Resource efficient growth to fuel debate among global leaders at TERI's flagship Summit

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 22, 2013 10:00 hrs

The 13th edition of The Energy and Resources Institute's (TERI) widely popular Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) is all set to witness focussed discussions among global leaders on resource-efficient growth, climate change and protection of natural resources.

The three-day Summit, which will be held at Hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi from January 31 to February 2 this year,is themed "The Global Challenge of Resource-Efficient Growth and Development"-one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.

According to a media release issued by TERI, the Prime Minister, Dr.Manmohan Singh, will be officially raising the curtain on the DSDS this year.

Pushing the agenda for sustainable growth, the TERI release said that the summit aims to provide an efficient platform for thought leaders and policy makers to discuss effective policy mechanisms to reduce the energy and resource footprint.

The summit seeks to not only build a global consensus to protect natural resources, but also to explore innovative solutions to boost efficient practices and minimise unsustainable consumption patterns.

Highlighting the summit's role in framing the global agenda, Dr. R.K.Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, said: "Sustainable development as a concept was popularised by the Brundtland Commission, but hardly received attention from influential world leaders till very recently. DSDS was launched in 2001 with foresight on the crucial importance of converting this concept into worldwide practice. Over the years with the involvement of world leaders from every section of human endeavour, sustainable development has moved from a concept to policies and programmes in different parts of the globe. DSDS has been an important instrument in bringing about this change."

The 13th edition of the widely popular summit will feature a dazzling array of distinguished luminaries from more than 35 countries, including Mr. Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana; Mr James Alix Michel, President, Seychelles; Mr. Anote Tong, President, Republic of Kiribati; Ms. TarjaHalonen, Former President, Finland; Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank; Mr. Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank; Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President, sixty-sixth session of the UN General Assembly; The Rt. Hon. The Lord John Prescott, House of Lords, UK; Nobel Laureate Carlo Rubbia, Scientific Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany; Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA and Mr. Thomas L Friedman, Foreign Affairs Columnist,The New York Times, USA.

The eminent guests will engage in highly interactive and informative discussions on myriad themes such asAdapting to the Impacts of Climate Change; Mitigating Emissions of Greenhouse Gases and Associated Co-benefits; Employment and Growth Potential of a Green Economy; Choices before the BRICS and a New Economic Construct; Sustainable Development and the New Knowledge Economy; and Defining the Future We Want.

A central novelty at DSDS this year will be the thematic tracks on issues like Global trends in sustainable production and consumption with a special focus on edible oils; Mindset of Green Growth; Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Energy Future We Want for All; and Reducing Inequalities: a Sustainable Development Challenge. Thesewill be some of the key areas on which parallel discussions will take place on the sidelines of the Summit. In addition, the tenth World CEO Sustainability Summit (WCSS)-themed 'Resource Revolution: A Global Imperative and How Business Can Shape It'-will witness an impressive congregation of corporate leaders exchanging views on the role of business in protecting resources.

Revealing the rationale behind the Summit's central theme, Dr Pachauri asserted, "We are living in a world where the demand for several resources is growing faster than the addition to their reserves. High resource use intensity is also associated with economic inefficiency. Hence, improving the efficiency of use of resources in an economy can often be achieved at low or negative cost, thereby providing economic gains. Most importantly, using resources efficiently also makes it possible for the poor to gain access to them, which otherwise they may not be able to afford."

According to numerous studies, India-like many other nations-is staring at an impending scarcity, in the wake of increasing and unplanned consumption of non-renewable resources. A TERI study had indicated that the total commercial energy consumption in India would increase by 7.5 times between 2001 and 2031, under a business as usual scenario. In addition, imports of coal, oil and gas are also expected to increase manifold in the next couple of decades.

To overcome this stark situation, the need of the hour is to identify and address the systemic roadblocks to sustainable development. Undoubtedly, framing strong policies and ensuring their effective implementation will require unprecedented levels of cooperation between international governments. Through the DSDS series, TERI aims to herald this much-needed change by enabling nations, scientists, experts and policymakers to join hands in saving the planet. (ANI)

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