India was committed to pursuing environmentally sustainable development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on the occasion of World Environment Day in New Delhi, even as a committee was announced to coordinate efforts to meet the challenge of climate change.
"While we have a long way to go in meeting the aspirations of our people and while we must rid our county of the scourge of poverty, ignorance and disease, we should do so in a manner that is environmentally sustainable," he said in a special message on the occasion.
Manmohan Singh said it was incumbent on all to think of future generations and the very future of the planet each time they "undertake an act of consumption".
"The threat of climate change is real and unless we alter our lifestyles and pursue a sustainable model of development, our future will be at peril," he said.
The prime minister has set up a committee to coordinate national action plans for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The principal secretary to the prime minister will be its Convenor.
Comprising 14 government representatives and eight non-government representatives, it will advise the government on pro-active measures that can be taken to deal with the challenge of climate change. The committee will also facilitate inter-ministerial coordination and guide policy in relevant areas.
Those in the committee include the external affairs minister, finance minister, agriculture minister, minister for water resources and minister for environment and forests.
The non-government members include R.K. Pachauri, chairperson of The Energy Research Institute (TERI), Prodipto Ghosh, former environment and forests ministry secretary, Sunita Narain, head of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), and Ratan Tata, Chairman, Investment Commission.