H.E. Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Commission interacts with the youth at TERI event on ‘Generation Green: Promoting Sustainable Lifestyles for Youth, by Youth’
New Delhi, July 26, 2023: “Climate change and biodiversity loss are reinforcing each other and the climate crisis. We cannot continue to have ecosystems degrading," said H.E. Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Commission in his keynote address at an in-person session on Wednesday on 'Generation Green: Promoting Sustainable Lifestyles for Youth, by Youth' organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with the European Union Delegation, Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), European Union Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI), and GIZ.
Emphasising the need to let go of the archaic belief that economic growth and emission are married and that the only way forward is to lead by example, H.E Mr Sinkevičius said, “We can have economic growth, we can have a successful society and decrease our emission.” Highlighting the urgent need to tackle the triple planetary crisis, His Excellency added, “Climate Change, biodiversity loss, pollution are transboundary issues… global issues. We are all in the same boat, that’s why we have to row in the same direction.” He also emphasized the need for the youth to be part of the discussions and of the solutions. In this light, the session saw the youth participate and interact with H.E. Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius on the aspects of science, policy, and the invaluable role that youth play as the global community to come together for global level climate negotiations to drive climate action at COP28 in UAE this November.
Inaugurating the session and welcoming the distinguished guests, Amb. Manjeev Puri, Distinguished Fellow, TERI said, "The youth present here who are going to mould the future." Speaking about the unique opportunity that this interaction between the EU Commissioner and the youth provides, Amb. Manjeev Puri stressed that the European Union is, “not just a rich place or a financial and technological hub, but a place that sets the standard for the world. It’s a place from where ideas emanate and which much of the world including us find useful to follow, because these are ideas that are good for the humankind.”
The session also saw the release of three publications titled ‘Ten-point Action Agenda for LiFE and Youth’ by TERI; ‘Impact Report: Agents of Change Youth Empowerment on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency’ by EU-REI and Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN); and ‘Campaigns for Mission LiFE’ by CRB.
The launch followed a Special Q&A session between H.E. Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Commission and the Youth, moderated by Dr Livleen Kahlon, Associate Director, TERI. The Q&A saw His Excellency answer pertinent questions around the pivotal need for developing circular economy, the intricate link of biodiversity and its loss with the climate crisis, the urgent need to curb pollution (plastic pollution, air pollution) and more.
Dr Shailly Kedia, Associate Director, TERI proposed the Vote of Thanks and acknowledging EU as the norm leader and hoping that dialogues and exchange of ideas between EU and India can continue across generations.