour and preserve such kind of dependent relationship between Man and nature.
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Another programme was organized by Tripura University under the G20 University Connect Lecture series on Engaging Young Minds. Addressing the young minds – the students of Tripura University – experts also talked in the same line suggesting that ‘A mindful lifestyle movement for a greener tomorrow can make a difference against Climate Change’.
Prof. Sabyasachi Dasgupta, Dept. of Forestry and Biodiversity, Tripura University made a strong assertion saying that ‘Changing individual and community behaviour alone can have a significant impact on the environmental and climate crises’.
For those who think about what I alone can do to save the earth, Prof Dasgupta came up with an interesting UNEP report saying that’ If 1 out of 8 billion people worldwide adopts environment-friendly behaviours in their daily lives, global carbon emissions could drop up to 20 % (UNEP)’.
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Encouraging the students to participate in the Mass Behavioural Change movement, Prof Dasgupta asserted, “India has rich experience in implementing large-scale behavioural change programmes – like Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Ujjawala Scheme”.
In fact, India is leading the Global Mass Movement after the country made a bold statement at COP26 in Glasgow on November 1, 2021 mentioning that India will put forward and propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living based on its traditions and the values of conservation and moderation, including through a mass movement for LiFE, as a key to combating climate change.
The Professor listed several instances of India’s environment-friendly culture and traditional practices.
When Prof Dasgupta’s assertion reflects the necessity of adopting a ‘Dharmik’ approach highlighting “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – the world is one family.
For immediate adoption of such an approach and to get involved in the global mass movement, Prof Dasgupta urged the University students to take the lead.
Detailing the actions that needed to be followed, he pointed out that Changing demand, changing supply and changing policies are the core shifts required to make a difference against Climate Change.
*Jaydip Chakrabarti may be contacted at [email protected]