Lok Sabha

December 10, 2021

Aparupa Poddar speaks during Discussion on Climate Change under Rule 193

Aparupa Poddar speaks during Discussion on Climate Change under Rule 193



Thank you Sir for giving me the opportunity to speak in this crucial discussion, where every single person on this planet is very concerned as it impacts our present and future life. I also thank the Speaker for allowing Climate Change under Rule 193 in this August House. 


Before I start, I would like to quote the great Albert Einstein: “World will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” 


The Global Climate Risk Index 2021, an annual ranking from the research group German Watch, puts India among the top 10 countries most affected by climate change. In 2020 alone, India suffered its worst. Three cyclones, a nationwide heat wave and flooding that killed thousands of people and forced them to migrate from one place to another. 


Climate change brings about a shift in natural vegetation, thereby deteriorating  forests. The uncertainty of rain disturbed crop patterns. And some parts of India are even facing shrinking water supply, while others are facing rising seas. Even in my constituency Arambagh, a place called Goghat has already been declared a black zone. So it is a very alarming situation. 


At the United Nations Climate Change Conference negotiations in Glasgow, India strengthened its Paris target by committing to further reduce its carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45 per cent from the earlier target of 33 to 35 per cent from 2005 level by 2030, and increase its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030, formalising India’s earlier renewable commitment, and reduce India’s total carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes from now to 2030. India also joined other nations in announcing a zero emission target by 2070. 


I want to know the roadmap of what the government is thinking. I would also like to know from the Minister whether the government has any plans to undertake any field survey to determine and identify the total area, land availability in the country for afforestation and field survey, which could provide the necessary data to the state governments to chalk out the necessary strategies for taking up afforestation. 


A rise in extreme weather events in India, like drought, floods, heatwaves to hailstorms, is a very alarming situation. The poorest sections abandon their land, homes and livelihood. Many of India’s poorest, such as small farmers, are finding it hard to grow crops in this type of situation. Heavy rains and cyclones have caused large scale damage to the standing paddy and other crops in West Bengal and its southern districts, including my Lok Sabha constituency Arambagh, where floods in 2020 have already caused enough damage to the farmers. 


It is a very alarming situation because at least 4 lakh acres of land in West Bengal, where 10 lakh farmers are growing potato and paddy crops, are facing a great problem. Will the minister elaborate what step has been taken to address the issue of climate migration? Now, under the RD scheme for conservation and development, it has already been revised from 16.3 to 35.8 to 23.5 respectively for an allocated amount. Underutilisation of the fund raised doubt about the achievement of physical targets. 


Before being Member of Parliament, I was deputy-chairperson in a municipality, so I know this is a very alarming problem in the municipal area. India has recorded a 56% increase in the number of hazardous waste generation in industry, which come under the urban areas controlled by the municipalities and the local bodies. The burden of solid waste is becoming unmanageable. In fact, 79 major protests against land filling and dump yards have been recorded in 22 states in the past 3 years. At the same time, most of the industries are not properly maintaining their waste, even though there is a law which makes it mandatory. 


With these words, I would like to conclude with the hope that the government will take up positive initiatives to save our Mother Earth.