At G20 Summit Session PM Modi Puts Focus Squarely On Funding

Addressing an issue that the developed world has increasingly shied away from, and considered a major responsibility of the historicalcally high emitters among them, Prime Minister Narendra Modi put the focus squarely back on funding in his speech at the G20 session on Climate Change and Environment. Coming just ahead of the COP 26 summit starting in Scotland this week, Mr Modi’s clear reminder is a message to the world on the essential pillar of climate change mitigation, that is financing, and why it simply cannot be brushed aside.

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Asking developed or G20 countries to set aside 1 percent of their GDP towards supporting countries that have not yet achieved peak emissions, which could include India too, Mr Narendra Modi made it clear that this was essential for the world to have a reasonable chance of meeting climate change goals.

The statement puts the onus back on developed countries, which have been high on talk, but very low on matching that talk with real support and backing at scale. Calling it an injustice to pressure developing countries on climate change steps, Mr Modi’s urging should find a welcome audience among many developing countries increasingly under pressure to commit to net zero targets as most developed countries have, without having the wherewithal to scale up as quickly as the new targets will demand. It risks making many of these targets irrelevant, in fact.

The Prime Minister did not back away from India’s own responsibilities, pointing to the extra effort the country has made to exceed its Paris targets and its ambitious targets to 2030. India has so far held out against a net zero commitment or date.

In his three point demand, Mr Modi asked for a clean energy fund for developing countries, a network of clean energy research institutes across G20 countries, and global standards for clean (green) Hydrogen, now increasingly emerging as a consensus route to achieve decarbonisation of energy intensive sectors of the global economy.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International