Climate change is currently a major worldwide concern for nations all over the planet. A global issue necessitates a global, comprehensive, and collaborative response. No action is tiny, and no effort is insignificant when the response is based on an integrated strategy with a global scope. Certainly, many such sustainable practices would be passed down as traditional wisdom across the world. Furthermore, as people's awareness of climate change has grown in recent years, they have begun to reflect and implement behavioural adjustments that promote sustainability. The acceleration of climate change from the early 1800s is indisputably connected to human activity, such as the use of fossil fuels and deforestation. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Synthesis Report (2023), more than a century of burning fossil fuels, as well as unequal and unsustainable energy and land usage, has resulted in global warming of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. While the Paris Agreement sets a temperature goal of 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels, it is anticipated that the present rate of global warming would surpass the limit between 2030 and 2052.
The lifestyle for environment (LiFE) concept was presented by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi during the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) to bring attention to the role of individual conduct in the greater climate change discourse. Following that, on June 5, 2022, the global launch of the LIFE movement took place to urge individual and communal action to conserve and preserve the environment. Today, it is imperative that we all work together to advance the campaign LiFEStyle For Environment. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), if one out of every eight billion people in the globe adopts environmentally friendly behaviour in their daily lives, global carbon emissions might be reduced by up to 20%. Worldwide, 'pro-planet people' and communities are implementing innovative environmentally sustainable practices in areas such as water conservation, waste management, sustainable food systems, energy conservation, minimising single-use plastics usage, and e-waste management. By compiling such best practices, everyone may learn from one another, establishing a collaborative approach to combating climate change.
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi introduced LiFE as a broad campaign for "mindful and deliberate utilisation, instead of mindless and destructive consumption" to safeguard and preserve the environment on November 1, 2021, during COP26 in Glasgow. It seeks to encourage individuals and communities towards a lifestyle that is in touch with nature and does not destroy it. Those who live in such a way are known as Pro Planet People (P3), a global mass movement led by India to encourage individual and communal action to conserve and preserve the environment. The word LiFE stands for "LiFEstyle For Environment". This has the potential to spark a widespread movement towards a more ecologically conscious way of life.
India has already made the following updates to its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for "LIFE," or "Lifestyle for Environment," as of August 3, 2022: "To advance and spread a healthy and sustainable way of life based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation, including through a mass movement for 'LIFE'- 'Lifestyle for Environment' as a key to combating climate change". Its goal is to mobilise at least one billion Indians and other global people to take individual and collective action to safeguard and conserve the environment between 2022 and 2028. At least 80% of all villages and urban local bodies in India are expected to be environmentally friendly by 2028. Furthermore, during its G20 Presidency, India has elevated LiFE to an overarching subject, emphasising the importance of adopting environmentally friendly lifestyles on a worldwide basis.
The LiFE initiative leverages India's expertise in implementing effective mass behaviour modification campaigns to address issues and provides examples of how individuals can incorporate into their daily routines to protect energy and water resources, reduce waste and plastic consumption, promote healthier lifestyles, and embrace sustainable food practices.
Phases of Mission LiFE
The mission will be incubated, curated, and piloted by NITI Aayog before being executed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change in a non-linear and non-sequential manner. While each phase of Mission LiFE will organically feed into the next, all stages are equally contemporaneous in nature.
Nudging people all over the world to take basic yet powerful environmental activities in their daily lives.
It is anticipated that as individual demand shifts on a wide scale, markets and industries will progressively be prompted to adjust their supply and procurement strategies to meet the new demands.
Mission LiFE's long-term objective is to cause shifts in large-scale industrial and government policies that can promote both sustainable consumption and production by influencing India's and the world's demand and supply dynamics.
Mission LiFE 2022-23
In 2022-23, Mission LiFE will focus on Phase I, Change in Demand, by encouraging individuals, communities, and institutions to engage in basic environmental-friendly behaviours (LiFE actions) in their daily lives. Since the Mission LiFE is being launched in the 75th year of India's independence, a thorough and non-exhaustive list of 75 distinct LiFE acts across 7 categories has been identified, with the majority of actions being:
Key Performance Indicators and Targets
The major performance metrics and accompanying targets for Mission LiFE from 2022 to 2028 are as follows. These objectives are merely suggested goals and could be modified.
