Narendra Modi arrives in New York, will address UN climate summit tonight
The world body is trying to secure more ambitious commitments from countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions than those made in the 2015 Paris climate pact.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New York on Monday to take part in the United Nations Climate Action Summit and a leaders’ dialogue on “Strategic Responses to Terrorist and Violent Extremist Narratives”, Hindustan Times reported. He is likely to address the UN meeting around 7.30 pm Indian Standard Time.
Modi arrived in New York from Houston in Texas, where he addressed the Indian diaspora along with US President Donald Trump. At the event, named “Howdy Modi”, the prime minister defended his government’s recent decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and criticised Pakistan for its reaction to the move. He asked the huge audience at the venue to give a standing ovation to Indian parliamentarians who approved the decision in August. Modi also highlighted his government’s achievements, and said plans were afoot to make India a $5-trillion economy in five years.
The climate summit will kick off the UN General Assembly session. The world body is trying to secure more ambitious commitments from countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions than those made in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. While signing the agreement, the signatories knew that their Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, would not be enough to limit global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius. A few countries such as Costa Rica are making efforts to transition from fossil fuels but global greenhouse gas emissions are still rising and the climate is increasingly becoming unstable.
In 2014, Modi had dismissed concerns about climate change. “Climate has not changed,” the prime minister told schoolchildren. “We have changed. Our habits have changed. Our habits have got spoiled. Due to that, we have destroyed our entire environment.”
He added that the elderly complain about winters being colder compared to previous years, attributing it to their age and tolerance level.
On Friday, millions of young people took to streets around the world from Sydney to Kolkata to demand that politicians attending the summit take the matter seriously. The protests were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday urged young climate activists to keep the pressure on world leaders and hold his generation accountable.
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