India on Tuesday said it is substantially reducing the emission intensity of GDP, tapping non-fossil fuel energy sources and creating additional carbon sink to fulfil its commitment towards global fight against climate change.
Participating in a debate on sustainable development in the second committee of the General Assembly, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to UN, Ashish Sinha said that climate change is a critical component of sustainable development as it impacts public health, food and water security, migration and peace and security.
"Walking the talk, India's climate action plans are a reflection of our strongest commitment to contribute with our full might to the global fight against climate change," he said.
"We are substantially reducing the emission intensity of GDP, tapping non-fossil fuel energy sources and creating additional carbon sink," he said, adding that India welcomes the initiative of the Secretary General to renew the focus on Climate Action.
India, along with partner countries, is building an International Solar Alliance that would contribute to transition towards renewable energy globally.
Observing that the adoption 2030 agenda with a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) has enabled the world to renew its faith in multilateralism and in collective action, he said, India's national development goals are mirrored in the SDGs.
Progressing towards the achievement of Agenda 2030 with a whole of the government approach with unity of purpose and unity of efforts at all levels, he said the responsibility for overseeing SDG implementation has been assigned to the National institution for Transforming India (Niti Aayog).
Noting that "Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas," which translates as "Collective Effort, Inclusive Growth" forms the cornerstone of India's national development agenda, Sinha said to fast track this India has recently released a draft Three-Year Action Agenda covering years 2017-18 to 2019-20.
In parallel, work is in advance stages on a 15-Year Vision, which will also include a seven-year strategy, he said.
In his remarks, Miroslav Lajcak, President of UN General Assembly said climate change remain one of the biggest global challenges.
As such the Paris Agreement must be reinforced and strengthened, he asserted.
Financing for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was also critically important in ensuring that improvements were brought to peoples lives, he added.
India was joined by several other countries underscoring the importance of climate change on sustainable development.
Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community(CARICOM), Keith Marshall of Barbados said countries in his region were at a "critical junction", needing prompt support following extensive damage during recent hurricanes.
Adding that threatening climate patterns undermined poverty eradication and sustainable development, he said the expensive link between disasters and development could no longer be ignored.
Speaking on behalf of the 47 least developed countries, Shameen Ahsan of Bangladesh called for concerted efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and to operationalise the Green Climate Fund in a timely manner.
Desertification, land degradation and drought hampered development in least developed countries, with billions of hectares of land affected by desertification in Africa alone, which had led to $9billion in annual losses, he said.
"It is time to take real steps to improve the fiscal space available for small and vulnerable economies, to build resilience to external shocks and effects of climate change," said Mariyam Midhfa Naeem from Maldives on behalf of Alliance of Small Island States.