Land degradation, blue economy and resource efficiency are set to be the key focus areas, as representatives from the G20 nations gather in Bengaluru this Thursday for the first working group meeting on environment.
The crucial three-day meeting would witness intense discussions among the policymakers over environmental concerns that impact the world at large. It will be the first of the four meetings to be held under India’s presidency that will specifically focus on environment and climate sustainability.
As impacts of warming intensify across the globe, India’s G20 presidency will look to bring nations together to adopt an integrated, comprehensive and consensus driven approach that can help them tackle the challenges of climate change, said Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav in a briefing.
The meeting will also be attended by representatives from international organisations who have been working in the relevant fields. As a matter of priority, the first working group will specifically focus on arresting land degradation, promoting a sustainable and climate-resilient blue economy as well as encouraging resource efficiency and a circular economy. Marine litter will also be a priority.
The policymakers will also share potential solutions and look at combined studies for effective restoration of land, especially that of abandoned coal mines destroyed by wildfires, and enrich biodiversity in critical areas.
“India is among the few countries, which has already presented its decarbonisation plan to achieve net zero by 2070. From Green Bonds in the previous budget to the Green Credit programme, we have been working towards our climate goals. At G20, we will also promote LiFE- Lifestyle for Environment," said Yadav detailing India’s commitment for climate action ahead of the meet.
There will also be a side event where the attendees will be taken around the city to witness ecosystem restoration and biodiversity enrichment practices at Bengaluru. The subsequent meetings will take place at Gandhinagar, Mumbai and Chennai.
Speaking on the issue of climate finance, which has proved to be a major roadblock in climate action, Leena Nandan, secretary, environment said G20 will have a dedicated working group for finance as well. “There should be a deeper resolve among the nations to deliberate on the issue of climate finance, especially identifying areas where it is needed the most," she said.
According to officials, the focus areas of the first meeting were carried forward from the previous presidencies, while others were identified on the basis of their impact across countries.
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