The road to achieve sustainable development goals and tackling climate change is an intellectual process. The Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2015 was a milestone to map our common destiny.
The timing of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2015 could not be more appropriate. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is expected to adopt the new set of sustainable development goals in September 2015 and the climate negotiations (Conference of Parties - CoP21) will be held Paris later this year. "The IPCC reports have proved beyond doubt that if we don't take immediate measures, the future will be catastrophic. But climate change also offers an opportunity of co-benefits - investing in clean and affordable energy sources like solar and wind power can curb greenhouse gas emissions, and clean transportation systems such as trains and cycling can reduce air pollution woes and improve public health. DSDS 2015 is a reaffirmation of the support that The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) received from across the globe," said Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General, TERI.
DSDS 2015 brought together 10 former Heads of State, three Nobel Laureates, 17 current and former Ministers from 14 countries and several current and former sub-national leaders, including the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and the Former Governor of California. The Summit also hosted 17 Thematic Tracks to engage with various stakeholders on specific aspects of the Summit theme - 'Sustainable Development Goals and Dealing with Climate Change'. Elaborating on the Summit theme, Dr Pachauri said the impacts of climate change are progressively increasing while affecting the environment and the ecosystem. He emphasized that climate change and sustainable development go hand-in-hand and should be dealt as twin challenges. He urged every individual to act as a missionary of knowledge and inspire people. "Delay in climate change mitigation shifts the burden from the present to the future, and if there is any delay in action, the cost and feasibility of the action will go beyond our reach," he said. Dr Pachauri added that the action points that were drawn from the numerous discussions and deliberations during the Summit would be formulated into a Vision Document leading up to the COP21 Summit.
Prof Jeffrey D Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute & Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, spoke about aiming at finalizing an agreement on climate change and emphasizing on developing a meaningful financial agreement, which underpins sustainable development. Citing the importance of the three major conventions to be held in 2015 - Addis Ababa (Third International Conference on Financing for Development), New York (The United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 Development Agenda) and Paris (Conference of Parties-21) - he highlighted the broad objectives of these summits as assuring the future of development (aid) processes like the USAID process, defining climate financing in terms of the $100 billion commitment, mobilizing private capital to scale up sustainable infrastructure, reforming the regulatory framework to prevent corruption and adhering to the 2Â°C upper limit.