New Delhi: India must highlight its achievements in energy efficiency, conservation and clean energy and see what more can be done in these areas, instead of focusing solely on emissions and cuts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested.

Speaking at the first meeting of the revamped high level panel on climate change, Modi also called for setting up a consortium of nations with high solar energy potential, an official statement said.

The consortium could partner with India on innovation and cutting-edge research to reduce the cost of solar energy in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The prime minister also suggested a review of curricula in architecture and civil engineering colleges to incorporate energy-efficient design in a big way.

“A wide range of subjects was discussed including preparations for INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) and the review of national action plan and state action plans. Expert members also expressed their views," Union minister for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar said after the meeting.

INDCs are steps every country is expected to take to tackle climate change, keeping in mind their domestic circumstances and goals. These submissions will form the basis for negotiations at the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Paris in December. India is expected to submit its INDCs to the UN by June.

The panel also discussed India’s role in the recent climate change talks in Lima and preparations for the Paris meeting.

“Members of the council also gave their suggestions. But overall, it was decided that we should project India’s achievement in a very positive manner on the world platform. PM guided the deliberations and he also said that we should look to this problem (climate change) as an opportunity to act vigorously and project India’s contribution effectively to the world," Javadekar added.

The minister stated that experts and stakeholders are being engaged for the Paris meeting since it is an important milestone in climate change deliberations.

Besides Modi, who chaired the panel, and Javadekar, the meeting was attended by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu, water resources minister Uma Bharti, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and power minister Piyush Goyal. Expert members including R.K. Pachauri, Nitin Desai, Ajay Mathur, J.M. Mauskar and Chandrashekhar Dasgupta too attended the meeting.

“A thorough review of the national action plan on climate change and state action plans was undertaken in the meeting and some action would for sure be seen on those in days ahead," one expert member, who attended the meeting, said on condition on anonymity.

The prime minister “called for a paradigm shift in global attitudes towards climate change, from carbon credit towards green credit," the statement added.

“Instead of focusing on emissions and cuts alone, focus should shift on what we have done for clean energy generation, energy conservation and energy efficiency, and what more can be done in these areas," the statement said, quoting the prime minister.

He also called for a “careful evaluation of all the initiatives that have been taken by India" in areas like “solar energy, wind energy, biomass energy, and transportation projects that have reduced distances or travel times".

“The prime minister said India looks at the global concern and awareness on climate change, as a great opportunity for working towards improving the quality of life of its citizens, and making a positive contribution for mankind," the statement added.

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