Sunshine moment: India to take lead on global climate action

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UNITED NATIONS: Ahead of the annual global climate conference, COP24, to be held in the Polish city of Katowice in December, India has declared that it’s willing to take the lead on climate action and shape implementation of the Paris Accord.

“India is willing to take lead in climate action. Our commitment to combat climate change is rooted in our ethos, which considers Earth as Mother,” India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at a high-level meeting on climate change in New York on September 26.

“The world needs a roadmap for finance and technology to achieve the goals set out in the Convention and its Paris Agreement in everyone’s collective interest,” Mrs Swaraj said.

Alluding to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), in which India and France are partnering, Mrs Swaraj underscored that India is “a firm believer in multilateralism,” and stressed that the ISA has been already signed by 68 countries. The ISA aims to mobilise technology and finances to lower unit costs, she said.

“Climate change poses significant developmental challenges, especially for developing countries. However, their capacity to translate commitments into tangible results is constrained by lack of predictable, sustained and adequate finances and technologies,” she said. Issues relating to solar energy and climate change will be high on agenda during the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the first General Assembly of the ISA next week in New Delhi.

On September 26, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced new initiatives to support ISA.   The EIB has emerged as a key partner of ISA by providing its expertise and financing to support the expansion of solar energy in India and other solar-rich regions. ISA plans to raise $1 trillion by 2030 from public and private investors to invest in such solar projects.

Modi, Champion of Earth

In a sunshine moment for India’s stellar role in promoting solar energy through ISA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded with the UN’s highest environmental honour, Champions of the Earth Award (along with French President Emmanuel Macron and four other individuals and organisations), for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance and unprecedented pledge to eliminate single use plastic in India by 2022.


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