Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi attends the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference Monday.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi attends the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference Monday. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized the global focus on mitigation strategies over adaptation strategies to tackle climate change, calling it an “injustice towards the developing countries that are heavily affected.”

“For the farmers of many developing countries, including India, climate is a big challenge. There is a change in cropping pattern. Untimely rains, floods and consistently incoming storms are destroying crops. From sources of drinking water to affordable housing, all need to be made resilient against climate change,” he said Monday.

He proposed three solutions that, he said, would be more effective in the context of India and other countries in the same position.

First, make adaptation a primary part of development policies and schemes.

“In India, our various projects like Tap Water for All, Clean India Mission and Clean Cooking Fuel For All have not only provided adaptation benefits to our citizens in need, but also improved their quality of life.”

Second, many traditional communities know how to live in tandem with nature, he said.

“These traditional practices should find appropriate importance in our adaptation policies. School syllabi should include educating students about these practices so the currents of this traditional knowledge also reaches the new generation,” Modi added.

Finally, he called for global support in helping developing countries build and implement local adaptation strategies, and invited all countries to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

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