Paris: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Paris on Sunday to attend the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) where about 150 heads of state and governments will gather to set agenda for the Summit.
He arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport here around 11:30 pm (IST).Before leaving for Paris, Prime Minister Modi said that India will deliberate on crucial issues relating to environmental and climate change.
“At the @COP21 will inaugurate India Pavilion, showcasing India`s harmony with nature, environment & commitment to mitigate climate change. President @fhollande & I will jointly host a meeting of International Solar Alliance. Will also attend `Mission Innovation` hosted by @POTUS,” he tweeted before his departure.
The Prime Minister will address the summit in the plenary conference hall “Seine” on Monday at the leaders` event where the aim of the summit is to reach a landmark global deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
India to focus on ‘Climate justice’
During the twelve-day conference, India`s 25 member delegation will focus on Prime Minister Modi`s call for `Climate Justice` that he had made in his address at the United Nations General Assembly last month.
“When we speak only of climate change, there is a perception of our desire to secure the comforts of our lifestyle. When we speak of climate justice, we demonstrate our sensitivity and resolve to secure the future of the poor from the perils of natural disasters,” he said.
Meanwhile early opening of negotiations to finalise the draft agreement is to begin later tonight. For this purpose a special body was created in Durban, South Africa, in 2011 for negotiations on the universal climate agreement that`s supposed to be adopted in Paris.
India under pressure from West
Ahead of the Summit, US Secretary of State John Kerry had said that India in particular will be a `challenge` at the Summit as its government seemed hesitant to accept more of a role in addressing global warming.
“We`ve got a lot of focus on India right now to try to bring them along. India has been more cautious, a little more restrained in its embrace of this new paradigm, and it`s a challenge,” Kerry had said.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar who will be leading the Indian delegation at the Summit, responded to Washington`s `concerns` over India`s pace of climate change action saying that India cannot be `bullied` and branded US Secretary of State John Kerry statement as `unwarranted and unfair`.
The climate summit is being organized in Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris amidst tight and elaborate security in the backdrop of deadly 13/11 terror attacks on Paris in which 130 people were killed.
India to opposes any deal to phase out fossil fuels by 2100
To keep warming in check, some countries want the Paris agreement to include a commitment to decarbonise — to reduce and ultimately phase out the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas that is blamed for climate change — this century.
India, the world’s third largest carbon emitter, is dependent on coal for most of its energy needs, and despite a pledge to expand solar and wind power has said its economy is too small and its people too poor to end use of the fossil fuel anytime soon.
“It’s problematic for us to make that commitment at this point in time. It’s certainly a stumbling block (to a deal),” Ajay Mathur, a senior member of India’s negotiating team for Paris, told Reuters.
“The entire prosperity of the world has been built on cheap energy. And suddenly we are being forced into higher cost energy. That’s grossly unfair,” he said.
India, whose 1.2 billion people produce far lower emissions per capita than the world average, in October committed to slow the rate of growth in its carbon output by a third over the next 15 years.