Commenting on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech at the inauguration of the high-level segment of UN summit on biodiversity in Hyderabad on Tuesday, head of Climate and Energy Campaign of Greenpeace India Vinuta Gopal said, “Today’s speech from the Prime Minister can best be described in two words; hypocrisy and failure.”
Elaborating on it, she said Singh’s failure was his inability to express how he would display leadership on the world stage that will deliver the vital global objectives set in the Aichi targets.
“Domestically, he displayed breathtaking hypocrisy. While he was lavish in his praise of forest dwellers and their role in managing and defending the forests and biodiversity, he made no mention of the fact that his mass coal expansion policies will leave tens of thousands of forest dwellers without homes and livelihood - a fact emphasised with 54 coal blocks being lined up for auction that will lead to state-sponsored corporate plunder of the forests,” she said.
Criticising the speech further, she said, “The PM was all at sea when it came to progress on international agreements to protect the oceans. All along the Indian coastline, fishermen have reported a steep fall in fish catches, while at the same time destructive development continues to threaten the marine biodiversity.”
She then added, “As we near the end of the conference, one can only conclude that India’s performance as hosts and their influence to protect the biodiversity has been disappointing. But then, from a Prime Minister and a government that is on a one-track path to destroy its rich biodiversity, we should not be surprised.”