Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement’ on June 5, 2022, via video conferencing. The launch also initiated the ‘LiFE Global Call for Ideas and Papers’, inviting individuals, universities, think tanks, non-profits and others worldwide to submit measurable and scalable behaviour change solutions that can drive climate-friendly behaviours among individuals, communities and organisations.

While addressing the launch, the Indian PM stressed that the need of the hour was to solve the challenge faced by our planet using human-centric, collective efforts and robust action that further sustainable development. He reminded the gathering that this global initiative was proposed by him at COP26 last year. He added that the vision of LiFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it. And those who live such a lifestyle are called “Pro-Planet People”. Mission LiFE borrows from the past, operates in the present and focuses on the future. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are the concepts woven into our life. The Circular Economy has been an integral part of our culture and lifestyle.

The Indian PM further offered his gratitude to the 1.3 billion Indians in the country with whose support he was able to do many good things for the environment in our country. He added that India’s forest cover is increasing and so is the population of lions, tigers, leopards, elephants and rhinos. He said that India’s commitment to reach 40% of installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources has been achieved, 9 years ahead of schedule. The target of 10% ethanol blending in petrol has been achieved 5 months ahead of the November 2022 target. This is a major accomplishment given that blending was hardly 1.5% in 2013-14 and 5% in 2019-20. He said renewable energy has a very high focus in the government. Way ahead, he said, is all about innovation and openness. When technology and tradition mix, the vision of life will be taken further.

The Indian Prime Minister recalled that Mahatma Gandhi talked about a zero-carbon lifestyle. In our daily life choices, let us pick the most sustainable options, he said. He urged the gathering to follow the principle of reuse, reduce and recycle. Our planet is one but our efforts have to be many – One earth, many efforts. “India stands ready to support any effort for a better environment and to further global wellness. Our track record speaks for itself,” he concluded.

“Fostering sustainable lifestyle that is in harmony with the environment is needed. We must act strongly to use and reuse our resources much more efficiently. Public action can and must incentivize private action. We must invest in our towns and cities to make sustainable lifestyles like cycling and walking possible. Finances will be necessary for this change,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, international climate economist.

The idea of LiFE was introduced by the Indian Prime Minister during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow last year. The idea promotes an environmentally conscious lifestyle that focuses on ‘mindful and deliberate utilisation’ instead of ‘mindless and wasteful consumption’. He proposed life moment by proposing the ‘One-Word Movement’ in COP26, which was in the context of the climate and a proposal for the countries to form one world, in order to motivate everyone to come together and take Lifestyle For Environment (LIFE) forward as a campaign. Appeasing to people to make it a mass movement of Environmental Conscious Lifestyle.

The LiFE Movement aims to utilise the power of collective action and nudge individuals across the world to undertake simple climate-friendly actions in their daily lives. The LiFE movement, additionally, also seeks to leverage the strength of social networks to influence social norms surrounding climate. The Mission plans to create and nurture a global network of individuals, namely ‘Pro-Planet People’ (P3), who will have a shared commitment to adopt and promote environmentally friendly lifestyles. Through the P3 community, the Mission seeks to create an ecosystem that will reinforce and enable environmentally friendly behaviours to be self-sustainable.

The Mission envisions replacing the prevalent ‘use-and-dispose’ economy—governed by mindless and destructive consumption—with a circular economy, which would be defined by mindful and deliberate utilization.

By Dr. Ankit Srivastava

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