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India to launch numerous energy initiatives at the COP 26 summit, seek climate justice

India is banking on the power of solar for a global reduction in carbon emissions (Photo: IANS)

Prime minister Narendra Modi is in Italy to participate in the G20 meet which focuses majorly on climate change issues–People, Planet, Prosperity, besides sustainable development and recovery from the pandemic. This will be the first in-person meet after the emergence of Covid-19 in China in late 2019.

Today Modi will leave the Rome G20 summit for the COP 26 to be held at Glasgow from October 31 to November 12 where he will address the climate leaders' summit.

With India listed as the third-largest committer of carbons after China and the US, what is India's agenda at the COP26 and what is our stand on climate change?

Modi had before leaving for Rome and Glasgow given an insight into what he plans to talk about at COP26. In a statement he said: "I will also highlight the need to comprehensively address climate change issues including equitable distribution of carbon space, support for mitigation and adaptation and resilience building measures, mobilization of finance, technology transfer and importance of sustainable lifestyles for green and inclusive growth".

India has already rejected "net zero" goals being insisted upon by the affluent nations. Environment Secretary RP Gupta has already said that net zero–the amount of greenhouse generated being equal to the amount removed from the atmosphere–is not a solution to the climate crisis.

With many eyes upon India at the COP 26 summit, India will press upon the rich nations the need for "Climate justice" so they fulfil their commitment in helping the rest of the world reduce its carbon footprint. India is most likely to focus on 'Climate Justice for Climate change' as its slogan during the COP26 meet.

The Indian position at the COP26 is likely to be two-fold: Put pressure on developed nations to commit more on climate finance and hasten technology transfer to the developing nations. Simultaneously, showcase India's global initiatives on climate change and chase countries to join these.

Modi will jointly launch the Green Grid Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OWOWOG) with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to popularise solar energy.

India will also highlight its joint initiative with France – the International Solar Alliance (ISA) – that promotes the use of solar energy among geographies that are blessed with strong sunlight.

India also plans to urge countries to adopt Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) to support the small island developing nations through the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS).

India has also lined up the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) to battle climate change where it is collaborating with Sweden.

The COP 26 has lost a bit of its shine with the leaders of both Russia and China deciding to abstain from it. However, with US President Joe Biden attending the summit, the meet is likely to see seriousness over the burgeoning crisis in environment.

This year has seen a large number of extreme natural events which are being attributed to climate change. These include forest fires in Brazil, US, Canada and Australia. Severe flooding in European countries as well as India, China and others. Increase in the numbers as well as severity of hurricanes and cyclones.