Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) along with the collaborative partners and local civil society groups launched the 100% Uttar Pradesh (UP) Campaign in Lucknow on 13 November 2016. The 100% UP campaign aims at creating a sustainable environment in the state by moving towards renewable energy; highlighting measures for healthy air and clean water, and ensuring proper waste management.
Rapid urbanization and development has led to many problems in UP. The most important is increased level of pollution in every part of the state. According to the World Health Organization, four of India’s 20 most polluted cities are in UP. As per the 2005 inventory, UP is the highest emitting state of India that contributes to nearly 14% of national greenhouse gases. 80 million people in the rural parts of the state, and 5 million people in urban area, are still living without access to modern electricity. Improper solid waste disposal has compromised the quality of land, water and air.
Shedding light on the 100% UP Campaign, Ms. Surabhi Shikha, Head- Programs of CEED elucidated that “high levels of pollution across the board is a hard hitting reality; we cannot afford to delay any further and must make immediate amendments to safeguard the environment now. Our air is becoming toxic so as the pollution in the water bodies, improper waste management and dependency on fossil fuel for energy need has further compounded the problem”, she added. “The campaign aims to reach out to 10 lakh people to raise awareness with the help of civil society groups across the UP and to demand from political parties to include it their manifesto during the upcoming state assembly elections in 2017. There has to be absolute political consensus to root out the pollution from our life”, Ms. Shikha concluded.
People from all walks of life graced the 100% UP campaign in Lucknow. The event witnessed the official launch of the campaign followed by an open house discussion on the current environmental issues that the state and the city of Lucknow is currently dealing with, and how it has been impacting the citizens in terms of health, economy, social and cultural aspects.
Contributing to the discussion at the event, Bharat Bhushan from Paani Sansthan emphasized that “Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and also the second largest city in the state in terms of area and population. In the past couple of years, the city has seen tremendous growth and development. However, along with increased development, Lucknow has also witnessed a colossal increase in pollution levels of air and water”. Mr. Bhushan urges the political parties in the upcoming elections to include solutions to environmental issues as one of the major part of their manifesto.
The 100% UP Campaign is a call to action campaign that looks at the holistic perspective of creating a sustainable environment in terms of securing energy requirements through renewable energy, working towards clean air action plan to improve the air quality, protection of water bodies, and ensuring proper waste disposal facilities. The campaign aims to reach out to 10 lakh people to support the inclusion of agendas for clean air, clean water, clean energy and zero waste management solutions in the manifesto of the political parties in the upcoming State Assembly Elections in 2017. It is an initiative by more then 350 civil society groups led by CEED and Care for Air. Over the next few weeks, the campaign will move around the state and host events, open house discussions, workshops, parliamentary debates, street plays, and other media events. Through these events, we will engage with different civil society groups, youth communities, political leaders, media personnels and the citizens of UP to support the campaign and urge their political parties to pay heed to their demands.