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PERSPECTIVE: MISSION, LIFE (‘Lifestyle for the Environment- LiFE Movement’) AND CLIMATE CHANGE

24th April, 2023

PERSPECTIVE: MISSION, LIFE (‘Lifestyle for the Environment- LiFE Movement’) AND CLIMATE CHANGE


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for a mass movement in the global fight against climate change.
  • He also said that under Mission LiFE, the government’s efforts are spread across many domains.

What is climate change?

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns, mainly caused by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels.


  • Aim: Mission LiFE seeks to translate the vision of LiFE into measurable impact.
  • Objective: It is designed with the objective to mobilise at least one billion Indians and other global citizens to take individual and collective action for protecting and conserving the environment in the period 2022–28.

Within India, at least 80 percent of all villages and urban local bodies are aimed to become environment-friendly by 2028.


  • Environmental degradation and climate change are global phenomena where actions in one part of the world impact ecosystems and populations across the globe.
  • Estimates suggest that if requisite action is not taken against the changing environment, approximately 3 billion people globally could experience chronic water scarcity. The global economy could lose up to 18% of GDP by 2050.
  • Over the last two decades, several macro measures have been implemented globally to address environmental degradation and climate change, including policy reforms, economic incentives and regulations.
  • Despite their enormous potential, actions required at the level of individuals, communities and institutions have received limited attention.
  • Changing individual and community behaviour alone can make a significant dent in the environmental and climate crises.
  • According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), if one billion people out of the global population of eight billion adopt environment-friendly behaviours in their daily lives, global carbon emissions could drop by approximately 20 per cent.

India-led global mass movement

  • LiFE was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi—at COP26 in Glasgow on 1 November 2021—as a mass movement for “mindful and deliberate utilisation, instead of mindless and destructive consumption”to protect and preserve the environment.
  • It aims to nudge individuals and communities to practice a lifestyle that is synchronous with nature and does not harm it.
  • Those who practise such a lifestyle are recognised as Pro Planet People.

Phases of the Mission LiFE envisions:

  • Change in Demand (Phase I): Nudging individuals across the world to practise simple yet effective environment-friendly actions in their daily lives.
  • Change in Supply (Phase II): Changes in large-scale individual demand are expected to gradually nudge industries and markets to respond and tailor supply and procurement as per the revised demands.
  • Change in Policy (Phase III): By influencing the demand and supply dynamics of India and the world, the long-term vision of Mission LiFE is to trigger shifts in large-scale industrial and government policies that can support both sustainable consumption and production.

LiFE and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • To support billions of livelihoods, promote growth and investment opportunities, raise the standard of living, and tackle the climate crisis, the world needs to adopt a new paradigm for development.
  • The SDGs focused on sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible production and consumption (SDG 12), climate change (SDG 13), life on land (SDG 15), and life under water (SDG 14) emphasize that all individuals ensure that their lifestyles are in sync with the resources available on the planet.
  • Further, research from the New Climate Economy highlights that bold environmental action could create as many as 65 million jobs by 2030 (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth).
  • Given the global commitment to achieving the SDGs by 2030, it is important to note that Mission LiFE contributes directly OR indirectly to almost all the SDGs.
    • For example, the Swachh Bharat Mission (SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation), by changing the behaviour of 550 million Indians from open defecation to use of toilets, reduced 60% of the one billion open defecators in the world.

India’s commitment to Mission LiFE

  • India has the fourth largest capacity for renewable energy in the world and the annual per capita carbon footprint in the country is only about 1.5 tons, compared to the world average of 4 tons per year.
  • India is ranked fourth in wind energy and fifth in solar energy
  • India’s renewable energy capacity has increased by about 290 % in the last 7-8 years.

India’s experience in implementation of behavioural change programme

  • Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar campaign aimed to remove approximately 15,000 tonnes of waste from 75 beaches in 75 days.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) led to the construction and use of over 100 million toilets in rural India within a span of 7 years.
  • The Ujjwala Scheme increased households with LPG connections from 62 percent in 2015 to 99.8 percent8 in 2021.

India had launched several initiatives to support the fight against climate change:

  • National Afforestation Programme (NAP):
    • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is implementing plantation/afforestation schemes in the forest areas with participatory approach.
    • The overall objective of the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme is ecological restoration of degraded forests and to develop the forest resources with peoples’ participation, focusing on improving the livelihoods of the forest-fringe communities, especially the poor.
  • National Mission for a Green India (GIM)
    • The National Mission for a Green India (GIM) is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
    • It aims to protect, restore and enhance India’s forest cover and respond to climate change.
  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
    • It has an objectives of creating awareness amongst the general population, health-care providers and policy makers regarding impact of climate change on human health.
  • National Biodiversity Action Plan
    • It is an internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats and is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Closing remarks:

  • LIFE resonates with the global climate justice India has rightfully called for highlighting enhanced obligations those in developed countries bear, to support climate adaptation and mitigation for those most affected, yet least responsible.
  • The average carbon footprint of a person in a high income country is more than 80 times higher than that of a person in a least developed country.
  • It is common sense and only fair to call on the developed world to shoulder a proportionate share of this transition. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “the world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

”We aspire to live long, our children too should live long and be free from sickness and consumption. We are reared in the lap of the Mother Earth. May we have a long life [provided] we are watchful, alert and sacrifice our all for Her.”