Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is chairing the G20 summit this weekend, emphasized the necessity for leaders to assist developing nations in addressing climate change through increased financial support and the sharing of technology.
Amidst a backdrop of record-breaking temperatures and deadly heatwaves worldwide, climate scientists and activists have issued stark warnings, particularly for developing countries, highlighting the grave consequences of a lack of consensus among leaders.
Modi has positioned India as a leader of the “Global South,” acting as a bridge between developed and developing nations.
In an editorial featured in multiple Indian and international publications, including those in Britain and Japan, Modi asserted, “Many countries of the Global South are at various stages of development, and climate action must be a complementary pursuit.”
Globally, wealthy nations failed to fulfill their commitment to provide $100 billion per year in climate finance to poorer nations by 2020, undermining trust that polluting countries will aid the most vulnerable nations, which bear the least responsibility for climate change.
The Group of 20 (G20), set to convene in New Delhi this weekend, comprises 19 nations and the European Union, collectively accounting for approximately 85 percent of global GDP and a comparable share of global carbon emissions.
Modi added, “Ambitions for climate action must be matched with actions on climate finance and the transfer of technology.”
“We believe there is a need to move away from a purely restrictive attitude of what should not be done to a more constructive attitude focusing on what can be done to combat climate change,” he emphasized.
A G20 energy ministers’ meeting held in July did not reach consensus on a roadmap for phasing out fossil fuels or even mention coal, a significant energy source for economies like India and China. These Asian nations, among the world’s largest polluters, argue that historical contributors in the West must shoulder greater responsibility for the current global climate crisis.
Efforts to build a G20 consensus on energy and climate action have encountered resistance from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, which are concerned that transitioning away from fossil fuels would harm their economies.
Modi stressed the importance of ensuring food and nutritional security in the face of climate change’s impact, highlighting “boosting climate-smart agriculture” as a viable solution.
“Technology is transformative, but it also needs to be made inclusive,” he remarked.
The G20 summit, scheduled for September 9-10, represents the next significant round of negotiations in a busy calendar of meetings critical to addressing global warming. These discussions will culminate at the United Nations COP28 talks in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, commencing in November.