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Modi, Ban discuss trust issues in climate change negotiations

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon met in order to discuss issues regarding building trust in climate change negotiations, which emerged as a dominant concern for achieving the anti-global warming component of the UN sustainable development goals (SDG).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of India, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of India, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Modi raised the issue of “trust deficit” with developed countries. He pointed out the fact that these countries appear to use the climate issue to keep the developing countries from improving their living standards under the pretext of controlling carbon emissions, according to Vikas Swarup, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman.

Making a call for climate justice, Modi said that developing countries should be allowed to develop and condemn placing restrictions and controls on development.

Positive measures like concessional financing of climate change projects and transfer of technology were needed to promote sustainable development instead of negative ones that focus on capping carbon emissions, he said.

Ban appeared to recognise these concerns. “The Secretary-General emphasised the need for climate change finance as a key to building trust between developed and developing countries,” according to a statement by Ban’s spokesperson.

He spoke of the tremendous importance of India’s role in renewable energy, and urged Modi to continue to show strong global leadership on this issue, the statement said.

Modi spoke of the goal of developing 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022.

UN peacekeeping operations in which India was historically the largest troop contributor was another important topic in their discussions. While Ban “commended India for its indispensable contribution to UN peacekeeping,” Modi said the manner in which the Security Council operated in mandating missions should be changed and it should consult the troop contributing countries.

Ban commended India’s “influential role” supporting the democratic transitions in Sri Lanka and Nepal, the UN statement said.

During his meeting with Ban that preceded his speech to the summit on sustainable development, Modi presented Ban with a book– ‘India and the United Nations: A Photo Journey, 1945 to 2015’ edited by Asoke Kumar Mukerjee, India’s Permanent Representative.

Climate change also featured in Modi’s meeting with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim when they discussed the UN sustainable development goals.

Modi said that the 17 sustainable development goals matched programmes already launced in India, Swarup said. Modi cited the plan for 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, the massive programme for sanitation and cleaning the Ganga as examples of matches with the SDG.

Jim said that Modi’s reforms had an impact on India and the nation’s strong performance was very different from that of many countries, according to Swarup.

Modi said that the governance of global organisations like the World Bank have to be strengthened and made more representative.

India was not adequately represented in the governance of the World Bank, Modi told him.

 

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Climate Change Would Affect Health Of Indian Children: Lancet

Climate change would hit health of Indian children hard, says study by Lancet

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Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change. Pixabay

Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change such as worsening air quality, higher food prices and rise in infectious diseases, warns a new study published in the journal The Lancet.

Climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera is rising three per cent a year in India since the early 1980s, said the report.

“With its huge population and high rates of healthcare inequality, poverty, and malnutrition, few countries are likely to suffer from the health effects of climate change as much as India,” said study co-author Poornima Prabhakaran from the Public Health Foundation of India.

“Diarrhoeal infections, a major cause of child mortality, will spread into new areas, whilst deadly heatwaves, similar to the one in 2015 that killed thousands of people in India, could soon become the norm,” Prabhakaran said.

Through adolescence and into adulthood, a child born today will be breathing more toxic air, driven by the fossil fuels and made worse by rising temperatures.

This is especially damaging to young people as their lungs are still developing, so polluted air takes a great toll, contributing to reduced lung function, worsening asthma, and increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Later in life, a child born today will face increased risk from severe floods, prolonged droughts, and wildfires.

 

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Children in India breathe toxic air and may develop lung diseases. Pixabay

Most countries have experienced an increase in people exposed to wildfires since 2001-2004 with a financial toll per person 48 times larger than flooding.

India alone saw an increase of more than 21 million exposures, and China around 17 million, resulting in direct deaths and respiratory illness as well as loss of homes, said the report.

“Over the past two decades, the Government of India has launched many initiatives and programmes to address a variety of diseases and risk factors. But this report shows that the public health gains achieved over the past 50 years could soon be reversed by the changing climate,” Prabhakaran said.

The “Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change” is a yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators, demonstrating what action to meet Paris Agreement targets — or business as usual — means for human health.

The project is a collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions including the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, University College London, and Tsinghua University.

For the world to meet its UN climate goals and protect the health of the next generation, the energy landscape will have to change drastically, the report warns.

Also Read- Prince Charles Talks Climate Change in India

Nothing short of a 7.4 per cent year-on-year cut in fossil CO2 emissions from 2019 to 2050 will limit global warming to the more ambitious goal of 1.5 degree Celsius, said the report. If the world follows a business-as-usual pathway, with high carbon emissions and climate change continuing at the current rate, a child born today will face a world on average over 4 degree Celsius warmer by their 71st birthday, threatening their health at every stage of their lives. (IANS)