Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday highlighted India’s efforts to eliminate single-use plastic and harness solar energy at a special session on ‘Biodiversity, Oceans and Climate’ during the G7 summit in France, to assert the country’s commitment to build a sustainable future.

India is not a member of the G7, which includes the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. However, Modi was extended a special invitation by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Modi also spoke about India’s efforts to conserve water and also protect flora and fauna for a sustainable future.

The Prime Minister also sought the setting up of a global coalition of disaster resilient infrastructure and the creation of a pool of trained volunteers to help people recover after a natural disaster.

India and France have been closely cooperating in the global fight against climate change and have also jointly led the formation of the International Solar Alliance last year.

Modi has maintained that India would achieve, within the next two years, its climate change goals set during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21). This would be much ahead of the initial target of 2030. The COP21 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held in Paris in 2015, in which 195 nations participated.

India had ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016. The country committed to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 33-35 % below 2005 levels by 2030, as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions.

India also pledged that 40 % of its power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel sources and that the country will create an additional “carbon sink" of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

Modi had also discussed ways to tackle climate change, in his earlier meeting with United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres, on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

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