India's growing population needs to be controlled, Minister of State (MoS) for Environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey said on Friday, while reiterating that it is not easy to ensure development, clean air and climate action in a country with such a huge number of people.
Speaking at the International Climate Summit 2021 organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) here on the theme of "Powering India's Hydrogen Ecosystem", he said, "India's population has increased and we need to control it as it is not easy for a country with such a huge population to ensure its development and provide clean air to all people, along with keeping in check the impacts of climate change.
"Such a huge population is not just difficult to handle for developing countries, but for developed ones too."
Choubey also informed that Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, who was supposed to deliver a special address at the summit, could not attend the event as he was travelling out of the city.
The event had listed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the main speaker and the organisers had even said he would deliver the address physically. Finally, they only played the prime minister's Independence Day speech, in which he had talked about the National Hydrogen Mission.
"India's resolute efforts towards green and clean energy instill new confidence in the world. The National Hydrogen Mission is aimed at making India a global hub for green hydrogen production and export. It will also serve as an inspiration for clean energy transition all over the world," was Modi's message shared at the event.
The event was also attended by MoS, Science and Technology Jitender Singh.
The summit was aimed to propel India towards a carbon-free energy ecosystem and becoming a global key player in renewable energy, the PHDCCI said.
In his address, Choubey said the country is focussed on lowering its carbon emissions by reducing its dependency on fossil fuel.
He stressed on the urgency to address climate challenges through a consolidated approach and timely interventions, while emphasising on shifting to cleaner options like green hydrogen as a potential energy source for a more sustainable future.
"The government is committed and concerned about air pollution for which we have already made a commission. We are also focussed on low carbon and reducing the dependency on fossil fuel. We urge the stakeholders in climate change to work together towards a solution," the minister said.
During the event, Choubey released a special knowledge book titled "Self-Reliant India - Harnessing the Power of Hydrogen", co-authored by Dr Karen Landmark from Greenstat, Norway and JP Gupta, Chair, Environment Committee, PHDCCI.
Norway was the partner country for the summit, which began with the special address delivered by the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.
She said green hydrogen has the potential to realise low to zero emission solutions in the transportation, industry and shipping sectors, thus opening up new opportunities.
During the event, the National Hydrogen Portal, a repository of all academic and research work related to hydrogen, was launched.
The event also announced the setting up of "Centres of Excellence" as collaborative hydrogen competence centres, established through a joint effort between government institutions and agencies, industry, research institutions and academia from both Norway and India.