“India to Reach Net-Zero Carbon Goal by 2070”, PM Modi at COP26 Summit

by Team Conscious Carma

Sets 2030 goal for renewables, GHG reductions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday committed India to become a “carbon neutral” country through net-zero carbon emission by 2070. China has said it would reach that goal in 2060, and the US and the EU aim for 2050.

Modi held out five goals (panchamrit) to fight the devastating effects of global warming and climate change.

  1. “India will bring its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030. 
  2. By 2030 India will fulfil 50% of its energy requirement through renewable energy. 
  3. India will cut down its net projected carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes from now until 2030. 
  4. By 2030 India will bring down carbon intensity of its economy by more than 45%. 
  5. By 2070 India will achieve the target of ‘net zero’

COP (Conference of the Parties) is the annual UN climate change conference. The 26th COP summit is being held from Nov1-2, 2021 at Glasgow, and is attended by more than 120 heads of state and government. The two-day summit is hosted in partnership between the UK and Italy

COP26 is being billed as vital for the continued viability of the Paris Agreement, which countries signed in 2015 by promising to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius, and to work for a safer 1.5C cap. With a little over 1C of warming since the Industrial Revolution, Earth is being battered by ever more extreme heatwaves, flooding and tropical storms supercharged by rising seas. “It’s one minute to midnight… and we need to act now,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said to start proceedings. 

Modi, in his speech, asserted that India is the only country that is delivering in “letter and spirit” the commitments on tackling climate change under the Paris Agreement, adding that India is working very hard on tackling climate change-related issues.

Calling for lifestyle changes, Modi said that environmentally conscious lifestyle choices could go a long way in tackling climate change. He urged to make ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ a global mission. The Prime Minister reiterated that developed nations must fulfil the promised $1 trillion as climate finance, saying this should be tracked the same way as climate mitigation. “India expects developed countries to make $1 trillion available as climate finance as soon as possible. As we track the progress of climate mitigation, we must also track climate finance. Justice would truly be served if pressure is put on those countries that have not lived up to their climate finance commitments, Modi said.

In his opening remarks at the summit, Modi had drawn attention to the plight of small farmers facing the effects of climate change in India, forcing them to make changes in their cropping patterns. He then espoused the need to adopt knowledge from traditional communities living close to nature and made a case to focus on ‘climate adoption’ rather than ‘climate mitigation.

“We have to make adaptation the main part of our development policies and schemes. 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 had said.

Top quotes from COP26 climate change summit

Here are quotes from key players at the COP26 World Leaders Summit.

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From left to right: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, Sir David Attenborough and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley. (AP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. It’s one minute to midnight on at Doomsday clock and we need to act now.”

“But while COP26 will not be the end of climate change, it can and it must mark the beginning of the end.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the opening ceremony of the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit, in Glasgow, Scotland, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (AP)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

“If commitments fall short at the end of this COP, countries must revisit their national climate plans and policies – not every five years (but) every year and every moment.”

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (AP)

“Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: Either we stop it — or it stops us. It’s time to say: enough.”

“Enough of brutalizing biodiversity. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature as a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper.”

“The science is clear. We know what to do. First, we must keep the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius alive. This requires greater ambition on mitigation and immediate concrete action to reduce global emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.”

US President Joe Biden

“Glasgow must be the start of a decade of shared ambition and innovation to preserve our future.”

“We can do this – we just have to make a choice to do it.”

“The US is not only back at the table, but leading by example”

“I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize for the fact the United States, the last administration, pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit.”

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President Joe Biden speaks during the COP26 UN Climate Summit, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron

“Too many of us make commitments here, and then sign commercial contracts that do exactly the opposite”.

British naturalist David Attenborough

“Is this how it is doomed to end?”

“We are, after all, the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on Earth. If working apart, we are a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet. Surely working together, we are powerful enough to save it.”

“In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a terrible decline. In yours, you could and should witness a wonderful recovery.”

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Sir David Attenborough delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (AP)

Maldives President Ibrahim M Solih 

“What will it take for you to listen to us?… Our islands are slowly being inundated one by one”.

Prince Charles

“Quite literally it is the last-chance saloon. We must now translate fine words into still finer actions.”

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Prince Charles at the COP26 Summit.

“Recent IPCC report gave us a clear diagnosis of the scale of the problem. We know what we must do.”

“I can only urge you, as the world’s decision-makers, to find practical ways of overcoming differences so we can all get down to work, together, to rescue this precious planet and save the threatened future of our young people.”

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

“Our people are watching and our people are taking note … Can there be peace and prosperity if one-third of the world lives in prosperity and two-thirds live underseas and face calamitous threats to our wellbeing?”

Malawi President Lazarus Mccarthy Chakwera 

“The money pledged to least developed nations by developed nations … is not a donation, but a cleaning fee”.

“They are a big country, with a lot of resources and a lot of capabilities, and they are perfectly well capable of living up to their responsibilities and it is up to them to do so.”

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