New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 on 23 September in New York. To be held in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters, PM Modi will be joining other global leaders at the Summit in the backdrop of US withdrawal from the Paris climate deal.
The UN Climate Action Summit is being held before the second general assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) scheduled in New Delhi from 30 October to 2 November. ISA was jointly launched by the PM Modi and the President of France on 30th November 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of COP-21, the UN Climate Conference.
“UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050," according to information available on the UN website.
This also comes at a time of even as countries such as India have been trying to rejig its energy mix in favour of green energy sources. At present, India has an installed power-generation capacity of 357,875 megawatts (MW), of which around 22% or 80,000 MW is generated through clean energy projects such as solar and wind. With addition of large hydro projects to clean energy segment, India is poised to have 225 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
In his Independence Day speech, Modi also called for phasing out single-use plastic. The NDA government has planned a mass movement from 2 October, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, to phase out single-use plastic.
"The Secretary-General has asked world leaders to come to the Summit to announce bold actions and multi-stakeholder initiatives that will spearhead ambitious action on the ground," the information added.
United Nations secretary-general António Guterres had also attended the first general assembly of the International Solar Alliance in October last year in New Delhi.
“This means ending subsidies for fossil fuels and high-emitting agriculture and shifting towards renewable energy, electric vehicles and climate-smart practices. It means carbon pricing that reflects the true cost of emissions, from climate risk to the health hazards of air pollution. And it means accelerating the closure of coal plants and halting the construction of new ones and replacing jobs with healthier alternatives so that the transformation is just, inclusive and profitable," said the information available on the UN website.
The global energy landscape has been rapidly evolving. From the London Stock Exchange (LSE) classifying oil and gas stocks as non-renewable energy to the decision of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, to stop investing in oil and gas explorers globally, there has been a fundamental change in the global investment culture against the backdrop of growing climate concerns.
Speaking at the 8th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER) at Abu Dhabi on 10 September, where India is the co-Host along with UAE, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “The Energy Vision of India, as enunciated by Prime Minister Modi in 2016, is based on four pillars i.e. energy access, energy efficiency,energy sustainability and energy security. As part of our integrated approach towards energy planning during the last five years, energy justice will be a key objective in itself. In this context, we are working towards the early realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7."
However, finding the financial resources to meet nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under climate action would be a ‘daunting challenge’, according to India’s Economic Survey 2019. While developed countries had committed to $100 billion per annum for climate adaptation and mitigation by 2020, these commitments have not materialized. NDCs outline actions that India intends to undertake post 2020 to contribute to the fight against climate change.
Countries such as India are particularly susceptible to climate change. India’s monsoon region has been on decline in terms of the total rainfall received over the last 50 years. While the extreme rainfall events have become frequent and more variable, the severity and frequency of droughts has also increased since 1970s.
India would need around $206 billion (at 2014-15 prices) between 2015 and 2030 to implement new technologies and practices in cultivation, improve crop production, increase forest cover, watershed development programmes, flood management and make cities climate resilient in key areas such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources, and ecosystems, according to initial estimates as given in the NDCs. Additional investments will be needed for greater resilience and better disaster management. The preliminary total estimate for meeting India’s climate change actions between now and 2030 is $2.5 trillion (at 2014-15 prices).