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74-UNGA – Climate Action Summit (September 23, 2019)

September 23, 2019

Leaders from government, business, and civil society joined today at the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York to announce potentially far-reaching ambitious solutions in nine areas: a global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities; sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy. The Summit is expected to offer a turning point from inertia into momentum, action, and global impact.

The UN estimates that the world would need to increase its efforts between three- and five-fold to contain climate change to the levels dictated by science – a 1.5°C rise at most – and avoid escalating climate damage already taking place around the world. The Paris Agreement provides an open-door framework for countries to continuously ratchet up their positive actions, and today’s Summit demonstrates how governments, businesses, and civilians around the world are rising to the challenge.

The Summit is designed to showcase government, business, and civil society efforts to increase their commitments under the Paris Agreement and work toward reducing emissions to essentially zero by mid-century. Many of the more than 70 key announcements showcase the concrete ways in which countries can better adapt to climate change and cut emissions while getting the necessary technical and financial support many of them need. The Summit participants recognize that to limit climate change to 1.5°C, action needs to start now.

Many countries used the Summit to demonstrate next steps on how by 2020 they will update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with the aim to collectively reduce emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030 and prepare national strategies to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century.

Prime Minister Modi who was one of the early speakers at the Summit underlined that global actions to tackle climate change are not enough. He called for a comprehensive approach which places emphasis on education, values, lifestyle and developmental philosophy. He called for mass movement to bring about behavioural change.

He said that India was participating at the Summit not with a speech but with a practical approach and roadmap. Echoing Mahatma’s Gandhi’s emphasis on action, Prime Minister Modi said that "an ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching”.

He said that India would be looking at a renewable energy target in excess of 400 GW by 2030, implement programs to boost electric mobility, increase the proportion of the biofuel blending in petrol and diesel and focus on the use of Compressed bio gas.

Prime Minister Modi also talked about the success of the clean cooking gas initiative which positively impacted the lives 150 million families, particularly women and children. He also mentioned the "Water Conservation Campaign” targeted at solving the water crises situation. He said that India will be spending approximately $50 billion to ensure water security.

Prime Minister also launched Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure to assist countries with making their infrastructure disaster resilient. He invited all member states to join the coalition.

Under the "Industry Transition Track”, that India and Sweden co-lead with other partners as part of the Climate Action Summit, PM announced the launch of the "Leadership Group”, which will provide a platform for governments and the private sector with opportunities for cooperation in the area of technology innovation and develop low carbon pathways for industry.

He also said that India has called for a people’s movement to end the use of single use plastic. He hoped that India’s efforts will help create an awareness at a global level about the harmful effects of single use plastic.

Emphasizing climate action, Prime Minister said that as a token gesture, India is also getting the UN greener by installing rooftop solar panels at a cost of US$ 1 million. The formal inauguration will take place at the commemorative event on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi which will be hosted by Prime Minister Modi on 24th Sept 2019.

New York
September 23, 2019

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