India urges G7 nations to keep their climate finance promise

  • Prime Minister Modi urges G7 members to set aside $100 billion annually in climate finance

Elizabeth Roche
Updated14 Jun 2021, 06:07 AM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took part in three sessions of the G7 meet, addressed the event virtually. PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took part in three sessions of the G7 meet, addressed the event virtually. PTI

India on Sunday called on the Group of Seven, or G7, nations to keep their unfulfilled promise of setting aside $100 billion annually to finance mitigation and transfer of technology to developing countries to meet the challenges posed by climate change, Indian officials said.

Climate action is one of the big themes of this year’s G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK. This assumes importance also because the UK is hosting the UN Conference of Parties climate change meet in November.

Another key theme was health, given that the world is still grappling with the covid-19 pandemic. Open societies and open economies was the third theme against the backdrop of an aggressively rising China.

The G7 summit over the weekend was the first in-person meet for leaders of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan in two years. Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India were the four guest countries at the meet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took part in three sessions of the G7 meet, addressed the event virtually.

India’s participation is seen as significant with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson describing the 11 participating countries as the “Democratic 11”, said Indian officials.

“There was widespread support in the (G7) deliberations for text-based negotiations on the India-South Africa proposal for TRIPs (Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver at WTO (World Trade Organization),” P. Harish, additional secretary in charge of economic relations in foreign ministry, told reporters on Sunday.

The reference was to India and South Africa putting forth the proposal for waiving patents for three years on covid-19 vaccines and medicines to boost supplies of life-saving drugs. This follows the G7 nations promising to donate 1 billion vaccines to other countries. There was also agreement to “increase capacity in various regional production hubs and to provide financing, technology transfer and skilling in these regions”, said Harish, responding to a query on whether India, deemed as the world’s biggest vaccine producer, could get additional funding to make more covid vaccines.

“We will remain deeply engaged with the G7 and guest partners on all major global issues—health governance and access to vaccines; climate action and climate justice; diversification of supply chains and building economic resilience to name just a few,” said Harish on India’s participation at the G7 meet.

On Sunday, Modi spoke on “climate change” and “open societies”, he said.

“The prime minister highlighted the need for climate action to include all dimensions of mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer, financing and equity, climate justice and lifestyle change to provide the necessary space for developing countries to grow and called on the G7 to meet their unfulfilled promise of $100 billion annually in climate finance,” he said.

Developed countries had first promised to put aside $100 billion a year at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit and reiterated the pledge later.

Modi also highlighted India’s initiatives to mitigate the impact of climate change, the official said, adding: “We have shown leadership and innovation in addressing the threat of climate change; however, as a developing country, we have also brought this perspective to the G7 and highlighted the importance of recognizing our different trajectories and historical responsibilities in the making of this crisis.”

In the session on ‘Open Societies and Open Economies’, Modi spoke of India’s civilizational commitment to democracy, freedom of thought and liberty.

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First Published:14 Jun 2021, 06:07 AM IST
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