stockholm: India pitches for circularity as Stockholm+50 opens with calls to accelerate action for healthy planet and prosperity for all


NEW DELHI: With the world celebrating 50 years of the Stockholm conference that made the environment a pressing global issue for the first time in 1972, India on Thursday pitched for mindful consumption, reduction of waste and promotion of resource efficiency and circular economy to save the planet earth.
“The principles outlined during the 1972 conference remain relevant today…During the last decades, India has seen large-scale inclusive economic development. We have increasingly achieved this development by disengaging the development process from environmental degradation, ” said environment minister Bhupender Yadav while articulating India’s stand at a global forum in Stockholm, Sweden.
Delivering the country’s statement at the inaugural day of the Stockholm+50 conference, he said, “The Prime Minister of India advocated the concept of LIFE, that is, lifestyle for the environment — as an approach to combating climate change. It promotes mindful consumption, reduction of waste and promotion of resource efficiency and circular economy.”
The two-day Stockholm+50 meet is convened by the United Nations General Assembly in Stockholm, Sweden to commemorate 50 years since the 1972 UN conference on human environment that led to the formation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) — a global body that has been working for environmental protection across the world — and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Addressing the Stockholm+50 meet, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that “global well-being is in jeopardy, in large part because we have not kept our promises on the environment.”

He said, “We need to change course – now – and end our senseless and suicidal war against nature… We must place true value on the environment and go beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of human progress and well-being. Let us not forget that when we destroy a forest, we are creating GDP. When we overfish, we are creating GDP. GDP is not a way to measure richness in the present situation in the world. Instead, we must shift to a circular and regenerative economy.”

This year’s theme ‘Only One Earth’ was also the slogan of the 1972 Stockholm Conference. The then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had attended the 1972 conference and called for global collective action to save the environment.
A day before the Stockholm+50 conference, Yadav on Wednesday elaborated on how the country has been transitioning from linear economy to circular economy to save the environment through mindful consumption and better use of resources, and said that India has been working to bring “circularity and resource efficiency” in eleven waste streams through policy interventions.
Making his remarks at the high-level segment of the Conference on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the minister said that an action plan has already been prepared for dealing with these waste (plastic, e-waste, batteries, liquid waste, agriculture waste, end-of-life vehicles etc.) streams under the country’s mission on circular economy.
While Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention regulates the use and trade of listed hazardous chemicals, Basel Convention regulates the movement and environmentally sound disposal of hazardous and other wastes.


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