Scaling up India’s ambitious agenda to combat climate change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced five steps, “amrit tatva” at the COP26 Summit including the target to attain net-zero emissions by 2070.
Delivering the National Statement at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, he said India will increase its capacity of non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW and meet 50% of its energy requirements through renewable energy by 2030. He also said that India would make one-billion-tonne reduction in total projected carbon emissions and reduce carbon intensity in its economy to less than 45% by 2030.
“In the midst of this brainstorming on climate change, I would like to present five ‘Amrit tatva’ on behalf of India,” he said. PM Modi described them as “panchamrit ki saugat”.
“India will take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030. Second, India will meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030. Third, India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030. Fourth, by 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45%. And fifth—by 2070, India will achieve the target of net-zero emissions,” he said.
Highlighting India’s efforts to combat climate change, the Prime Minister said that India is the only major economy that has worked and delivered on the Paris commitments both in letter and spirit.
Speaking in Hindi at the COP26 Global Leaders’ Summit here in Glasgow the Prime Minister said, “Today,
the world has acknowledged that India is the only such biggest economy that has worked and delivered on the Paris commitment in letter and spirit. Karambaddh (duty bound) India is bringing results by making all-out efforts.” Paris Agreement goal constitutes an effort to keep the global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“I am pleased to announce that in a developing country like India with a population of 125 crores, constituting 17% of the global population and India’s contribution to the emission has only been 5%. India has left no stone unturned in completing its duty,” he added.
Recalling the Paris climate conference, he said that summit was a sentiment and commitment for him.
“I came to Paris with a concern for the sake of humanity. I came as a representative of that society that believes in ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’ (Let all be happy, let all be free from debilitation),” he said.
The Prime Minister also laid emphasis on “Lifestyle For Environment” in his speech. “I am keeping proposal of One-Word Movement. This One-Word is one word in the context of climate, ‘one-word’ can become the basic foundation of the world, it can become the resolve. This is a word- LIFE…L, I, F, E, i.e. Lifestyle For Environment,” the Prime Minister said.
He called for collective participation and said “Lifestyle For Environment” should become a movement.
“This environmental consciousness can become a mass movement,” he said.
PM Modi spoke against “mindless and destructive consumption” and said the movement can attain gaols in diverse areas.
“Today is the need to focus on mindful and deliberate utilisation instead of mindless and destructive consumption. This movement, with a unified approach, can attain goals in diverse areas like fishing, agriculture, wellness, dietary choices, housing, packaging, hospitality, tourism, clothing, fashion, water management and the field of energy. It can bring revolutionary changes,” PM Modi said.
“These are the issues which need the conscious choice of everyone, every day. The conscious choice by millions, billions of people will help in billion steps for combating climate change. I believe that this movement will stand every test,” said the Prime Minister.
He cited the example of the International Solar Alliance as a reflection of India’s persistent efforts to combat climate change.
“As a revolutionary step in solar power, we 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,” PM Modi said.
He also said, “More passengers than the entire population of the world travel by Indian Railways every year. This huge railway system has set itself a target of making itself ‘Net Zero’ by 2030. This initiative alone will reduce emissions by 60 million tonnes per annum.”
Also on Monday, PM Modi said adaptation has received less attention compared to mitigation in the global climate debate and emphasised resilience against climate change.
Addressing a COP26 side event on “Action and Solidarity: The Critical Decade” convened by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, PM Modi referred to the adverse impact of climate change including change in cropping patterns and the increasing frequency of floods. “When compared with mitigation, adaptation has received less attention in the global climate debate. The developing countries are facing injustice as they are most affected by climate change,” he said.
“Climate change is a big challenge for farmers in India and other developing nations. There is a change in the cropping pattern. Corps is getting destroyed by rains, floods and other natural phenomena,” he added. Prime Minister Modi said the world would have to make adaptation the main part of development policies and schemes.
“In India, schemes like ‘Nal Se Jal’, Clean India Mission and Ujjwala have not only given adaptation benefits to our citizens but also improved their quality of life,” PM Modi said.
He noted that many traditional communities have knowledge of living in harmony with nature. “To make sure that this knowledge flows to next generations, it should be added to school syllabus. Protection of lifestyle suitable to local conditions can also be an important part of adaptation,” he said.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi met UK PM Boris Johnson on the sidelines of COP26. The two leaders discussed regional and global challenges including Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, Indo-Pacific, supply chain resilience and post-Covid global economic recovery here on Monday. The two leaders held talks on the sidelines of the COP26 Summit. During the bilateral talks, Prime Minister Modi congratulated PM Johnson for successfully organising the COP26 and for his personal leadership in championing global action for climate change mitigation and adaptation, according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.
PM Modi and his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett had their first in-person meeting on Monday since the latter took office, on the sidelines of the ongoing COP26 Summit.
Also on Monday, PM Modi met United Nations General Asembly’s President Abdulla Shahid.
More than 120 heads of states and governments have reached Glasgow for a two-day summit at the start of the UN’s COP26 conference, which organisers say is crucial for charting humanity’s path away from catastrophic global warming.
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PAK ENVOY MEETS TALIBAN’S ACTING FM, DISCUSSES BILATERAL COOPERATION
KABUL: Pakistan’s envoy to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan met Taliban acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and discussed bilateral cooperation between both countries.
“Pakistan Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan met with acting FM Amir Khan Muttaqi and discussed bilateral cooperation, Khan said.
Pakistan has decided that wheat and emergency medicine provided by India can be transported from Wagah port in Pakistan on Afghan trucks to Afghanistan,” Tolo News reported.
