Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday. Later in the day, he is expected to attend a leaders’ dialogue on “Strategic Responses to Terrorist and Violent Extremist Narratives”. The climate summit will kick off the UN General Assembly session, which will officially begin on Tuesday.
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.
All timestamps are according to the Indian Standard Time.
Here are the updates:
8.54 pm: “There are those who are still doubtful that climate change actually exists and we have to try and take these people along,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel says. “We will contribute to sustainable businesses and to sustainable management and we shall give our contribution to these funds globally also.”
8.39 pm: “India is launching a coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure. I invite all member states to join this coalition,” Modi says. “The time for talking is over, the world needs to act now.”
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8.35 pm: “We have provided clean cooking gas connections to millions of families,” says Modi. “We have started ‘Jal Jeevan’ mission for water resource development, water conservation and rain water harvesting.”
8.32 pm: “In India, we are going to increase the share of non-fossil fuel in our fuel mix and increase by 2022 our renewble energy capacity to 175 gigawatts,” Modi says. “We are committed to further increasing this to 450 GW.” He says e-mobility is encouraged in the country’s transport sector.
8.29 pm: “We must accept that if we have to overcome a serious challenge like climate change then what we are doing at the moment is just not enough,” Modi says.
8.28 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his address.
8.27 pm: “The summit must be the moment we choose survival over selfishness, communities over coal, and planet over profits. It must be about climate justice,” says Heine.
8.25 pm: President of Marshall Islands Hilda Heine begins her address.
8.24 pm: “We are determined to show that new Zealand can and will be the most sustainable food producer in the world,” Ardern says. “The situation is stark, but New Zealand will play our part in the global effort.”
8.19 pm: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern begins her address.
8.17 pm: A personal message by Pope Francis plays for the audience.
8.10 pm: “We will be watching you,” says a teary-eyed Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in her address. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school. You all come to us young people for hope, how dare you?”
“You are failing us,” she tells the world leaders. “But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this.”
8.01 pm: “This is not a climate talk summit,” says Guterres. “This is not a climate negotiate summit. This is a Climate Action Summit. It is our obligation to do everything to stop the climate warming before it stops us. Let us lace up our running shoes and join the climate race for us all.”
7.59 pm: “The political declaration on Health For All has just been approved by acclamation,” tweets UNGA President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. “This is a key milestone. Ensuring universal health coverage will improve the conditions of those further behind and will help us eradicate poverty, address inequalities and secure growth.”
7.50 pm: “Climate crisis has been caused by us and the solutions must come from us,” says UN chief Antonio Guterres in the beginning of his address.
7.49 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the United Nations headquarters, reports ANI.
7.38 pm: The morning session of the climate summit can be followed here:
7.25 pm: Modi will be the fourth speaker at the summit, according to NDTV. His speech will follow that of Guterres, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President of Marshall Islands Hilda Heine.
7.20 pm: India is the third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world after China and the United States. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to outline India’s policies and actions on environment and climate since the 2015 Paris Agreement.
7.10 pm: Swedish activist Greta Thunberg will be among the speakers at the summit today.
7 pm: Besides Narendra Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron and leaders from nearly 50 other countries will speak at the summit, according to Vox.
Last month, Guterres told leaders that mere empty promises were not enough to fight climate change. “Don’t come to the summit with beautiful speeches,” Guterres had said. “Come with concrete plans...and strategies for carbon neutrality by 2050.”
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. Guterres on Saturday urged young climate activists to keep the pressure on world leaders and hold his generation accountable.
6.50 pm: Countries such as the United States, Saudi Arabia and Brazil have been unwilling to co-operate with international players on climate change. They will not be allowed to speak at the summit, according to The Washington Post.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has decided that countries such as Australia, South Korea, Japan, which are either building or supporting the expansion of fossil fuel power plants, will also not be allowed to speak.
6.40 pm: 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. Several countries have already said that they will do better. 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.
6.30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York around 7.30 pm IST on Monday. Later in the day, he is expected to attend a leaders’ dialogue on “Strategic Responses to Terrorist and Violent Extremist Narratives”.