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Paris Summit: Climate change not of India’s making, Modi says

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of United Nations conference on Monday said that India did not initiate the climate change threat rather it was under distress due to the effects thereof. He conveyed a stern message to the rich countries, stating, “those with the luxury of choices” ought to sharply reduce emissions.

Modi repeated his concerns at a clutch of fora with his cramped schedule squeezing in the much-talked-about unplanned meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He also had a dialogue with the US President Barack Obama where the two countries decided that development and environmental safeguard must work simultaneously, stated a leading daily.

He, very specifically, mentioned that India was not be blamed for global warming, pointing out that the country was bearing the brunt of developed nations.

“Climate change is a key global gainsay and it is not of our creation. It is the result of global warming that came from prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel,” said Modi at the inaugural event at the India pavilion at the summit, strengthening the country’s position in the face of latest US denunciation of India at the last summit.

He also pointed out the repercussions of global warming on India and the adverse effect it would have on the local farmers.

“But we in India face consequences. We see the risk to our farmers. We are concerned about rising oceans that threaten our 7,500 km of coastline and 1,300 islands. We worry about the glaciers that feed our rivers and nurture our civilisation.”

Modi further mentioned the age old rhetoric of developing countries to let developed countries take the charge of their misdeeds and play a larger role in rectifying them as compared to the rest. He remarked that India wanted a “comprehensive equitable and durable agreement”, highlighting a request of less-privileged nations who reiterated that the developed countries have been the major polluters over the years, they should assume a greater role in fighting global warming.

He evidently charted out India’s approach for the 10-day-long summit, stating that the developed world must offer easy access to cleaner engineerings, macroclimate investment and the right to carbon space.

He also pursued to resolve intellectual rights concerns in the exchange of cleaner technologies at the Innovation Mission hosted by US President Barack Obama, with additional leaders of state and industry such as Bill Gates and Ratan Tata among the ones present there.

PM Modi expressed his apprehensions from the developed states to offer carbon space for the developing world to grow. He also specified that the rich nations cannot negate the prospects for the poor in the world to develop.

Apart from the Prime Minister’s comments on climate change, he also had a transitory discussion with Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the beginning of the summit.

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EU Countries Consume Earth’s Resources Faster than they can be Renewed: Report

Some 100 Greenpeace activists and students from several European countries marched through Sibiu carrying a huge banner saying "Broken Climate Broken Future"

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France's President Emmanuel Macron, right, and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker speak during the informal meeting of European Union leaders in Sibiu, Romania, May 9, 2019. VOA

The European Union’s 28 countries consume the Earth’s resources faster than they can be renewed and none of them has sustainable consumption policies, a report released Thursday said, as EU leaders met to discuss priorities for the next five years.

“All EU countries are living beyond the means of our planet. The EU and its citizens are currently using twice more than the EU ecosystems can renew,” the report by the World Wide Fund (WWF) and Global Footprint Network said. It was issued as leaders met in the Romanian city of Sibiu to set the course for the bloc after Britain’s planned departure from the EU.

Climate change key priority

French President Emmanuel Macron said before the summit that climate change was among his key priorities and it was included in the bloc’s 10 “commitments” for the future until 2024, agreed by all the 27 leaders meeting in Sibiu.

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The European Union’s 28 countries consume the Earth’s resources faster than they can be renewed and none of them has sustainable consumption policies. Pixabay

But the bloc is divided on how to achieve any ambitious climate goals and it remains far from clear how the Sibiu declaration would be implemented. Some 100 Greenpeace activists and students from several European countries marched through Sibiu carrying a huge banner saying “Broken Climate Broken Future.”

“We cannot talk about a prosperous future without a healthy climate,” Greenpeace climate activist Alin Tanase told Reuters. Views on concrete action to be taken to combat climate change differ between EU countries, influenced greatly by their dominant industries, such as carmakers in Germany or the coal industry in Poland.

Tusk sensitive to climate change

The chairman of the summit, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, said there was no future for politicians who were not sensitive to climate change and environment protection issues.

“The young generation is much more united on this than the member states. The truth is that nothing has changed when it comes to this divide and different opinions about this. What is new is this very fresh and energetic pressure,” he told a news conference after the summit.

climate change, earth's resources
Some 100 Greenpeace activists and students from several European countries marched through Sibiu carrying a huge banner saying “Broken Climate Broken Future.” VOA

Climate protection and sustainable development is also an important topic in the election campaign for the May 23-26 European Parliament elections, which will influence the leadership of European institutions and their programs.

The European Commission has been pushing for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050 through reducing carbon emissions that will otherwise boost the Earth’s average temperatures with devastating consequences.

“The EU uses up almost 20 percent of the Earth’s bio-capacity although it comprises only 7 percent of the world population,” the WWF report said. “In other words, 2.8 planets would be needed if everyone consumed at the rate of the average EU resident,” it said.

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FILE – Climate change demonstrators hold banners in front of the Winston Churchill Statue during a protest near Parliament in London, April 12, 2019. VOA

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Luxembourg smallest but fastest

It said the EU’s smallest and richest country, Luxembourg, was also the one which used up renewable resources the fastest last year. Just 46 days into the year, it had consumed its full share of the Earth’s resources, it said.

The EU’s poorest nation, Romania, took the longest to arrive at that point, on July 12th. But that was still earlier than the world’s average of Aug. 1, called Earth overshoot day. (VOA)