Earlier, Pakistan’s envoy and the Taliban acting foreign minister met in the month of September where both sides discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation particularly facilitating humanitarian, economic and people-to-people exchange.
Pakistan, along with China were among the first countries that began engaging with Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in August this year.
The meeting came amid the Taliban’s repeated appeal for wider international recognition. Pakistan is among the very few which seem to have started engaging with the outfit. Other members of the international community are taking a wait and watch approach.
TLP expanding after release of its leader Saad Hussain Rizvi
Formerly banned organisation Tehreek-E-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is on a surge after the release of its leader Saad Hussain Rizvi and revoking of its ban by the Imran Khan government.
According to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), there was a rather secret deal between TLP and the Imran Khan government reached on October 31 to end the latest round of protests. The deal was not made public and on November 7, Khan’s cabinet revoked the declaration of the TLP as a banned group. The TLP benefitted mainly from the divisions between the PML-Nawaz government and the military establishment deep state’, IFFRAS said, adding that Pakistan military establishment’s effort to prop up different religious groups to deteriorate the PML-Nawaz government permitted the TLP to increase greater political space. Earlier, Rizvi was released on the eve of his father, Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s death anniversary on November 19 who was the founder of TLP.
Further, the TLP capable of mobilising thousands of supporters, was born in the year 2015 out of a remonstration movement to the Barelvi movement.
US ready to support Ukraine, help Kiev with defence
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says Washington is concerned about the situation in Ukraine and is ready to support Kiev.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday, Austin said that the US is “very concerned” about the alleged buildup of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border and will try to ensure that Kiev “has what it needs” to defend its “sovereign territory.” The Pentagon chief said he was not going to speculate on different scenarios pertaining to the alleged Russian aggression on its borders.
Over the past several weeks, Ukraine and some Western countries have expressed concern about the alleged increase in what they characterise as “aggressive actions” by Russia on their border. However, Russia has refuted the accusations by saying it is moving troops within its own territory and at its own discretion.
US President Joe Biden plans to discuss the issue of Ukraine, as well as other topics, during the upcoming video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, December 7.
Biden told reporters earlier this week, answering a question about the issue of Ukraine, that he expected a “long discussion” with the Russian President.
Russia has repeatedly said that it stands by its right to move armed forces freely within its territory. On November 23, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that Russia does not have any aggressive plans with regard to Ukraine. The Kremlin has also expressed concerns about Kiev having aggregated almost half of all its armed forces on the contact line with the Donbas region in the east of the country.
EXPLOSIONS HEARD INSIDE US BASE IN SYRIA
Explosions were heard on Sunday inside a US military base in Syria, state news agency SANA reported.
The blasts were heard in the al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria, Xinhua news agency reported. Back in late October, the US base of At Tanf came under a drone attack. The White House believes that the recent attack on its military base in Syria was “deliberate and coordinated” and the United States reserves the right to respond.
CHINA CREATES ATMOSPHERE THAT EMBOLDENS MILITARY TO SEIZE POWER IN AFRICA
As Western powers continue to retreat from Africa, China is busy creating an atmosphere that emboldens generals and military cliques to seize power in one of the largest continent in the world, said a media report.
In an opinion piece for Al Jazeera, Harvard University lecturer Christopher Rhodes said that “backsliding on the part of Western powers, the rise of autocrat-friendly China, have created an atmosphere in Africa that emboldens generals and military cliques to seize power.” Rhodes further wrote that the coup, which had been widely rumoured in Sudan but still managed to blindside the United States, remains a source of outrage for Sudanese citizens. But Washington is yet to take a clear stance on the issue, Rhodes said.
According to the lecturer, the reaction from the West has diverged widely from that of Sudanese citizens, who continue to reject military hegemony. The report says that American diplomats have signaled acceptance of the new arrangement and willingness to turn a blind eye to the continued military dominance of the transition government.
This brings focus to the breakdown of the anti-coup coalition that had formed for Africa – a breakdown that has led to military interventions reemerging as a leading method by which power is transferred on the continent, Rhodes added.
Noting that the fight for democracy and against military rule in Africa has seen significant setbacks, Rhodes said while African populations remain overwhelmingly committed to democracy and opposed to military governments, the lack of reliable international pro-democracy partners makes the struggle against military rule much more difficult.
But as the sustained anti-military protests in Sudan demonstrate, local populations are willing to continue the fight for democracy, even if they must go it alone, said the lecturer.
PROTEST IN COLOMBO AGAINST LYNCHING OF SRI LANKAN EXECUTIVE IN PAKISTAN
A protest was held outside Pakistan High Commission in Colombo on Sunday by a large crowd, including a group of monks, against the killing of a Sri Lankan national in Sialkot city of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan executive of a garment factory was lynched and his body burnt by angry supporters of a hardline Islamist party that attacked the facility in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations on Friday.
A police official alleged that Kumara tore a poster of the hardline Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in which Quranic verses were inscribed and threw it in the dustbin. A mob enraged over the alleged blasphemy incident, started gathering outside the factory from adjoining areas, most of them activists and supporters of the TLP.
They dragged the Sri Lankan executive, who was in his 40s, from the factory and severely tortured him. After he succumbed to his wounds, the mob burnt his body before police reached the crime spot. Late on Friday, Punjab police said they have arrested 100 suspects, after identifying them through video footage that went viral on social media.
Expressing grief over the lynching of his country’s citizen in Pakistan, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha said that he was “shocked to see the brutal and fatal attack” on Priyantha Diyawadana by “extremist mobs in Pakistan”.
“My heart goes out to his wife and family”, Rajapaksha said in a tweet.
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