Prime Minister Narendra Modi in UK for COP26 summit; here's what to expect

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Glasgow on Sunday to participate in the crucial 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-26) ...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Glasgow on Sunday to participate in the crucial 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-26) on climate change.

The prime minister will be in the city for two-day visit to participate in COP-26, where he will meet UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and discuss bilateral ties. This will be the first in-person meeting between Modi and Johnson after the UK prime minister cancelled his visit to India twice earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prime minister was received to the tune of Scottish bagpipes as he arrived at his hotel in Glasgow, where he was greeted by a large group of Indian diaspora representatives with chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai. People also sang ‘Modi hai Bharat ka gehna’.

The agenda

The prime minister, who flew to Glasgow from the G20 Summit in Italy, is scheduled to begin the UK leg of his European tour with a meeting with community leaders and Indologists based in Scotland on Monday morning.

He will then proceed for the opening ceremony of the World Leaders' Summit (WLS) at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, where he is set to address the summit plenary session. This will be followed by a meet between Modi and Johnson.

It will be followed by a leader-level COP26 event entitled Action and Solidarity: The Critical Decade, with Modi set to deliver India's national statement on the country's climate action to the delegates soon after.

India is among the top countries in the world in terms of installed renewable energy, wind and solar energy capacity. "At the WLS, I will share India's excellent track record on climate action and our achievements", Modi said in a statement ahead of the summit.

"I will also highlight the need to comprehensively address climate change issues including equitable distribution of carbon space, support for mitigation and adaptation and resilience building measures, mobilisation of finance, technology transfer and importance of sustainable lifestyles for green and inclusive growth", he said.

"This will be a very important initiative under the solar alliance. And it is important how we would like the international community to view this," High Commissioner of India to UK Gaitri Issar Kumar told ANI on Sunday.

The idea of "One Sun, One World, One Grid" (henceforth OSOWOG) made its first appearance on a global platform when the idea was floated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the first assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Invest India informed.

The initiative is aimed at constructing a trans-national electricity grid that would supply electricity across the globe in a phased manner. The plan of OSOWOG is a step towards achieving a more sustainable source of electricity generation that uses solar power as a source of continuous renewable energy, taking forward the global goal of sustainable development, it said.

Modi will launch two important initiatives under the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the COP-26, Kumar said.

India's focus at the COP26 Summit will be on the country's ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goals for the post-2020 period under the Paris Agreement. These include a reduction in emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level, as well as achieving 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030.

Predictable and consistent financing of green technology for developing countries will be another key area of focus for India.

At the end of day one of the World Leaders' Summit on Monday, Modi will join more than 120 heads of government and heads of state at a special VVIP reception at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum one of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions.

The reception will also involve members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and wife Camilla and Prince William and wife Kate Middleton. Queen Elizabeth II was due to attend this special reception but pulled out last week after medical advice against travel.

Day 2

On Tuesday, the final day of Modi's UK visit, the prime minister is scheduled to hold a series of bilateral meetings with leaders of Switzerland, Finland, Israel, Nepal, Malawi, Ukraine, Japan and Argentina, as well as a meeting with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

The launch of the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States initiative and a leader-level event entitled Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment are also scheduled for Tuesday before the prime minister flies back to New Delhi in the evening.

The India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) will launch a new Green Grids Initiative in partnership with the UK, with an ambition to connect different parts of the world with a common solar grid.

Modi-Johnson meeting

Modi's bilateral meeting with Boris Johnson is expected to take place soon after Monday's opening ceremony, which will include cultural performances and a speech by the UK Prime Minister. Johnson has said the summit will be the "world's moment of truth" and has urged world leaders to make the most of it. "The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away," he said, ahead of the two-week conference.

His talks with Modi are expected to focus on the UK-India climate partnership as well as a stock-take of the 2030 Roadmap for stronger UK-India Strategic Partnership signed by the two leaders during a virtual summit in May this year. Both governments remain committed to the implementation of the Roadmap, within prescribed timelines.

"Accordingly, we are looking to launch negotiations in November 2021 for an Interim Agreement to be signed in March 2022 and eventually a comprehensive agreement, if all goes according to schedule, by November 2022", India's High Commissioner to the UK said.

COP-26 is being held from 31 October to 12 November under the presidency of the UK partnering with Italy in Glasgow. Meanwhile, COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) kicked off on Sunday in Scotland's Glasgow.

With input from agencies

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India World News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in UK for COP26 summit; here's what to expect
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in UK for COP26 summit; here's what to expect
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