April 25th, 2023
Tazeen Hasan commenting on the Irony of G20's Climate Change Agenda and unchecked Environmental Genocide in Kashmir
The G20 is one of the most influential global platforms where leaders from the world's largest economies come together to discuss and coordinate on various issues. One of the key items on the agenda for G20 2023 is Green Development, Climate Finance & LiFE. However, it is ironic that the meeting is being held in Jammu and Kashmir, a region where an environmental genocide is taking place.
The melting of Himalayan glaciers in Kashmir, caused by unrestricted religious tourism, is causing harm to the environment and is leading to the displacement of millions of people.
The meeting taking place in May in Kashmir is about the Tourism working group. While climate change is a top agenda item in the G20, Indian environmentalists have recommended that India should restrict religious tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. This is because unrestricted tourism is causing Kolahai and other glaciers to melt at an alarmingly faster rate. Reports show that Himalayan glaciers in Kashmir are melting twice as fast as other Himalayan glaciers, which is leading to environmental genocide for the Kashmiri people who rely on glacier water for 70% of their needs.
The Indian government's criminal ignorance of the damage caused to the environment in Kashmir is concerning. Despite several reports and recommendations by environmentalists, the government is allowing tourism to continue unchecked. Moreover, the government is holding meetings related to climate change in a region where environmental genocide is taking place.
The irony is that the G20 is focusing on climate change, while it is holding meetings in a region where environmental destruction is occurring. It is essential for the G20 leaders to acknowledge the severity of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and take steps to address the issue. It is not enough to discuss climate change while ignoring the environmental destruction taking place in the region.
The Indian government must take responsibility for the damage caused to the environment in Jammu and Kashmir. They must acknowledge the recommendations made by environmentalists and take steps to reduce unrestricted tourism in the region. If the Indian government fails to take action, the G20 leaders must take the initiative and boycott meetings held in Jammu and Kashmir. It is time for the world to recognize the environmental genocide taking place in Kashmir and take necessary action to prevent it.