New Delhi, April 24: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday said youngsters are the advocates to fight climate change, save the planet and develop solutions.
On the first day of her two-day visit to India, Leyen took part in an interaction at The Energy and Resources Institute campus called TERI Gram, where she asserted the need to work together towards a green, sustainable and equitable future.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are at the top of the political agenda of the European Union (EU) and India. Observing that the young should raise their voice for climate action, Leyen said, “Youth are the advocates to fight climate change as well as to fight for the planet. But they are also the ones who develop solutions.”
The event Youth for a Greener Future was organised by TERI, in collaboration with the EU.
“Young people have fully understood the urgency of the climate crisis. And they are doing something about it. From living more sustainable lifestyles to making their voices heard on the streets and advocating for greener policies, young people are at the heart of the solution. So make your voices heard,” the European Commission president added.
Highlighting the long-standing partnership between the EU and India, Leyen commended India’s ambitious renewable energy goals announced at the COP26 held in Glasgow.
“There is a lot of untapped potential between the European Union and India, we have a lot in common. And joining forces, we can do so much together for the benefit of our people but also for the benefit of our climate and our planet.
“We share the idea that we need to look into solar energy,wind energy, biomass, hydropower, green hydrogen, and geothermal. These are the ingredients of success for the economy, for the benefit of the people, and the protection of our climate and environment,” she said.
Protecting the climate and the environment has a lot to do with innovation, Leyen said. “With innovation, the world takes the right direction in cutting emissions and protecting the environment, and for that, we need clean innovative technologies.”
Observing that women leadership is crucial for inclusive and environmentally sensitive decision-making, Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, said engaging with young people on matters concerning security, climate change and public policy is important to promote youth leadership along with global citizenship for our common future.
“We are extremely honoured and delighted that this intergenerational dialogue is taking place involving a prominent woman leader and our future generation,” Dhawan added.
After the interaction session with the youngsters, Leyen planted a sapling on the TERI Gram campus and visited the TERI-Deakin Nano-Biotechnology Centre.
The people participating in the discussion were selected from a large group of candidates at the annual Youth Climate Conclave, which is organised under the Strategic Partnership for Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA) project by TERI and the EU Delegation to India.
The Ministry of Environment is the nodal ministry for the initiative. The Youth Climate Conclave seeks to engage in a positive and proactive way with youngsters in science-based discussions about the most relevant climate change issues. (PTI)