Although many heads of state of the world came to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), but no one else was welcomed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was. In fact, it is often seen in such global conferences that the organizing country welcomes the leaders of the participating nations as per protocol. But when Modi is mentioned, protocols also break and a different scene is seen. On the arrival of Modi, various heads of state reach the airport to welcome him, sometimes some head of state touches Modi’s feet on his arrival and some hugs him as soon as he sees him. But above all this, one more scene is seen that whenever Modi goes to any country, the Indian community living there gives him a warm welcome. Such a scene is not seen in the case of any other leader, that is why Modi dominates every function and comes in the headlines.
Now take Modi’s visit to Dubai. It was a very short and very busy tour. But the way the local government and administration spread their wings to welcome the Prime Minister and the Indian community made the sky echo with slogans like Modi Modi and once again Modi government, those scenes were worth seeing. Before the start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), when the group photograph of the present leaders was being taken, there was a competition among the global leaders to meet Modi and convey their views to him in two minutes. The warm welcome given to Modi at the venue by United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was worth seeing. The special feature of this conference was that by proposing to host the COP33 summit in India in 2028, the Prime Minister has sent a message to the world that India is on its way to becoming the new center of global conferences. Let us remind you that during the G20 summit in September this year, India had surprised the whole world with its wonderful hosting.
If we look at Modi’s address at COP28, he very eloquently told the world that India has presented a model of development to the world by striking a perfect balance between ecology and economy. Addressing the COP28 conference in Dubai, Prime Minister Modi also made a big announcement that India is on the way to achieving its Nationally Determined Contribution targets. The Prime Minister also told the world that India has achieved its emission intensity targets 11 years ahead of schedule. The Prime Minister also clarified that in keeping with its civilizational ethos, India has always emphasized climate action, even as we pursue social and economic development. If seen, during India’s presidency of G20, climate was at the top of our priority. The New Delhi Declaration includes several concrete steps on climate action and sustainable development.
Let us also tell you that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon developing countries to ensure required climate financing and technology transfer, saying that it should be kept in mind that developing countries have not contributed to creating the climate problem. But they are still willing to be part of the solution. In view of this, climate change is a collective challenge which requires an integrated global response to deal with it. Let us tell you that developing countries including India have also claimed that it is the responsibility of rich countries to help deal with the changes, because historically these are the same countries that have contributed more to earth-warming carbon emissions. .
Let us also tell you that the UN climate talks COP28 started on a positive note, with various countries reaching an initial agreement on the operation of the Loss and Damage Fund. India has welcomed this as a “positive sign”. However, the agreement regarding this fund has received mixed reactions from the ‘Global South’. In fact, countries in the Global South have long been pointing to the lack of adequate funds to deal with disasters including floods, droughts and heat waves and blaming rich countries for not providing enough money to recover from them. Let us tell you that Global South refers to those countries which are often known as developing, less developed or underdeveloped. It is also important to note here that at the COP27 held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt last year, rich countries had agreed to establish a Loss and Damage Fund. However, decisions on fund allocation, beneficiaries and administration were left hanging. Indeed, developing countries wanted a new and independent entity to hold the Fund, but accepted the World Bank, albeit temporarily, for the next four years. Soon after the decision to operationalize the fund, the United Arab Emirates and Germany announced that they would contribute US$100 million each to the fund.
However, the entire world is wishing for the success of the COP28 conference as the UN weather agency World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has said that 2023 is sure to be the hottest year ever and worrying trends include floods, forest fires, glacier melting in the future. And indicate an increase in extreme heat. The WMO also warns that the average temperature by 2023 is about 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Along with this, it has also been predicted that the year 2024 may be the hottest. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the COP28 conference can give new impetus to effective climate action and international cooperation in pursuing the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement or not?
-Neeraj Kumar Dubey