Gudmundur Eiriksson, Ambassador of Iceland to India, in an interview to OneWorld South Asia, cautioned that green economy could not be promoted unless governments take it seriously, globally. Excerpts from the interview.
OneWorld South Asia: How can Iceland be a role model for India in pursuing the agenda of sustainable development?
Gudmundur Eiriksson: Climate change is a common threat for both India and Ireland. India is getting into renewable energy. We can demonstrate our capacities in the renewable energy sector by introducing sustainable practices in many areas like fishing.
We are also supporting one Icelandic geothermal project in Maharashtra.
OWSA: How can corporate sector help in green growth?
Eiriksson: For large organizations working in a sustainable way is inbuilt in the management. But for smaller companies it is an add-on responsibility which might not seem attractive to them initially.
Governments should be proactive in providing a level playing field for encouraging countries to adopt the path of sustainable development.
OWSA: What kind of role can Indian government play in promoting green economy?
Eiriksson: Both the national and state governments must serve as role models for promoting the concept of green economy. Governments should take up the cause of promoting green practices and set up a system with a dedicated approach and well defined targets.
OWSA: Do you think India with its huge population can afford to promote green economy?
Eiriksson: Investing in green economy may not be profitable for developing countries as of now, but it would certainly prove its worth in the long run.
Like education and health sector, the task of building green economy should not be left to the individuals alone. Every individual should bear the cost of harm done to environment. Environment cost should be treated on social basis.
OWSA: How can green economy promote inclusive growth?
Eiriksson: Green economy is much more local and comparatively on a smaller scale. Green investment in isolated rural areas can promote growth and opportunities for the unemployed.