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Meghalaya aspires to lead “green bloc coalition”

Sangma, who participated in the discussion via virtual world, also put forth the need for the North-Eastern region to be a unique green laboratory.

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Shillong: Meghalaya aspires to be a leader to create a green bloc coalition to find solutions to fast depleting natural assets, State minister for forest and environment, James K Sangma said at the World Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi on Friday.

Pointing out that Meghalaya along with Arunachal Pradesh form the biggest carbon sinks crucial for India to honour the commitments made at the Paris Agreement, Sangma, who participated in the discussion via virtual world, also put forth the need for the North-Eastern region to be a unique green laboratory.

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Pointing out that the implementation aspects of climate action, be it mitigation, adaptation and resilience, often falls on the state governments, the Meghalaya Minister along with Maharashtra Environment Minister, Aaditya Uddhav Thackeray and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan also mooted the idea of setting up a dedicated environmental council composed of representatives from the Centre and the states.

“On the lines of the GST Council, if we have the environment and forest ministers of all states along with the Union Minister of Environment in a council, I think that is where we can set targets and policies at the national level and implement at the state level,” Thackeray, said at a “Ministerial Session on Sub-national Leadership for Inclusive Green Growth at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) annual flagship event.

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan said, “Lot of implementation needs happen at the local body, district and the state level. While policies are framed at the national level, bulk of the work is to be done at these levels.”

At the session, the ministers highlighted the need for newer measures and yardsticks to assess and tackle climate change related impacts. Thackeray suggested putting out an annual environment report and said, We can think of an “Ease of Living report that lists out environmental steps and targets, and what can be done in terms of climate action such as mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

Noting that the diversity between states is vast and so are their needs and capacities, Thiagarajan observed that for India to achieve the target of net-zero by 2070, “A state like Tamil Nadu has to get there no later than 2050 for it to be a realistic outcome for rest of India as we are far ahead in terms of the average per capita income and per capita consumption, education and growth.” 

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