Context: 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) — advocating for “mindful and deliberate utilisation” by people worldwide, instead of “mindful and wasteful consumption”.
Over the last two decades, many countries have attempted policies and actions to address climate change. However, the positive impact that individual and community behaviours can have on climate action has remained under realised. 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.
There is an urgent need for individuals to transcend geographical, social and economic boundaries, and come together as a global community to tackle the climate crisis. India can lead the global climate debate by nudging the world towards a new model of sustainable and inclusive development through the Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) movement.
Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE)
- Launched on June 5, 2022, World Environment Day
- Vision: To harness 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.
Precedents of pro-planet initiatives around the world
- 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.
- Consume responsibly: LiFE plans to nudge the world to consume responsibly, rather than consuming less. Building on the unique insights from India’s recent jan andolans such as the 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.
- Produce responsibly: 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.
- Live responsibly: 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 — a staple of Indian culture and tradition, practised by its people over centuries.
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. LiFE could arguably become the very heart of that model.
Source: Indian Express