Odisha’s Kandhamal MP Dr Achyuta Samanta speaks on climate change in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Dr. Achyuta Samanta, the Member of Parliament for Kandhamal constituency of Odisha on Wednesday participated in the debate over climate change in Lok Sabha. Dr. Samanta, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP said that the spread of Corona virus has triggered an unprecedented worldwide response composed of rigorous social distancing, bans, ambitious economic packages and, programmes for vaccination and for a while, has eclipsed all other crises, including the climate Change. But Climate Change cannot be put in the back burner.

Now, it is a moment for the mobilisation against the climate crisis. We saw examples of healing of Nature during lockdowns, which though very short lived, saw a rebound. We all know Delhi’s AQI improved during lockdowns or how residents of Jalandhar in Punjab woke up to an incredible sight in the distance: the Dhauladhar mountain range in Himachal Pradesh. The peaks, which are over 120 miles away, had not been sighted on the Punjab horizon for almost 30 years. The health of the Ganga River has seen significant improvement during lockdown, the MP said.

I don’t say we have to go back to lockdowns, but we have to be mindful. But if the world waits for climate change to trigger an impact similar to Covid-19, it will be too late. Given the threat of climate change on human society and the economy, action against climate change should already be underway. Climate change will increasingly have dramatic effects on poverty, inequality as well as human and ecosystem wellbeing. The impacts will furthermore affect disadvantaged and vulnerable populations through food insecurity, higher food prices, income losses, lost livelihood opportunities, adverse health impacts and population displacements, Dr. Samanta said.

Suggesting a solution to the crisis of climate change the MP said that fighting climate change requires a collaborative approach between all spheres of society. It has to be top down at macro level and awareness at micro level. In our villages, among the tribals and women, we see a lot of sustainable practices so our micro level handling will not be a problem. If it is to redress the inequalities linked to climate change, its response must also see significant support from high-income countries towards the rest of the world because they have the resources. It must also heavily redirect resources towards local, sustainable activities, including education, health, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and the circular management of resources.

A just transition to a sustainable model of development would be beneficial from a socioeconomic perspective. It would create a large amount of local employment, reduce exposure to volatile, expensive and largely imported fossil fuels, bring innovation and generate vast savings from improvements in human and ecosystem health. In addition, the solutions to decarbonise are largely available and, in most cases, cost-effective, he added.

Also read: Matter of pride for Odisha! Achyuta Samanta nominated to member of CAVA

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