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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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Governments Have Failed to Respond Adequately to Climate Change at The U.N. Conference: Activists

While there are parts of the package that could and should have been stronger, the implementation guidelines adopted today provide a strong basis to start

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U.N. Climate Conference
In this Dec. 11, 2018 photo a participant in U.N. climate conference walks by a photo of a satellite in Katowice, Poland. VOA

At the UN Climate Change Conference, which concluded in the presence of delegates from nearly 200 countries, green activists on Sunday said governments have failed to adequately respond to the catastrophic impact of climate change that was highlighted in a recent IPCC report.

Late Saturday night, the UN climate negotiations, known as COP24, drew to a close, with parties adopting a set of guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The climate change conference has failed to deliver a clear commitment to strengthen all countries’ climate pledges by 2020.

At the same time, a relatively effective though incomplete rule book for how to implement the Paris Agreement was finalised.

“It is a weak rule book that we have for implementation of the Paris Agreement. This rule book is completely insufficient to drive ambitious climate action,” New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
Participants take part in plenary session during COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland. VOA

CSE has been tracking the negotiations at the 24th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) here.

The COP24 conference also failed to increase the ambition of countries to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases as per the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius, CSE’s Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan told IANS.

Limited progress was also made with regard to how financial support for poorer countries coping with devastating climate change impact will be provided and accounted for, says another climate negotiator.

The EU has made welcome efforts by building alliances with other countries and finding common ground on sticking points.

With several other members of the High Ambition Coalition, the EU has set a good example by committing to increase its 2030 climate target by 2020, in light of the warnings of the IPCC calling for “rapid and far-reaching” action to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
COP24 President Michal Kurtyka speaks during the opening of the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland. VOA

However, NGOs and civil rights bodies say the COP24 has failed to convince all other governments to make the same commitment.

Germany doubled its support for the Green Climate Fund to support developing countries, but other European countries still have to do the same.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe Director Wendel Trio told IANS: “The weak outcome of this COP runs contrary to stark warnings of the IPCC report and growing demand for action from citizens. Governments have again delayed adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.”

“The EU needs to push ahead and lead by example, by providing more support to poor countries and increasing its climate change pledge before the UN Secretary General Summit in September 2019. It must be a significant increase, even beyond the 55 per cent reduction some member states and the European Parliament are calling for.”

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses during the opening of COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3, 2018. VOA

Jennifer Tollmann, climate diplomacy researcher, E3G said: “In the end the EU did finally step up as a bridge-builder. But we now need to see whether they can ace the real test.”

Andrew Wu, research analyst at World Resources Institute, said: “We cannot overlook land use, a sector which accounts for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. There is now a common framework, supported by COP, to help countries measure land use emissions. All countries must adopt this and incorporate natural climate solutions in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Also Read: As Climate Talks Come to a Halt, Africa Suffers From Global Warming

Commenting on the decision, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, Gebru Jember Endalew, said: “While there are parts of the package that could and should have been stronger, the implementation guidelines adopted today provide a strong basis to start implementing the agreement.” (IANS)