" "IT IS NOLONGER ACCEPTABLE TOTAKE AS GIVENTHAT A CERTAINDEGREE OF ENVIRONMENTALDEGRADATION AND OVER-EXPLOITATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES INTHE CAUSE OFPROMOTINGGROWTH IS INEVITABLEG20 MEMBER COUNTRIES133Below: Dr ManmohanSingh (right) and UN Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moon (left)change certainly belong to this class of issues. In thiscontext the development of new environment-friendly technologies is going to play a very importantrole. The task ahead, as I see it, is to design a systemof intellectual property rights which providesadequate incentives to invest in the development ofnew environment-friendly technologies and at thesame time ensuring that these technologies becomeavailable to poor countries at affordable cost. Sustainable development has been accepted widelyas the strategy that marries the aspirations for growthand development with preservation of theenvironment. Perhaps, it has been interpretedsomewhat narrowly as the ability to meet efficientlythe needs of the present generation, withoutimperilling the ability of the future generations to doso. The concept of sustainable development,however, appears to be larger than just a nation'sability to produce enough to meet its needs. It isabout how we collectively address the growingconcerns regarding climate change, resourcemanagement and what we bequeath to our futuregenerations in terms of knowledge, skills and life-style that they can use to protect the environment,while they pursue their objectives of growth anddevelopment. Only then would we have contributedto the advancement of civilisation and given anenduring legacy to the forthcoming generations. In the public mind, there has always been a trade-offbetween economic growth and environmentalsustainability. But, this view is changing slowly asmore and more people are reviewing their notions ofwhat constitutes growth. In fact, the very definitionof growth has been enlarged to accommodateenvironmental and related concerns. There is nowgeneral agreement that environment cannot beprotected by perpetuating the poverty of developingcountries. Their basic concern is with developmentand this is as it should be. But it is also no longeracceptable to take as given that a certain degree ofenvironmental degradation and over-exploitation ofnatural resources in the cause of promoting growth isinevitable. It is no longer possible to treat theenvironment with passive disregard. And it is nolonger tenable to pretend that these are concernsonly for the other or wealthier nations. In the last four years our government has formulateda national agenda for environmental protection tomeet the challenges of disaster management andclimate change. We have a target for greening 10million hectares of forest land to increase incomes of the poor through a national Green India Mission.Action for generating over 20,000 MW of solarenergy by the year 2020 is underway. Our mission for enhanced energy efficiency will hugely reduce theneed for capacity addition. Our mission forsustainable habitat will develop standards for greenbuildings which we intend to make integral to our municipal laws. Our missions on sustainableagriculture and water conservation will increaseproductivity of dry land agriculture as well asincrease efficiency of water use. All these steps will cumulatively lead us to a low-carbon growthpath. These are steps that we have decided to take on our own as responsible global citizens. Weare not waiting for an international consensus toevolve through ongoing negotiations on globalclimate change. In recent years we have also accelerated efforts toenhance our capability to manage disasters. Theenactment of the Disaster Management Act in 2005enabled the setting up of institutional mechanismsfor disaster preparedness and mitigation. We havealso tried to share our expertise and experience withthe other countries of the world. As a signatory to theInternational Charter on Space and Major Charters,India extends its space capabilities to acquire data ofthe location of disasters anywhere on the globe andshare the same with the affected country or countrieson a priority basis. We also provide training indisaster management to personnel of othercountries, especially those in our neighbourhood. We believe that the cause of environment cannot be furthered merely by exhortation. It also needs the strength and conviction demonstrated by concrete national legislation. We, in recognition of our commitment to this cause, have enacted acomprehensive law establishing and empowering aspecialised tribunal for the settlement of a broadspectrum of environmental cases of civil nature. Wehave joined a handful of forward looking countries tohave such a dedicated mechanism. This tribunal has started functioning and I expect itwill help to reduce the workload of our courts. Wealso hope to establish an independent regulator -theNational Environment Appraisal and MonitoringAuthority soon. This authority could lead to acomplete change in the process of grantingenvironmental clearances. Staffed by dedicatedprofessionals, it will work on a full time basis toevolve better and more objective standards ofscrutiny. I must also mention that but for theenduring wisdom of our judiciary, we would not havethe bulk of what we proudly call "environmentaljurisprudence". The nineties witnessed remarkablechanges in India. Rapid growth and industrialisationwere underway as a result of the newly liberalisedeconomy. At times like this, many nations might havechosen to bear silently the depletion of the nation'snatural resources as the cost of doing business butwe did not compromise on these concerns.nThe above remarks are extracted from Prime MinisterManmohan Singh's address at the Valedictory Session ofthe International Seminar on Global Environment andDisaster Management in New Delhi on July 24, 2011.
n addition to recovery and reconstructionfrom the Great East Japan Earthquake,another priority issue that must beaddressed by my Cabinet is the rebuildingof the Japanese economy. Since the March 11 disaster, issues such as the rapidappreciation of the yen, constraints on electricitysupply and demand, and the instability of internationalfinancial markets have occurred in a compositemanner. Japan is on the verge of suffering a major lossof national credibility due to the hollowing-out of itsindustries and its exacerbating financial situation.RECONSTRUCTION OF ENERGY POLICYThe first step towards rebuilding Japan's economy isreconstructing its energy policy. We continue to face asituation where the supply and demand of electricity isconstrained due to the nuclear power station accident.Without the stable provision of electricity, which is thevery "blood" of our economy and society, thefoundation for Japan's affluent lifestyle will losestability and we will become unable to bolsterdomestic industrial activities.Thanks to the energy saving efforts of the public thissummer, we did not have to resort to carrying outrolling power outages. I thank you for your sincereunderstanding and cooperation. In order to empowerJapan to escape the situation of being forced to endureenergy-saving measures, we will spend the next one ortwo years implementing supply and demandcountermeasures. At the same time, we will revisefrom scratch the current Basic Energy Policy, whichlasts until 2030, and will create a new strategy andplan by around summer of next year. In doing so, wewill steadily consider a mid- to long-term energycomposition that citizens can feel comfortable withfrom the perspective of energy security as well as usingcost analyses, while widely taking into account theviews of wide-ranging groups of citizens.Concerning nuclear power generation, it isunproductive to grasp nuclear power as a dichotomybetween "zero nuclear power" and "promotion." In themid- to long-term, we must aim to move in thedirection of reducing our dependence on nuclearpower generation as much as possible. At the sametime, however, we will restart operations at nuclearpower stations following regular inspections, for whichsafety has been thoroughly verified and confirmed,under the premise that a relationship of trust isdeveloped with the local government. As per anorganisational restructuring of nuclear safetyregulation, the Nuclear Safety and Security Agency willbe established as an affiliated agency of the Ministry ofthe Environment and will work to boldly unifyregulations for nuclear power safety.The history of humankind is also a history of peopleattempting to develop new types of energy. Japan, acountry with few fossil fuel resources, must lead therest of the world in constructing a society that basesitself on new forms of energy. Japan will utilise itsadvanced technological power to pair regulatory reformwith measures to promote dissemination intransmitting a cutting-edge model for energyconservation and renewable energies to the world.Implementation of bold countermeasures to theappreciating yen and industrial hollowing-outHistorical levels of yen appreciation paired with therise of emerging economies and other factors areprecipitating an unprecedented industrial hollowing-RESPONSE TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS134G20 MEMBER COUNTRIESYOSHIHIKO NODA, PRIME MINISTER, JAPANIPhoto: UN Photo/Evan Schneider