Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the Initiative for the Resilient Island States (IRIS) for developing infrastructure of small island nations, saying it gives a new hope, a new confidence and satisfaction of doing something for the most vulnerable countries.
Prime Minister Modi was joined by his British counterpart Boris Johnson on the second day of the COP26 climate summit here. The launch event was also attended by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"The launch of 'Infrastructure for Resilient Island States' gives a new hope, a new confidence,” Modi said, adding that the initiative gives the satisfaction of doing something for the most vulnerable countries.
Modi congratulated the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure CDRI for the initiative and said for him the CDRI or IRIS is not just about infrastructure but it is part of a very sensitive responsibility of human welfare.
"It is the collective responsibility of all of us towards mankind,” he said. “It is, in a way, a shared atonement for our sins."
"The last few decades have proved that no one is untouched by the wrath of climate change. Whether they are developed countries or countries rich in natural resources, this is a big threat to everyone,” Modi said.
Stating that the Small Island Developing States or SIDS face the biggest threat from climate change, Modi said India's space agency ISRO will build a special data window for them to provide them timely information about cyclones, coral-reef monitoring, coast-line monitoring etc. through satellite.
Speaking on the occasion, British Prime Minister Johnson said that it’s incredibly cruel that vulnerable, small island states are right in the frontline of loss and damage that is caused by global warming.
"They have done virtually nothing to cause the problem, they didn't produce the huge volumes of CO2 to be pumped into the atmosphere,” he said.
Johnson said that the UK is contributing financially to the initiative IRIS. “We are stomping up as well."
Australian Prime Minister thanked India and the UK for their leadership of the CDRI. "I acknowledge them the Quad support, including the US and Japan support for India's CDRI," he said.
The IRIS initiative is a part of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient infrastructure that would focus on building capacity, having pilot projects, especially in small island developing states.