PM Modi to arrive in UK for COP26 summit, bilateral talks with Boris Johnson

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October 31, 2021 11:33 AM

In Glasgow, he will join more than 120 Heads of Government and Heads of State at the World Leaders' Summit (WLS) of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) – a designated UN zone for the global summit.

modi boris meetDuring his three-day UK visit until Tuesday, Modi is listed to address the COP26 summit with a national statement about India's climate action plan in the afternoon session on Monday. (File photo: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Glasgow on Sunday for the COP26 climate summit and bilateral talks with his British counterpart Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the UN meet. Modi, who has had a series of engagements at the G20 Summit in Rome, will fly to Scotland from Italy for the second leg of his European tour, which began on Friday.

In Glasgow, he will join more than 120 Heads of Government and Heads of State at the World Leaders’ Summit (WLS) of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) – a designated UN zone for the global summit.

During his three-day UK visit until Tuesday, Modi is listed to address the COP26 summit with a national statement about India’s climate action plan in the afternoon session on Monday, ahead of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“India is among the top countries in the world in terms of installed renewable energy, wind and solar energy capacity. At the WLS, I will share India’s excellent track record on climate action and our achievements,” Modi said in a statement ahead of the summit.“I will also highlight the need to comprehensively address climate change issues including equitable distribution of carbon space, support for mitigation and adaptation and resilience building measures, mobilisation of finance, technology transfer and importance of sustainable lifestyles for green and inclusive growth,” he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the COP26 Summit will also provide an opportunity for the Prime Minister to meet with all the stakeholders, including leaders of partner countries, innovators and inter-governmental organisations and explore the possibilities for “further accelerating our clean growth”.

Modi’s talks with Johnson, their first in-person meeting following several cancelled visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected as a stock-take of the 2030 Roadmap for stronger UK-India Strategic Partnership – signed by the two leaders during a virtual summit in May. India’s stance at the COP26 Summit will be to highlight the country’s “ambitious” Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goals for the post-2020 period under the Paris Agreement.

These include a reduction in emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level, as well as achieving 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.This is to be achieved with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance, including from Green Climate Fund.

“India is on track to achieve these targets and is clearly the best performer among the G20 countries on climate action. As per the Climate Change Performance Index 2021, India is among the top 10 performers in the world,” Indian officials said ahead of the summit.

Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that India will go with “full commitment” to the summit and stressed that “predictable and consistent financing” of green technology will be the focus for developing countries.The UK, as President of COP26, has indicated that success of the summit will be defined as a deal between over 195 countries on certifiable mechanisms to reduce and eventually eliminate carbon emissions by the middle of this century.

“When the countries of the world signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, they committed to limit the rise in global temperature to well below two degrees, aiming for 1.5 degrees,” said Alok Sharma, the Indian-origin COP26 President.“But that 1.5-degree limit will slip out of reach unless we act immediately… To keep 1.5 alive, we must halve global emissions by 2030. So, the time for talking is behind us. We need urgent action now,” said Sharma, who has travelled to over 30 countries over the last few months in an effort to build consensus ahead of the summit.

With Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin among the conspicuous absentees from the World Leaders’ Summit, COP26 officials have insisted that their delegates will be present for crucial discussions over the course of the summit, which ends on November 12.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Glasgow as world leaders arrive for the opening sessions on Monday and Tuesday, with several protests also lined up by environmental groups, joined by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Security operations in and around the conference venue have been heightened and all delegates are expected to undergo daily lateral flow tests (LFTs) as part of the COVID-secure measures in place.

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