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Paris Climate Summit: Toughest Test For PM Narendra Modi’s Green Diplomacy So Far

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a packed Monday in Paris, where he is attending a UN summit on climate change. He meets US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the 21st session of the Conference of Parties or COP21 and also launches a global solar alliance. Nearly 150 heads of state will begin a whirlwind day of talks in the French capital today, aimed at forging an elusive agreement to stave off calamitous global warming. 196 nations will negotiate over 11 days of talks intended to end two decades of international bickering. A possible pact could be clinched on December 11 to limit emissions of greenhouse gasses blamed for climate change. India contends that developed countries must bear a bigger burden than developing countries to control climate change since they have contributed largely to pollution over the last 200 years.

India’s 25-member delegation will focus on PM Modi’s call for “climate justice” and “common but differentiated responsibilities.” Today, French President Francois Hollande and PM Modi will launch an international alliance of over 100 solar-rich countries in the tropics, aimed at eventually bringing clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all. 183 nations have submitted national action plans, but they are not enough to achieve a goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Two degrees C is the threshold at which scientists say the worst impacts of global warming will be inevitable.
19 governments, including the US, China, and India, will join a “Mission Innovation” initiative that commits governments to doubling public investment in basic energy research over the next five years. 28 of the world’s wealthiest investors like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg of the US, Jack Ma of China and India’s Mukesh Ambani will announce the Breakthrough Energy Coalition that will pool money to bring affordable clean energy to billions of people. The Paris conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.

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