Press Releases

  • Pranab Mukherjee calls for a collaborative approach amongst nations to combat Climate Change at the 9th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit

    7 February 2009

    The great global challenges of our time: food security and climate change must be urgently addressed to avoid grave consequences in the future – Ban Ki-moon

    Stressing the gravity of climate change and energy security Sh. Pranab Mukherjee Hon’ able Minister for External Affairs called for a collaborative approach amongst nations to combat the threats posed by Climate Change. Speaking at the inaugural of the 9th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, an annual event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Sh. Mukherjee, emphasized the urgency with which these very real and serious risks must be addressed in order to avoid grave consequences. Stating that "Only a timely multilateral and collaborative approach among nations will be able to provide the required response," he stressed the importance of global cooperation.

    Congratulating TERI under the leadership of Dr R K Pachauri on organizing DSDS 2009, which has a presence of eminent dignitaries, Nobel laureates, CEO’s and thought leaders from across the globe, Sh. Mukherjee that recession should not halt action against climate change. He cited India’s impressive emissions record as an example of its dedication to achieving environmental sustainability, and highlighted priorities like a strategic shift from fossil fuels to non-fossil fuels and to alternate sources of energy. "For us, the concept of sustainable development must include needs of the people for health, nutrition, education, housing with a view to eradicate poverty and provide life of dignity in a clean and safe environment.” He added.

    Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess, Kingdom of Thailand; HE Ms Tarja Halonen, President of Finland; HE Mr Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati; HE Mr Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; HE Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations; HE Mr Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Former President of Maldives and HE Mr Moritz Leuenberger, Former President of Switzerland were present at the inaugural of the summit.

    Mr. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General, United Nations was awarded TERI's Sustainable Development Leadership award for 2009 for his pioneering work on alerting the world to climate change. In his address Mr. Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about the crisis of food security and climate change. He said “Failure to tackle climate change will increase poverty and inequality. For this leadership commitment from across the globe is required. Climate change is a domestic as well as an international priority and the actions and ways to tackle its must not fall to deaf ears. The world can and will rise to this global challenge.”

    Focusing on the theme “Towards Copenhagen: an equitable and ethical approach” and hoping that DSDS 2009 will not only address the various dimensions of climate change and sustainable development that are required to be taken globally as well as in India, Dr R K Pachauri, Director General TERI, said “The impacts of climate change would leave no part of the globe untouched and the aggregation of extreme events has the unmistakable signature of human influence on the earth’s climate. There is an urgent need to arrive at a shared vision on any aspect of climate change and for that we must first develop a clearly articulated and shared vision of what would represent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system using all the scientific evidence & information available. Those that are prosperous must accept their responsibility and be totally sensitive to the danger confronting the most vulnerable societies on earth, which are also incidentally some of the poorest communities on the globe and they are in no way responsible for causing this global problem.”

    Ending his speech Dr Pachauri emphasized that “The evidence regarding climate change is overwhelming, and we must keep that completely in focus to ensure that we do not escape responsibility for action, because the result of inaction would go against the survival of many species, with reduced welfare and possibly enhanced conflict within human society. The scientific evidence has to be placed within a strong & logical framework, which we hope leaders across the world and their negotiators are able to devise such that ethics and equity determine any agreement that we arrive at".

    The Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) has now evolved as a major annual event globally which addresses the key challenges of sustainable development and means by which this can be attained.