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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: India is not only meeting its Paris Agreement targets but has also been exceeding them, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G20 summit held virtually on Sunday.

In his address at the G-20 Summit side event, "Safeguarding the Planet - The Circular Carbon Economy Approach", he said that India has taken concrete action in many areas for clean climate.

"We have made LED lights popular. This saves 38 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Smoke free kitchens have been provided to over 80 million households through our Ujjwala Scheme. This is among the largest clean energy drives globally," the Prime Minister told the member countries.

Climate change, he said, must be fought not in silos but in an integrated, comprehensive and holistic way. "Inspired by our traditional ethos of living in harmony with the environment, and the commitment of my government, India has adopted low-carbon and climate-resilient development practices," Modi said.

Giving details about the efforts made by his government, he pointed out the campaign to eliminate single-use plastics. "Our forest cover is expanding; The lion and tiger population is increasing; We aim to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030; And, we are encouraging a circular economy."

India is making next-generation infrastructure such as metro networks, water-ways and more, he said. In addition to convenience and efficiency, they will also contribute to a cleaner environment.

The Prime Minister assured that India will meet its goal of 175 Giga Watts of renewable energy well before the target of 2022. "Now, we are taking a big step ahead by seeking to achieve 450 Giga Watts by 2030."

The International Solar Alliance is among the fastest growing International Organisations, with 88 signatories. With plans to mobilise billions of dollars, train thousands of stake-holders, and promote research and development in renewable energy, the ISA will contribute to reducing carbon foot-print.

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)-18 countries -- including 9 from among the G20 and 4 international organisations -- has already started work on increasing resilience of critical infrastructure to prevent damage during natural disasters.

This is the best time for further increasing research and innovation in new and sustainable technologies, the Prime Minister said. "We should do so with a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. The entire world can progress faster if there is greater support of technology and finance to the developing world."

For humanity to prosper, every single individual must prosper, he said. Rather than seeing labour as a factor of production alone, the focus must be on the human dignity of every worker. Such an approach would be the best guarantee for safeguarding our planet, the Prime Minister added.

Chinese Prez Xi Calls On G20 To Push For Full, Effective Implementation Of Paris Agreement

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the G-20 countries should take the lead in tackling climate change, follow the guidance of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and push for the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

With US President-elect Joe Biden's promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement after he takes over power early next year, its implementation is expected to get a big boost to efforts to tackle climate change and other environmental challenges to protect the planet.

The US and China are the top two polluters of the world.

Addressing the Leaders' Side Event on Safeguarding the Planet of the G-20 Riyadh Summit via video link, Xi said, "G-20 should continue to take the lead in tackling climate change".

"We need to follow the guidance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and push for the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement," he said.

He reaffirmed China's commitment to striving to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Xi said China supports the shift to low-carbon energy in the post-COVID era to achieve the goal of Sustainable Energy for All.

China has put in place the world's biggest clean energy system, and has led the world in the output and sales of new energy vehicles for five years running, he said.

China will pursue clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient use of energy and accelerate the growth of new energy and green industries to promote greener economic and social development in all respects, he said.

He called on the G-20 countries to protect the ecosystem with a respect for Nature, and said China supports deepening G20 cooperation in reducing land degradation, conserving coral reefs, and cleaning up plastic from the ocean.

Xi welcomed participation to the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in the Chinese city of Kunming in May 2021.

He hoped that the meeting will set goals and take actions to ensure the protection of global biodiversity in the years ahead.

(With Agency Inputs)

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