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Need to rethink how we see growth, give importance to ‘Green GDP’: PM Modi to Bill Gates

During his conversation with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated for a significant paradigm shift in how we measure economic development and the need to refocus efforts towards a greener perspective.

PM Modi emphasized that current metrics for gauging economic growth are ecologically harmful, underscoring the need to embrace parameters that account for environmental sustainability.

“At present, to gauge development, we see which country is consuming more steel and which one is consuming more electricity per capita. If we continue to rely on these parameters to gauge an economy, we will consume more electricity and steel, resulting in increased carbon emissions,” PM Modi said.

‘Current metrics of growth are anti-climate’
The Prime Minister stressed the urgency of reassessing developmental paradigms to prioritize climate-friendly choices. “Today, all of our growth metrics are anti-climate.”

He proposed adopting the Green Gross Domestic Product (Green GDP) concept and advocating its integration into the conventional GDP framework.

“I believe the world should develop the concept of Green GDP to measure growth. We should ask, ‘How much of our GDP is green GDP, or our overall employment? What’s the ratio of green jobs out there? We need to change the global terminology,” Modi asserted, emphasizing the alignment of his and Gates’ perspectives on climate change.

Climate initiatives accelerated post G20 September 2023 summit
During the candid exchange with Gates, Modi highlighted the increasing momentum behind climate action since the G20 Summit hosted in India last year. He reiterated that the pace of climate initiatives has notably accelerated post the September 2023 summit.

Modi emphasized the imperative of making green solutions more accessible, emphasizing a dual approach of fostering innovation aligned with nature and climate-friendly practices. He pinpointed the necessity of redefining progress, cautioning against conventional markers such as steel consumption and energy usage, which contribute to heightened carbon emissions.

India and Mission Innovation
Reflecting on past endeavors, Modi recalled collaborating with former US and French presidents and Gates to advance climate strategies. He lamented the limited progress achieved despite comprehensive discussions during the 2015 Paris climate meeting.

Gates lauded Modi’s government for initiatives such as “Mission Innovation,” which was launched during the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. This collaborative initiative, engaging 23 countries and the European Commission, aims to expedite the transition to clean energy and fulfill the objectives of the Paris Agreement and net zero emissions.

India’s pivotal role as a founding “Mission Innovation” member underscores its commitment to global climate action.

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