Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Dubai on Thursday to attend the World Climate Action Summit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), scheduled on Friday (December 1) and hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Following his arrival, PM Modi took to his social media X and said that he is looking forward to the proceedings of the Summit, aimed at creating a better planet.
Ahead of a tightly-packed schedule, PM Modi expressed optimism in an exclusive interview with UAE newspaper Al-Ittihad that the COP28 will give impetus to fresh momentum into effective climate action and asserted that India and the UAE stand as partners in shaping a greener and more prosperous future.
Speaking further, PM Modi said that climate action must be based on equity, climate justice, shared obligations and shared capacities. He also emphasised on the need to ensure that the development priorities of the Global South are not compromised. "I am happy that during the recent New Delhi G20 Summit, this aspect has been properly addressed, including through a recognition of the need to rapidly and substantially scale up investment and climate finance from billions to trillions of dollars globally from all sources,” he said.
What does PM Modi's schedule look like?
PM Modi has a jam-packed schedule for Friday's World Climate Action Summit. He will spend at least 21 hours in Dubai and will partake in two special initiatives on climate events. PM Modi is also expected to deliver at least four speeches during the summit and hold seven bilateral meetings with other leaders. Additionally, the PM will conduct pull-aside and informal meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the summit.
The World Climate Action Summit is the high-level segment of the COP28 which will be attended by several prominent world leaders to discuss ways to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse emissions. PM Modi is scheduled to participate in three other high-level side events as well.
During a special press briefing by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that the PM will deliver his address at the opening session of the World Climate Action Summit and will also attend an event related to Green Credits.
"Besides his address to the COP28, the Prime Minister will also be participating in three high-level side events, of which two are being co-hosted by India. The first high-level event, which is being co-hosted by India, and the UAE is the launch of the Green Credits Initiative," Kwatra said.
The initiatives - Green Credit Programme (GCP) and the Ecomark Scheme - seek to encourage environmentally friendly practices rooted in tradition and conservation reflecting the ideas of the LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) concept launched by PM Modi in 2021.
The Prime Minister will also attend a high-level event co-hosted by India and Sweden for the launch of Lead IT 2.0, a leadership group for industry transition. "It was a joint initiative launched by India and Sweden in 2019 at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Essentially, this initiative fosters collaboration among decision-makers, bringing together both the public sector and private sector with the objective of accelerating the industry transition to net zero emissions, essentially from heavy industries," said the Foreign Secretary.
The COP28 is being held from November 28 to December 12 under the Presidency of the UAE. The Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC provides a unique opportunity to impart momentum for collective action towards combating the shared challenge of climate change. India will be represented by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
Before his departure, PM Modi acknowledged India's prioritisation of climate issues during its G20 presidency, citing the New Delhi Leaders' Declaration's concrete steps toward climate action and sustainable development. He had also expressed anticipation for COP28, urging it to advance consensus on climate-related matters.
"During our G20 presidency, climate was high on our priority list. The New Delhi Leaders' Declaration includes numerous concrete steps on climate action and sustainable development. I look forward to the COP28 taking forward the consensus on these issues," Modi said in his departure statement.
Modi underscored the opportunity COP28 provides to assess progress under the Paris Agreement and set a trajectory for future climate actions. He referenced the Voice of Global South Summit, where discussions emphasized climate action rooted in principles of equity, climate justice, and common but differentiated responsibilities.
(with inputs from agencies)