India skipped a key two-day meeting of 51 countries where matters regarding the Paris climate deal were discussed, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday. The international accord is designed to avert catastrophic global warming.
The meeting was a closed-door ministerial conference that was meant to take stock of global efforts to fight the climate crisis ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties, slated to be held in November in Glasgow. The two-day meeting was held in London over the weekend.
India was the only one of 51 invited countries that failed to attend the meeting, Bloomberg reported, citing unidentified officials.
Gaurav Khare, spokesperson of the Union Environment Ministry, told the Hindustan Times that India had attended the Group of 20 meeting last week and made its position clear.
“The UK Climate ministerial was right after that,” Khare said. “It was being held in the middle of the Parliament session so it was decided that this time we cannot be present. On an official level, we wanted to participate virtually but we couldn’t because of various technical issues.”
The Global Climate Risk Index 2021, released by German think-tank Germanwatch, showed that India was the seventh worst-hit country by extreme weather events in 2019.
In recent weeks, experts have linked several extreme weather events to the impact of climate change. This includes flash floods following the breaking of a glacier in Uttarakhand and Cyclone Tauktae, which left at least 155 people dead.
Moreover, according to a latest study, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam have over 60% districts most vulnerable to climate change in India.
Under the Paris Agreement, India has agreed to reduce the emission intensity of its gross domestic product (greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP) by 33-35%. On July 15, Union Power Minister RK Singh exuded confidence that the country will exceed its target.