Indian MP makes appeal at UN on climate

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United Nations, Jun 10: Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal, attending the 62nd General Assembly Informal Meeting on Investments and Climate Change here, highligted the importance of study of climate change, saying it was no longer confined to corporate social responsibility.

He said in the world of business and finance, the subject has become one of strategic deliberation and decision making. Mr Jindal, also the executive vice chairman and managing director of the Jindal Steel and Power was the only Indian speaker, who discussed the subject at length in the UN, yesterday. Other speakers included President-elect of the UN General Assembly Miguel d"Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, who opened the discussion on the subject and related issues.

In his address, Mr Jindal said, ''In the new world order, the challenges in front of business worldwide are to develop new corporate governance practices which are climate friendly. By taking correct investment decisions, the developed nations should play a role in providing the developing nations with access to capital and environment friendly technology at affordable prices in order to undertake projects, which will mitigate climate change.'' According to Mr Jindal, national policies must be able to support such action from business and facilitate movement in the right direction.

''In countries like India, agriculture waste offers great opportunity. Government and private estimates show that a substantial percentage of the country's food crop turns into waste.

About 600 million tonnes of India"s agriculture residue can be turned into 80,000 megawatts of electricity through modern technology.

''To make this happen, however, we will have to make the relevant technology accessible to rural areas. Adequate incentives should be provided for recycling of waste, solar heating and lighting and for rainwater harvesting,'' the MP said.

Apart from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric, nuclear energy and clean coal technologies that are seemingly promising alternatives should be pursued vigorously.

''We also need to expand public transport, particularly railways, to help arrest the increasing vehicular pollution,'' he added.

Mr Jindal said,''Climate change provides an edge to a new frontier opening huge opportunities for businesses and making fortunes by cleaning up the planet. Evidence shows that early movers in climate change businesses like renewable and low carbon technologies are creating wealth for both shareholders as well as investors.

''Never before in human history has the gap between an impending catastrophe and an infinite opportunity been smaller. Hence, our focus has to be on galvanizing businesses for a robust response to climate change in a way that opens new vistas of growth and development advancing human happiness.'' Calling for changes in lifestyle, consumption patterns can be altered to develop a low carbon economy and redesign production processes to minimize waste, conserve resources, and reduce environmental impact, he said.

''This world has enough to satisfy everyone's need but not everyone's greed,'' he said, quoting Mahatma Gandhi.

Mr Jindal has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Haryana.

He personally monitors environmental issues at his company, which has been honored with Greentech Environmental Excellence Award, Golden Peacock Environmental Award, National Energy Conservation Award and others.

He was one of the promoters of the ban of smoking in parliament, which came into effect in July 2004. Mr Jindal also played a role in appealing Indians to buy goods with Indian currency from duty-free shops in all international airports, a measure that became effective from September 2005.


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