When compared to a business-as-usual scenario for 1 billion Indians in 2022-23 to 2027-28, the impact of LiFE initiatives can be enormous, as seen below with selected examples:
Mission LiFE for the World
Leading global scholars are encouraged to submit ideas and research proposals on how people, communities, and organisations might embrace environmentally responsible practices in a measurable and accountable way. The top five concepts will be recognised at an international LiFE conference in June 2023.
The SDGs focused on sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible production and consumption (SDG 12), climate change (SDG 13), life on land (SDG 15), and life under water (SDG 14) emphasise that all individuals ensure that their lifestyles are in sync with the resources available on the planet. Furthermore, research shows that aggressive environmental action might create up to 65 million jobs by 2030 (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth). Given the worldwide commitment to attaining the SDGs by 2030, it is vital to emphasise that Mission LiFE contributes, directly and indirectly, to practically all of the SDGs.
In collaboration with the United Nations, NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India (MoEFCC) will build a comprehensive repository of traditional and modern best practises from throughout the world to help individuals and communities adopt environmentally friendly lifestyles.
MoEFCC and the Ministry of External Affairs, with the support of NITI Aayog, shall coordinate efforts to continuously identify and build capacity in nations around the world to undertake Mission LiFE for their respective people.
Mission LiFE will strive to mobilise the worldwide community to adopt LiFE and, eventually, to have the planned International LiFE Day declared by the UN General Assembly by proving the influence of sustainable lifestyles.
Fazilika, a town in Punjab, is home to approximately 80,000 people. For years, cycle rickshaws were the primary means of public transportation in most Indian cities. In response to increased traffic congestion on the roads and pollution caused by the use of personal motorised transport, and in order to stimulate the dwindling livelihood of over 500 cycle rickshaw pullers, Graduate Welfare Organisation, a non-profit Fazilika, conceptualised a plan to revive non-motorized, shared transport in the form of a dial-a-cycle-rickshaw called Ecocab. To reduce wait times, the town was divided into 9 service zones and 20 feeder subzones, and the rickshaws' safety and comfort were improved.
The Ecocabs and passengers are linked via a smartphone app. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana issued a Suo moto directive to both state governments, requesting that similar services be established in each state. A similar effort has been launched in Patiala in collaboration with the Tourism Department. Ecocabs are presently operating in half of Chandigarh, where cycle rickshaws transport 5 lakh passengers every day. According to Ecocab's founder, Navdeep Kumar Asija, "Ecocabs are not a new mode of transport, but a new system of transport. It cannot be achieved by one person but by a collaborative effort of rickshaw operators' unions. Local authorities and a local NGO working in transportation".
In an age of urgent climate action, cycle rickshaws are a truly eco-friendly means of transportation with the ability to create meaningful, green livelihoods in Indian cities and towns. Non-motorized transit is an essential component of Indian cities and can take centre stage in urban planning if the community works together to build infrastructure to meet their needs.
Ecocabs function best in smaller towns and cities, where trip lengths are shorter, and the pace of life is slower. Mobile applications Iink service providers and consumers, and good urban transportation planning means that people do not have to wait long for a rickshaw. The ease of availability facilitates the adoption of behavioural change. Furthermore, as part of the plan, the rickshaws were made safer, more manoeuvrable, and more pleasant, removing whatever unfavourable attitude people may have had about using them.
This initiative has employed 500 people and saved 900 litres of fuel every day. Apart from ferrying passengers, it has reduced traffic congestion by reducing the number of two-wheelers on the road. Additionally, Ecocabs are also employed to deliver necessities like goods and services.
Climate change impacts are being felt around the world in the form of temperature and rainfall anomalies, extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves, and the most vulnerable people and ecosystems, particularly in developing nations, face the greatest challenges in coping with it. As a result, the increase in weather and climatic extremes has had an irreversible influence on humans and natural systems, compromising their resilience and ability to adapt. Over the next few decades, aggressive and urgent measures must be made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and stop the growing number of threats to ecosystems and human life.
At a planetary level, individual initiatives towards sustainable living choices can have a significant impact. Concern for the environment and ecology has always been a component of Indian culture. Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) recognises that Indian culture and living traditions are inherently sustainable. The importance of conserving our precious natural resources and living in harmony with nature is emphasised in our ancient scriptures. The need of the hour is to tap into that ancient wisdom and spread the message to as many people as possible. Mission LiFE seeks to channel the efforts of individuals and communities into a global mass movement of positive behavioural change. With the help of Mission LIFE - Lifestyle for Environment, India will become a key player in bringing these ideas together.