Just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the session on climate change and biodiversity at the G-7 summit on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron is keen for a tête-à-tête with Modi.
Sources said the two leaders will walk from Hotel du Palais, where Macron and other world leaders are staying, to Bellevue, which is the venue for the G-7 summit. The walk is expected to last for about 5 to 10 minutes.
“Macron wants Modi’s support on the issue of climate change, especially with the Amazon forest fire as a hot topic right now. So they will discuss the issues before going into the session,” a source told The Indian Express on Sunday.
Prime Minister Modi on Friday said India will achieve most of the COP 21 climate change goals set for 2030 in the next one-and-a-half years. In his address to the Indian community at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Modi had said there was a lot of talk about dangers of climate change but action was not evident. He said it was India and France which took the decisive step of forming the International Solar Alliance.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed Macron’s call to put the fires in the Amazon on the agenda at the G7 summit after the French President said the situation amounted to an international crisis.
The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen and it has been burning for the past three weeks.
Brazil has had more than 72,000 fires this year, an 84 per cent increase on the same period in 2018, said the country’s National Institute for Space Research. More than half were in the Amazon. There was a sharp rise in deforestation during July, which has been followed by extensive burning in August. Reports say farmers in some regions are organising “fire days” to take advantage of weaker enforcement by the authorities.
Macron’s intervention had prompted an angry response from his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. “I regret that President Macron seeks to take advantage of what is a domestic Brazilian issue and of other Amazonian countries for personal political gain,” he tweeted.