India

Guterres praises solar energy initiatives at Modhera, but criticizes India’s subsidies for fossil fuels

On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his dissatisfaction with India’s fossil fuel subsidies.

Rather than subsidizing things, it is necessary to subsidise people. In one of the largest social welfare programs in the world, India provides financial assistance to hundreds of millions of families. The right thing to do would be to offer more and more support to families in need and less and less support to companies making huge profits across the globe, Guterres said during his visit to Modhera’s famous Sun Temple in Mehsana.

Earlier, the UN chief had criticized India for its fossil fuel subsidies, which were nearly seven times greater than those provided for clean energy.

Moreover, he noted that a green economy could resolve India’s air pollution. Green economies are not only beneficial to the planet but also beneficial to health, and good health saves lives. Seven million people die each year in polluted cities around the world. It is our duty to rescue them; it is our duty to fight pollution to preserve biodiversity and combat climate change,” he concluded.

Guterres praised the Sun Temple and expressed his gratitude to the villagers for returning to solar energy during his interaction with Modhera, the country’s first 24X7 solar-powered village. In his words, the villagers are the “soldiers on the front lines” fighting for the survival of our planet.

“Unfortunately, we have not been preserving this precious gift (the Sun). Over the past few decades, we have been at war with nature. Our planet has been destroyed, and we should express our gratitude to the people of this village and the governments of Gujarat and India for reuniting humankind with the planet,” he said.

His statements, describing Modhera as a ‘new Sun Temple’, showed how solar energy was transforming the lives of the inhabitants, making them healthier, bringing prosperity, and helping to save the planet from climate change.

Ichhaben Patel, one of the beneficiaries of the solar energy initiative, explained to the villagers at the Sun Temple that the electricity bill has decreased from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 for two months to zero.

The saved money is deposited in banks and used for the education of our children. In recent years, Modhera village has grown into a model village and is visited by many people worldwide. It is now considered to be a golden village.

As she told the visiting delegate, solar panels have been installed everywhere, atop wealthy and poor residences.

According to Manjulaben Prajapati, who resides nearby, they not only receive electricity 24 hours a day but also use more devices, such as AC units and refrigerators, with solar energy.

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