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Developed world must act now, pact has to be equitable, durable: PM on climate change

Modi’s biggest moment in Paris will come when he will see his own idea coming to fruition.

narendra modi, COP21, modi in Paris, modi UN summit, Modi COP21, modi in paris, paris modi, UN climate change summit, cop21, paris meet, paris climate meet, paris climate summit, un climate summit, latest news, Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during inauguration of the India Pavilion at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris on Monday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Probably the busiest political leader in Paris today after French President and host Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Narendra Modi moved from one meeting to another, one event to another, talking of the urgent need to finalise a balanced and equitable agreement on climate change.

In the process, he met “friend” US President Barack Obama at least three times, and also caught up with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Hollande, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several others.

“We want the world to act with urgency (on climate change). We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable (climate change) agreement, which must lead us to restore the balance between humanity and nature and between what we have inherited and what we will leave behind,” Modi said after inaugurating the India pavilion at the conference.

Later in the day, Modi launched the Global Solar Alliance, a initiative to bring together sunlight-rich nations along the tropics and shift to solar-based power generation in a major way. The alliance is an idea that Modi mooted last year. Hollande and Ban Ki-moon joined Modi for the launch and many other heads of states also attended the event.

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“Since ancient times, different civilisations have given a special place to the Sun. In the Indian tradition, Sun is the source of all forms of energy. As the Rig Veda says, the Sun God is the soul of all beings, moving and non-moving. Many in India begin their day with a prayer to the Sun. Today, when the energy sources and excesses of our industrial age have put our planet in peril, the world must turn to Sun to power our future,” Modi said at the event.

“As the developing world lift billions of people into prosperity, our hope for a sustainable planet rests on a bold global initiative. It will mean advanced countries leaving enough carbon space for developing countries to grow. That is natural climate justice,” he said.

He held a bilateral meeting with Obama, and later joined him on stage when the US President launched a US-led initiative to promote research and development in climate-friendly technologies.

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A White House statement said the two leaders discussed their efforts to “put in place a lasting framework to address global climate change”.

“The leaders agreed that the Paris agreement must drive serious and ambitious action by all nations to curb carbon pollution, while at the same time protecting the ability of countries such as India to pursue their priorities of development, growth, and poverty eradication. Additionally, the President welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives to increase renewable energy deployment in India, his leadership to form a solar alliance, and our partnership to launch Mission Innovation. In addition to the climate agenda, the two leaders discussed additional steps to deepen their countries’ strategic partnership on bilateral, regional, and global issues,” the statement said.

Later, making the statement that he had come to Paris for, Modi said the developed countries needed to do much more not only because they had the “historical responsibility” but also because they had more they had much more resources to take action on climate change.

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“The prosperous still have a strong carbon footprint, while billions of people at the bottom of development ladder are seeking space to grow… Equity means that national commitments must be consistent with carbon space that nations occupy,” he said.

He also made a strong case for transfer of finance and technology from the developed countries to the developing world.

First published on: 01-12-2015 at 02:51:24 am
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