India working for better global environment

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) Voicing concern that poor countries are the worst affected by environmental degradation, India today highlighted to the 53rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference here its contribution in improving global warming and climate change, inspite of its low greenhouse gas emmissions.

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal said despite the fact that India's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions was small, the Indian government is taking several pro-active measures to improve the situation.

Mr Atwal said the country has one of the most active renewable energy programmes, besides having a dedicated Ministry for Non- Conventional Energy sources. He also referred to the National Environment Policy 2006, which India has put in place as a guideline to pursuing its policy on environment.

India said global agenda must take into account that poor countries were more vulnerable economically to environmental degradation.

The Conference on its second day took up the theme "Climate Change and Global Warming; Policy issues and Solutions'. It is being attended by more than 600 delegates from the Commonwealth Countiries.

The other workshops today at the Conference related to 'Balancing Economic development and environmental protection' and "Global Water and Energy Use; Towards sustainable development'.

The event was inaugurated by the President Pratibha Devisingh Patil yesterday.

Ms Liz Beattie (Australia) was the moderator at the Climate chnage workshop and Mr Hugh Bayley (UK), Mr M J Mahlangu (South Africa) and Mr Norman George (Cook Islands) were the discussion leaders.

Mr Bayley emphasised that people and Civil Society Groups can play a more pro-active role in creating awareness among all the stakeholders about the cause of environment protection. Outlining the imperative of parliamentary initiative, he said that the parliamentarians due to their proximity with the people could educate and sensitise them more effectively about issues concerning climate change.

Mr Mahlangu said the adverse effects of climate change know no borders and that even countries with less greenhouse gas emissions were not free from dire consequences of climate change.

He said poor countries were more vulnerable to adverse ecological and economic consequences of environmental degradation and all efforts to address the issue at the global level should take this fact into account.

He said parliamentarians can play an important role in pushing up the issues of adaptation, capacity building and technology transfer, besides impressing upon their national governments to abide by their international commitments.

Mr George expressed the view that small island countries of the Pacific were vulnerable to adverse changes in climatic conditions.

Stating that the big countries across the world have failed to fulfill their commitments, he stressed the need for exchange of information on atmospheric variations and the availability of environment friendly clean technologies.

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