If harsh measures are called for, "so be it", Mr Mishra said at an event hosted by WWF India where he launched a report on 'Clean Energy Innovation Ecosystem in the SME sector in India'.
"We recently witnessed the Delhi smog, but no single authority can be held responsible for it. If the government has failed, then those who are emitting should also take responsibility," he said.
To address environmental issues, individual efforts need to galvanise into a collective goal for the government and society as whole, Mr Mishra, who also holds the portfolio of climate change, said.
"If harsh measures are needed to ensure that, then so be it. Because we care for human lives," he said.