Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni posted a selfie with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
“Good friends at COP28. #Melodi,” Ms Meloni, who came to Delhi in September to attend the G20 summit, wrote in the post.
PM Modi also met Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Turkey President RT Erdogan, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, among other leaders.
PM Modi had a packed day-long schedule as he addressed the four sessions at the UN climate change conference.
The Prime Minister had the opportunity to discuss ways to promote clean and green growth, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said. Issues of bilateral and regional interests were also discussed in his meeting with many leaders on the sidelines of the summit, Mr Kwatra said.
Global climate negotiations largely avoided mentioning fossil fuels for decades, until Glasgow’s COP26 agreed to “phasedown” unfiltered coal power and the “phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.
Momentum has built since then on a more ambitious pledge to move away from all fossil fuels, and the UN’s former climate chief Christiana Figueres said an unprecedented surge in renewables and electric vehicles gave her optimism that the world can still achieve its climate goals.
Those centre on the 2015 Paris deal, which saw nearly 200 nations agree to limit global warming to “well below” two degree Celsius since the pre-industrial era, and preferably a safer threshold of 1.5 Celsius.
In his COP28 speech on Friday, PM Modi called on all nations to work together to cut global emissions drastically, and announced a “green credit” initiative that focuses on creating carbon skins with people’s participation.
He said India’s emissions are very low compared to other nations whose population is much less. “India’s population is 17 per cent of the global population, but in global carbon emissions India is only at 4 per cent. We are moving fast in achieving the NDC targets. In fact, we reached our non-fossil fuel targets nine years before the deadline,” PM Modi said, referring to the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), a climate action plan to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts.
“We do not have much time to correct the mistakes of the last century,” PM Modi said, and asked every nation to work sincerely to meet their NDC targets.