Greater Noida, Sep. 9 (IANS): Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Prakash Javadekar on Monday said the country has scaled up its target to restore the degraded land by 5 million hectares.
Referring to the Prime Minister NarendraModi’s announcement earlier, the minister said that the country has now set a target to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, as compared to 21 million hectares.
“Our earlier commitment of land restoration was 13 million hectares, which was set at Bonn challenge. We then improved upon it and revised it to 21 million hectares. Now today the prime minister said that 26 million hectares of land will be restored by 2030,” he said
He added that the restoration target has now been scaled by 5 million hectares. “If we restore land faster, then our mitigation also improves. Therefore, this is a landmark achievement,” he said.
He said that the Delhi Declaration, which will be signed by the participating nations where they will mutually agree on the final targets of land restoration, is almost ready.
“The draft Delhi Declaration is practically ready. There will be final comments coming from various stakeholders. The discussions through the last week was very productive,” he said.
He added, “Every climate action has a cost and therefore the pledges should be converted into final commitments then only the finance will flow. This will enable the developing countries to take action. Historical responsibility, respective capabilities and common but differentiated responsibilities are the three guiding principles around which the action plan revolves,” he said.
The Delhi Declaration will enlist the final commitment targets to be met by the various countries and would be signed be them. The agenda is to reverse land degradation and fix the critical gaps in land management.
The minister was addressing the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Earlier in the morning, the minister said that India has already achieved half of its renewable energy production target.
The government plans to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as part of its climate commitments.
“The world did not believe it when we announced our renewable energy target of 175 GW, which will be 40% of our total energy capacity. However, we have already achieved half of our target,” he said.