Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday addressed the COP26, or 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, and said that by 2070 India will go carbon neutral as a part of a five-point plan to address climate change. He informed that India constitutes 17% of the global population but its contribution to the emission has only been 5%. "But today, the entire world admits that India is the only major economy which has delivered on Paris agreements in letter and spirit," he said.
PM Modi said that Paris Agreement wasn't a summit to him but a sentiment, a commitment which India wasn't making to the world; rather "125 crore Indians were making promises to themselves. I am happy that a developing country like India is working to pull crores of people out of poverty," he said.
He informed that as a revolutionary step in solar power, India initiated the International Solar Alliance. "We have created a coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure for climate adaptation. This is a sensitive and important initiative to save crores of lives," he said.
PM Modi stated that Indian Railways cater to travellers in numbers more than the entire population. "This majestic railway system has set a target of becoming net-zero by 2030," he said informing that this step will reduce 60 million tonnes of emission annually.
The Prime Minister noted that climate change is a major threat to the existence of several developing countries and stressed that steps should be taken 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 the future of our next generations," he said.
Stating that lifestyle plays a major role in climate change, PM Modi said, "I propose one word movement before all of you. This word is LIFE which means Lifestyle for Environment. Today, it's needed that all of us come together and take forward LIFE as a movement."
He added that 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."
PM Modi also said that India expects developed nations to make climate finance of one trillion dollars available at the earliest. "Today it's important to track climate finance just like we track the progress of climate mitigation," adding that appropriate pressure should be created on nations that do not meet promises on climate finance.
Before addressing the national statement at COP26 summit, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke at the side event on ‘Action and Solidarity - The Critical Decade’ and stated India's vision and efforts to overcome climate change. PM Modi said that from sources of drinking water to affordable housing, all should be made resilient against climate change.
In this regard, PM Modi shared three views. First, he said, we will need to make adaptation the key component of our development policies and projects. "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," he said.
Secondly, he said that traditional practices should be given appropriate attention in our adaption policies. "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," Prime Minister said.
The third point, he said, "Even if the methods of adaptation are local, the support provided to vulnerable countries must be global, i.e. keeping in mind the need for global support for local adaptation that India took the initiative for Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure."
He further said that just like in India, the climate is a big challenge for the agriculture sector for most of the developing nations. There are changes in cropping patterns, untimely rains/floods, or crops are destroyed by regular typhoons. "Adaptation has not received the kind of importance in the global climate debate that mitigation has. This is an injustice to those developing nations that are more impacted by climate change," PM Modi said.
The COP260 leaders' Event was attended by heads of State/Government of more than 120 countries. The COP26 to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that kicked off on October 31 under UK's presidency in partnership with Italy will conclude on November 12.