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Climate Action Summit

  • 24 Sep 2019
  • 5 min read

At the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the Prime Minister of India addressed the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit as well as the Universal Health Coverage meeting, held in New York on 23rd September, 2019.

Climate Action Summit

  • It was hosted by the UN Secretary.
  • It had the key focus on raising ambition and accelerate action to implement the Paris Agreement.

Key Takeaways

  • Renewable Energy: India will increase renewable energy capacity to beyond 175 GW (capacity as committed under the Paris Climate Agreement) by 2022.
  • Water Conservation: Spend approximately $50 billion in the next few years on the Jal Jeevan Mission to conserve water, harvest rainwater and develop water resources.
  • International Solar Alliance: Almost 80 countries have joined this India led initiative.
  • Two International Initiatives:
    • Leadership Group: India and Sweden together with other countries have announced a new ‘Leadership Group for Industry Transition’ that will drive transformation in hard-to-decarbonize and energy-intensive sectors.
    • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI): An international partnership that will support countries- developed and developing- to build climate and disaster resilient infrastructure.
      • The Coalition’s secretariat, based in Delhi, will facilitate knowledge exchange, provide technical support and support capacity building.
      • The Government of India, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and partners have together worked on the CDRI initiative in response to the Prime Minister of India’s call for action to reduce damage to critical infrastructure at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2016.

High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

The Prime Minister of India, while addressing the first-ever high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage, underscored that ‘a healthy life is the right of every person’. He also outlined the four main pillars of healthcare that India focuses on:

  • Preventive Healthcare: India has laid special emphasis on yoga, ayurveda and fitness which has helped in controlling lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure and depression.
    • Fit India Movement has been launched recently.
    • The Clean India Campaign has contributed towards saving millions of lives.
    • Immunization: Apart from introducing new vaccines, the government has improved access to vaccination in far flung areas.
  • Affordable Healthcare: For this the government has rolled out the world’s largest health insurance scheme : Ayushman Bharat.
    • Under this scheme, 500 million poor people have been given the facility of free treatment worth up to Rs. 500,000 every year. In 2018, 4.5 million people availed of this facility.
    • India has opened more than 5000 special pharmacies where more than 800 varieties of vital medicines are available at affordable prices.
    • The cost of stents for heart patients has been slashed by 80% and the cost of knee implants has been cut down by 50 - 70%.
    • Kidney patients in India are also taking advantage of the free dialysis services provided by the government
    • India has also helped in providing access to affordable healthcare by way of telemedicine to several other countries, especially African countries.
  • Supply Side Intervention: India's focus has been on establishment of modern institutions for quality medical education.
  • Mission Mode Intervention: In order to improve the health of women and children, a National Nutrition Campaign and other new programmes have been launched in mission mode.
    • Also, India has commitment to eliminate Tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global goal of 2030.

Note: At the meeting, the world leaders adopted a high-level United Nations Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), to be achieved by 2030.

  • Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the health care they need, when and where they need it, without facing financial hardship.
  • The declaration is said to be the most comprehensive set of health commitments ever adopted.
  • Countries, including India, made a financial and political commitment to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage by scaling up essential health services, affording financial risk protection and ensuring access to safe, quality, effective and affordable medicines and vaccines for all.

Source: PIB

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