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From London to New York, Indian-origin climate warriors leave their imprint

New Delhi, Nov 25, 2023
The spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (one earth, one family, one future)’ is visible through the efforts of several Indian-origin climate warriors across the world who are engaged in fighting and finding solutions to save the Earth.

British-Indians Moksha Roy and Aleesha Gadhia, aged seven and eight respectively, are among the youngest climate campaigners who have been raising their voices against microplastic pollution, deforestation and ecosystem degradation.

Aleesha has written hundreds of letters and emails to some of the UK’s largest companies and most influential people — The Queen, Labour leader Keir Starmer, environmental royalty Sir David Attenborough — to encourage them to take climate action.

She has also raised funds for non-profit organisations that work alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change, in addition to setting up a climate change club at school.

Moksha has been advocating for the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be integrated into school curricula and even communicated with leaders worldwide, urging them to consider these critical objectives.

Her journey to fight for a healthy Earth began at the age of three when she volunteered for a United Nations’ initiative against microplastic pollution.

According to the UN, two-thirds of the 430 million tonnes of plastic produced annually soon becomes waste, filling the ocean and, often, working its way into the human food chain.

Reshma Kosaraju from Saratoga, California, has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that proactively predicts forest fires using meteorological data and other parameters.

In addition, the model also takes into account both the weather in the region as well as other temporal factors to account for human behaviour.

Recently, a few prominent leaders hailing from India were named in the ‘Time 100 Climate’ list of the world’s most influential leaders driving business to real climate action.

Among them was World Bank Group president Ajay Banga who is ushering in a new mission for the institution — eradicating poverty while fighting climate change.

Banga is calling for more money to “widen the aperture” of the Bank to structure incentives and loans for projects that lower emissions and advance sustainable development.

He is also pushing to reduce how long it takes to approve projects, so that billions of dollars can quickly reach the countries that need it, according to Time magazine.

Geeta Aiyer’s Boston Common Asset Management firm prioritises investment in climate change mitigation, and uses shareholder engagement to push portfolio companies toward more sustainable business practices.

Rajiv J Shah’s Rockefeller Foundation partnered this year with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet to launch the Coal to Clean Credit Initiative. The aim is to develop a new carbon finance standard to spur a just transition away from coal-fired power plants to renewable energy in emerging economies.

Chitra Gomanee, a banking professional from Mauritius, was named by the World Economic Forum as one of the young leaders driving action on nature and climate.

Gomanee has been working on projects including waste clean-ups in Mauritius, which is experiencing considerable economic loss, humanitarian stresses and environmental degradation from climate change impacts.

Led by Indian-American Aadith Moorthy, Boomitra is working with farmers and ranchers to accelerate carbon removal on a gigaton-scale, while helping them produce more with less. It helps farmers and ranchers adopt agricultural practices that increase carbon sequestration — a process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.

Boomitra then quantifies the additional carbon captured and works with international standards bodies to generate Verified Emission Removals, commonly referred to as carbon credits.

Former UK Minister Alok Sharma was knighted for his contribution to combating climate change through his leadership at the COP26 summit by King Charles III in his 2022 New Year Honours list.

New York City’s Chief Climate Officer Rohit Aggarwala led the effort to make 13,000 yellow taxis convert to hybrids, clean up the heating oil used in the buildings, and develop a greener construction code for the US state.(Agency)

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