PM Narendra Modi on Monday, 1 November, addressed the COP26 World Leaders' Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, saying that India has committed to achieve complete net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, significantly reduce use of fossil fuel and increase renewable energy use by 2030.
Delivering the National Statement at the summit which officially began earlier in the day, PM Modi said that he is happy that a developing country like India is working to pull crores of people out of poverty. He also said that India is putting climate change at the centre of its policies.
"When I came to Paris for the first time for the Climate Summit, I had no intention to add my own promise to other promises across the world," PM Modi said.
"So for me, Paris wasn't a summit but a sentiment, a commitment and India wasn't making promises to the world, instead, 125 crore Indians were making promises to themselves," he said, claiming that India is the only country that is delivering in 'letter and spirit' on the commitments made in the Paris Agreement on tackling climate change.
PM Modi's 5 Pledges at COP26 Summit
Speaking at the summit, PM Modi said that India will bring its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 and by the same year, will fulfil 50 percent of its energy requirement through renewable energy.
Thirdly, PM Modi announced that India will reduce total projected carbon emission by one billion tonnes between now and 2030.
Further, PM Modi said that by 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by more than 45 percent and added that the country will also achieve 'net zero target' for carbon emissions by 2070.
The prime minister also noted that India constitutes 17 percent of global population and India's contribution to the emission has only been 5 percent, pointing out that India’s contribution in climate change mitigation far outstrips its role in emissions.
On the Importance of Climate Finance
PM Modi went on to speak about how promises made so far over climate finance have proven to be hollow.
"Today when India has resolved to move forward with a new commitment and new energy, then the climate finance and transfer of low-cost technology transfer become even more important," he said.
"Instead of mindless and destructive consumption, mindful and deliberate utilisation is the need of the hour. This movement can bring in revolutionary changes in areas like agriculture, fishing, housing, packaging, hospitality, tourism, fashion, water management and energy," PM Modi said.
PM Modi further said that India expects developed nations to make climate finance of 1 trillion dollars available at the earliest.
"Today it's important to track climate finance just like we track the progress of climate mitigation," he added, going on to say that it would be appropriate to create pressure on the nations that don't meet their own promises of climate finance.
"Climate change is a major threat to existence to many developing countries. We must take major steps to save the world. It is the need of the hour and will prove the relevance of this platform. I'm hopeful that decisions taken in Glasgow will save future of our next generations," PM Modi went on to state in his speech.
Adaptation Important, Not Just Mitigation: PM Modi in Speech
In an earlier 2-minute speech that PM Modi had delivered, he said that adaptation has not received the kind of importance in global climate debate that mitigation has.
"This is an injustice to those developing nations that are more impacted by climate change," PM Modi said, adding that just like in India, climate is a big challenge for agriculture sector for most developing countries.
PM Modi stressed a need to make adaptation the main part of our development policies and schemes, saying that In India, schemes like 'Nal Se Jal', Clean India Mission and Ujjawala have not only given adoption benefits to our citizens but also improved their quality of life.
"From sources of drinking water to affordable housing, all need to be made resilient against climate change," PM Modi said in his remarks at the summit.
The prime minister went on to present three views in this regard, the first of which is a need to make adaptation the key component of development policies and projects. Secondly, he said that many traditional communities possess the knowledge to live in harmony with nature. "Such traditional practices must get appropriate attention in our adaptation policies," he added.
"To ensure this knowledge is passed onto our younger generations, we must include it as part of our school syllabi. Preservation of lifestyle per local conditions can be an important pillar of adaptation," PM Modi further said.
Lastly, PM Modi noted that even if the methods of adaptation are local, the support provided to vulnerable countries must be global.
Boris Johnson, UN Secretary General Address Summit
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the summit in Glasgow with a warning that the world is strapped to a “doomsday device" and that time is running out in the fight against climate change.
"It was here in Glasgow 250 years ago, that James Watt came up with a machine that was powered by steam that was produced by burning coal. We brought you to the very place where the doomsday machine began," Johnson said, pointing out that climate change has been triggered by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.
Meanwhile, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations in his remarks said that the six years since Paris Climate Agreement have been the six hottest years on record.
"Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice – either we stop it or it stops us. It's time to say, 'enough'," he said.
"Enough of brutalising biodiversity, enough of killing ourselves with Carbon, enough of treating nature like a toilet, enough of burning, drilling and mining our way deeper. We're digging our own graves. Our planet is changing before our eyes," Guterres added.