Our current metric to gauge a country’s development is deeply flawed and needs to be re-evaluated, Prime Minister Modi told Bill Gates. He told the philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder that the world needs to consider Green GDP

During his conversation with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated for a major paradigm shift in how we as a society measure economic development and the need for a refocusing of efforts towards a greener perspective.

PM Modi emphasised that current metrics for gauging economic growth are ecologically harmful, underscoring the need for embracing parameters that account for environmental sustainability.

“At present to gauge development, we see which country is consuming more steel, which one is consuming more electricity per capita. If we continue to rely on these parameters to gauge an economy, we will consume more electricity and steel, resulting in increased carbon emissions,” PM Modi said.

‘Current metrics of growth are anti-climate’
The Prime Minister stressed the urgency of reassessing developmental paradigms to prioritize climate-friendly choices. “Today, all of our growth metrics are anti-climate.”

He proposed the adoption of a Green Gross Domestic Product (Green GDP) concept, advocating its integration into the conventional GDP framework.

“I believe the world should develop the concept of Green GDP to measure growth. We should ask, ‘How much of our GDP in Green GDP, or our of overall employment, what’s the ratio of green jobs out there? We need to change the global terminology,” Modi asserted, emphasizing the alignment of his and Gates’ perspectives on climate change.

Climate initiatives accelerated post G20 September 2023 summit
During the candid exchange with Gates, Modi highlighted the increasing momentum behind climate action since the G20 Summit hosted in India last year. He reiterated that the pace of climate initiatives has notably accelerated post the September 2023 summit.

Modi emphasized the imperative of making green solutions more accessible, emphasizing a dual approach of fostering innovation aligned with nature and climate-friendly practices. He pinpointed the necessity of redefining progress, cautioning against conventional markers such as steel consumption and energy usage, which contribute to heightened carbon emissions.

India and Mission Innovation
Reflecting on past endeavours, Modi recalled collaborative efforts with former US and French presidents and Gates to advance climate strategies. He lamented the limited progress achieved despite comprehensive discussions during the 2015 Paris climate meeting.

Gates lauded Modi’s government for initiatives such as “Mission Innovation,” launched during the Paris climate conference in 2015. This collaborative initiative, engaging 23 countries and the European Commission, aims to expedite the transition to clean energy and fulfil the objectives of the Paris Agreement and net zero emissions.

India’s pivotal role as a founding member of “Mission Innovation” underscores its commitment to global climate action.

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