11 October 2019
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday participated in the C40 Cities Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark through video conferencing and said no plan to tackle climate change can be successful without the support and participation of the people while adding that Delhi's two crore people are his strength.
Kejriwal held the video conference after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) denied clearance to him for attending the summit on climate change and the organisers requested him to address the summit via video.
He also held a press conference at the C40 Cities Climate Summit in Copenhagen, along with leaders of the world's megacities, where they launched the Clean Air Cities Declaration.
Delhi is one of the 38 cities of the 94 cities attending the Summit to have committed to cleaning its air in a time-bound manner.
"I am very happy to announce that New Delhi is joining 37 other cities from around the world in signing the C40 Clear Air Cities Declaration. I am able to confidently sign this declaration because of the support of 2 crore residents of Delhi, who are my strength. No plan to tackle climate change can be successful without the support and participation of the people," Kejriwal said.
He began his remarks by sharing Delhi's achievement in reducing pollution.
"I want to share some good news from Delhi. For the past few years, Delhi has been struggling because of poor air quality. But as a consequence of the several steps we took, Delhi's pollution has reduced by 25 per cent over the last three years."
Sharing some of the steps Delhi took that led to the reduction in pollution, Kejriwal said, "We used a road rationing policy, Odd-Even, to reduce vehicular pollution on an emergency basis.
"We introduced several restrictions on diesel vehicles, and shut down all coal-based thermal power plants in Delhi. Delhi's industries were also incentivised through subsidies to switch over to cleaner fuels. We also created infrastructure to supply 24 hours uninterrupted power supply in the city, eliminating power cuts. This put half a million highly polluting diesel generators out of use. Large scale afforestation has been carried out over the years. Delhi also has the largest network of Air Quality Monitoring stations in any city in India, which helps us take important decisions."
He announced that the government of Delhi will constitute a Special Task Force that will monitor Delhi's progress towards meeting the goals in the Declaration.
"I will chair a Clean Air Task Force that will consist of ministers and officials from various departments. We will together monitor Delhi's progress in meeting our goals to make Delhi's air clean."
Addressing the session ‘Breathe Deeply' at the C40 Summit, Kejriwal said that there is an urgent need to introduce and implement concrete steps towards tackling the climate crisis in the world.
"People are ready for concrete steps. Mere words won't do. If we take concrete steps, explaining them to people and take them along, people will support us... I believe that good environmental policies also make for good politics," said the chief minister.