From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Concept of LiFE
Mains level : Paper 3- LiFE movement
In the midst of a global climate crisis, and as India gets closer to hosting the G20 presidency, it is important to recognise our country’s leadership at both ends of the climate debate: By walking the talk on our climate commitments as well as leading people-powered climate action.
Power of individual and collective action to address the climate change
- Adopting eco-friendly behaviours: According to the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), if one billion people out of the global population of close to eight billion adopt eco-friendly behaviours in their daily lives, global carbon emissions could drop by approximately 20 per cent.
- Such eco-friendly behaviours include turning off ACs, heaters and lights when not in use, as this, for instance, can conserve up to 282 kilowatts of electricity per day.
- Avoiding food wastage can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by 370 kg per year.
The concept of Lifestyle for Environment
- In November 2021, at the CoP 26 in Glasgow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in addition to announcing the panchamrit, or five climate-related commitments of the country, also articulated the concept of “Lifestyle for the Environment” (LiFE).
- Mindful and deliberate utilisation: The concept advocate for mindful and deliberate utilisation by people worldwide, instead of “mindful and wasteful consumption”.
- LiFE was launched on June 5, 2022, World Environment Day, by PM Modi, with a vision of harnessing the power of individual and collective action across the world to address the climate crisis.
- The objective of the movement is to nudge individuals and communities to adopt simple and specific climate-friendly behaviours in their daily lifestyles.
- For instance, an individual can carry a reusable cloth bag instead of a plastic bag.
- By making such daily actions an integral part of our collective social norms, LiFE aims to activate a global community of “Pro Planet People” and steer the world towards a sustainable model of development.
- Global precedents: There are already precedents of pro-planet initiatives around the world.
- For example, Denmark promotes the use of bicycles by limiting parking within the city centre and providing exclusive bike lanes.
- Japan has its unique “walk-to-school” mandate, which has been in practice since the early 1950s.
- LiFE, however, is planned as a first-of-its-kind global movement, led by India in partnership with other countries, that will provide the world with a unique people-powered platform to relentlessly focus on bringing individual and collective actions to the core of the climate action narrative.
How the LiFE moment can change people’s behaviour
- 1] Consume responsibly: The prevailing perception that climate-friendly behaviour necessarily implies a frugal lifestyle has played a major role in preventing populations worldwide from adopting a sustainable lifestyle.
- LiFE plans to methodically break down this mental model by nudging the world to consume responsibly, rather than consuming less.
- Using behavioural technique: Building on the unique insights from Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), LiFE will deploy a range of tested behavioural techniques, including nudges, social and behaviour change communication and norm influencing to make mindful consumption a mass movement.
- 2] Produce responsibly: Our society reflects our markets and vice versa.
- If sustainable choices are not supported from the supply-side, any change in our consumption patterns will only be temporary.
- By nudging the consumption patterns of the society at scale, LiFE can also trigger a huge boost for the sustainability market.
- Several green industries and a large number of jobs are likely to be initiated as a positive externality of LiFE.
- 3] Live responsibly: The Covid pandemic is a wake-up call to all of us that no matter how much technological progress we make as a global society, we all remain at the mercy of the natural world.
- As a global community of people with a shared natural world, a threat to one is a threat to all.
- In this context, through its multi-dimensional, multi-cultural and global approach, the LiFE movement can play a pivotal role in not merely reversing the effects of climate change but, at a broader level, mainstream a harmonious and mindful way of living.
As the world moves in fits and starts towards its shared commitment to achieve ambitious climate goals, the time is ripe for India to lead the LiFE movement and mainstream it into the climate narrative.