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Policy-makers, innovators praise PM Modi's LiFE Movement, says when India leans in, world watches and follows

Speaking at the launch of 'Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement', a global initiative, Bill Gates stressed the need for innovative technologies and participation from all to eliminate greenhouse gases.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited by: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: June 05, 2022 23:06 IST
PM Modi, LiFE launch
Image Source : PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi digitally addresses the launch of the global initiative LiFE’, short for Lifestyle for Environment, in New Delhi.


  • PM Modi virtually launched global initiative 'Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement'
  • The movement was launched on the occasion of World Environment Day
  • Bill Gates, World Bank President, others praised India and PM Modi’s efforts for clean environment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday virtually launched a global initiative 'Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement' on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The launch will initiate 'LiFE Global Call for Papers' inviting ideas and suggestions from academics, universities, and research institutions to influence and persuade individuals, communities and organisations across the world to adopt an environment-conscious lifestyle.

Addressing the gathering, he said that today is an apt day for the launch of the global initiative 'Lifestyle for the Environment - LiFE Movement' as he stressed the need of the hour to solve the challenge faced by our planet using human-centric, collective efforts and robust action that further sustainable development.

The Prime Minister reminded the gathering that this global initiative was proposed by him at COP-26 last year.

"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," he said.

He noted, thanks to 1.3 billion Indians in the country, he was able to do many good things for the environment in our country.

The event was attended by Microsoft's co-founder Bill Gates, World Bank President, Climate Economist Lord Nicholas Stern, UNEP Global Head among other distinguished thinkers, policy-makers and innovators who praised India and PM Modi’s efforts towards the environment.

World Bank President David Malpass' quotes Rig Veda, Bhagavad Gita for protecting environment

"In honour of PM Modi’s focus on Lifestyle for environment and his call for papers, I am guided to the ancient texts of India and enlightened by their great respect for the natural world and environment."

"The words of the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda and Charak Samhita speak of trees moving pollution, of not disturbing the sky and of importance of forests to the strength of the state."

"Bhagavad Gita also says environment is not ours to take or leave, it is ours to make. Gita says let the human community protect the environment for their own survival. In these words, I see a call for action."

"I saw this urgency, during my participation with PM Modi in 2019 at civil service capacity building in Gujarat. Mobilising and empowering communities around sustainable development is at the core of World Bank’s work and Prime Minister call for the movement of the masses against environmentally destructive behaviour."

"For India to be a global leader in environmental action, it has to be a global leader in economic development. Prime Minister is correctly calling for a whole of life approach, it makes sense that this will need a whole of economy approach. We look forward to supporting this with whole of World Bank approach."

"Let us not lose this learning opportunity being offered today by PM Modi who said recently that once people are determined to do something together, they do wonderful things."

Bill Gates says inspired by India's leadership in efforts to curb rise in emissions

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he's inspired by India's Leadership in efforts to curb the rise in emissions and was excited to learn about the Life movement.

"I congratulate PM Modi for taking the lead in this global initiative of citizen action to promote pro-climate behaviours. The necessity for collective global action to address climate change has never been greater and India’s role and leadership are crucial to ensure that we reach our climate goals."

Many of us looking to India for inspiration and ideas, says Cass Sunstein, co-author at Harvard University

"A great honour to be with you today to celebrate the launch of Lifestyle for Environment Movement, said Cass Sunstein,co-author of Nudge and Behavioural Scientist at Harvard University."

"India and the Prime Minister have been world leaders with respect to environmental protection, climate change and human behaviour. Many of us all over the world are looking to India for inspiration and ideas."

"Really an honour to speak to you about this historic event, and I look forward to seeing new creativity and new initiatives with respect to FEAST (Fun, easy, attractive, social, timely), a framework for behaviour change in connection with the environment and climate."

When India leans in, world watches and follows, says Inger Andersen, UNEP Global Head

UNEP Global Head Inger Andersen welcomed the launch by Prime Minister Modi on LIFE movement on World Environment day, saying every person and every country needs to lead for the planet.

"With more than 1 billion people and home to a thriving generation of innovators and entrepreneurship, India is central to global environmental action. I look forward to following your progress as you launch this hugely important movement because when India leans in, world watches and follows."

"We at UNEP look forward to supporting the government of India and its people in pushing forward sustainable consumption and production agenda as India assumes the presidency of G-20 in 2023."

India serves as kinetic energy behind climate action, says Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator

"Great privilege to join PM and other distinguished guests for the launch of lifestyle for environment global call for ideas and papers on world environment day," said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

"Countries like India are serving as kinetic energy behind decisive climate action on the world stage.

That includes its works through cutting edge initiatives like the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and One Sun, One World, One Grid, which aims for interconnected solar energy infrastructure at a global scale."

"Last year at COP 26 in Glasgow, PM Modi advanced the idea of lifestyle for environment. It builds upon the idea that individual behaviour and action are a key part of our collective climate responsibility. It aims to track some of the world’s very best solutions to drive climate-friendly behaviour amongst individuals and communities, from grassroot innovators to academia to international organisations and beyond.

Please continue to rely on the support of UN and UNDP as we help to make LiFE a global movement to change the way we live."

World needs to go where India is not the other way around: CEO & President, World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute CEO & President, Ani Dasgupta congratulated India and PM Modi for this exciting launch and paving the way for a much needed global movement and conversation on how we live, how we consume and how we take care of the planet.

"I can’t overemphasise the Prime Minister the importance you gave to bring people to the movement. Prime Minister Modi has very correctly said thoughtful utilisation of resources. 

For 100 years, we have connected success of prosperity with consumption, I see this movement as the Prime Minister helping in reversing this thought and valuing the planet."

I can’t overemphasise the importance that India is launching this movement. India’s consumption or emission per capita is about one-third of global average. So, the world needs to go where India is not the other way around.

"India and other ancient societies have found ways to live with nature, to take care of nature. That knowledge needs to be part of collective knowledge now.

At WRI, we just want to say we absolutely hear your call. We have set up behavioural science unit and how it can help climate change.

I just want to congratulate PM Modi for your call to change all of us from consumers to stewards of the world. This call cannot be more noble and more timely than today. We will support you in every way we can."

Friends of India will stand ready to support this initiative, says Lord Nicholas Stern, Climate Economist

Climate Economist Lord Nicholas Stern said that all the friends of India will stand ready to support this vital, new initiative. He thanked Prime Minister Modi for his outstanding leadership.

"I thank PM Modi for the honour of inviting me on this special day. Your landmark speech in November last year at COP 26 set out an inspiring vision for a new path of development for India.

It will be the development and growth story of the 21st century. Both raising living standards across the whole community and, in your words, saving the future of our future generations. India’s special position in the world profoundly influences what others do."

"At the heart of your vision, Prime Minister, is fostering sustainable lifestyles that are in harmony with the environment, in contrast with the inefficient, dirty and destructive model of rich countries in the past. The creation of this new path will involve strong investment, innovation, and action across the whole economy, involving all communities and individuals.

I have had the privilege of working on and in India for nearly fifty years, and I have seen first-hand the extraordinary creativity of the people of India from small village to big city. They can surely realise this vision."

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