British Indian Cabinet minister Alok Sharma, in charge of the UK’s presidency of the COP26 climate summit in November, is in New Delhi for talks ahead of the crucial meet in November.
Sharma, who was born in the northern Indian city of Agra, will hold discussions with senior Indian ministers and leaders from industry and civil society ahead of the summit in Scotland, during which India is seen as critical to world leaders agreeing climate action targets. It is expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the flagship event, scheduled between November 1 and 12.
Sharma said: “India has a vital role to play as the world comes together in Glasgow to demonstrate renewed action under the Paris Agreement.
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“India’s leadership – including through the International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure – is hugely important as we look to build global resilience ahead of COP26 and beyond. All countries – including the UK and India – have a historic opportunity to build back greener from the COVID pandemic.”
This is Sharma’s second visit to India this year and the British government said that with fewer than 100 days to go until the landmark summit in Glasgow, the ministerial visit represents the UK’s commitment to raise global ambition on climate action for a balanced and inclusive outcome at COP26. In his meetings with key climate stakeholders, Sharma will point to the role India can play at the summit through profiling its ambitious domestic plans.
Alex Ellis, the British High Commissioner to India, said: “The COP26 summit this November is our last best chance to set the world on the path towards a global warming limit of 1.5 degrees.
“India is already taking impressive action, for example on renewables. With most of the infrastructure that India will need by 2040 yet to be built, it can lead the way in new clean technology and infrastructure. As Prime Ministers Johnson and Modi agreed in the 2030 Roadmap, the UK and India are committed to working closely on this journey – in the run up to COP26 and beyond.”
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The British government pointed to the UK and India already working "closely together", including research and innovation for a clean energy transition and to improve global resilience – through the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), and the Green Growth Equity Fund.
During the November summit, the UK is set to host the United Nations climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow in partnership with Italy.