'Time for talk over': Narendra Modi, addressing UN climate summit, sounds clarion call for action

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the UNSG's Climate Summit in New York, said the time for talk is over

  • Modi, pledging to more than double India's non-fossil fuel target to 400 gigawatts, sounded a clarion call for a global people's movement

  • Modi also announced that he was going to inaugurate on Tuesday solar panels installed by India at the roof of the United Nations building

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the UNSG's Climate Action Summit in New York, said "the time for talk is over" as he vowed to double India's renewable energy capacity by 2022.

Pledging to more than double India's non-fossil fuel target to 400 gigawatts, Modi sounded a clarion call for a "global people's movement" to bring about a behavioral change to deal with the climate crisis.

"In order to make our infrastructure resilient in the face of disasters, India is launching a disaster-resilient infrastructure," Modi said. "We believe that an ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching."

Modi also spoke about curbing the use of single-use plastic. "On India's Independence Day, we called for a mass movement to have freedom from single use plastic. I hope that this will raise the awareness against the usage of singe use plastic, at a global level," he said. Modi also spoke of his government's conservation efforts. "We have provided clean cooking gas connections to millions of families. We have started Jal Jeevan mission for water resource development, water conservation and rain water harvesting," he added.

Modi also announced that he was going to inaugurate on Tuesday solar panels installed by India at the roof of the United Nations building. "The time for talking is over. The world needs to act now," Modi finished.

In his Independence Day speech, Modi had announced that India will produce 175 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel as part of its commitment to the Paris Climate agreement. Modi announced that India would increase the share of non-fossil fuel and by 2022 "we will increase our renewable energy capacity to much beyond 175 gigawatts and take it further to 400 gigawatts."

 Time for talk over: Narendra Modi, addressing UN climate summit, sounds clarion call for action

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Twitter@ANI

Monday's announcement during Modi's speech at the global climate summit goes well beyond the pledge of 175 gigawatts. It comes a day afterModi and US president Donald Trump shared the stage at a gala event in Houston on Sunday and displayed a close friendship and a common vision on fighting terrorism.

But the US and India are wide variant on the issue of climate change. Trump withdrew from the Paris deal in 2017 and blamed India and China for his decision, saying the agreement was unfair as it would have made the US pay for nations which benefited the most from the deal. "We must accept that if we have to overcome a serious challenge like climate change, then what we are doing at the moment is just not enough," Modi told world leaders at the summit organised by UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres.

In his first engagement at the United Nations, Modi noted that various efforts are being made by different countries to fight climate change and said what is needed today is a comprehensive approach which covers everything from education to values, and from lifestyle to developmental philosophy. The Climate Action Summit aims to boost action to implement the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 23, 2019 22:06:46 IST