COP26 President in India to strengthen UK-India climate partnership

at 9:19 pm
Alok Sharma
COP26 President Alok Sharma

New Delhi (NVI): President of 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Alok Sharma, today arrived in New Delhi, India, to discuss strengthening the UK-India climate partnership and preparing for a successful COP26 summit later this year.

During his visit, Sharma will meet senior ministers, as well as leaders from business and civil society to discuss climate issues, according to a statement issued by British High Commission.

Sharma, who is a Cabinet minister and holds the post of president of COP26, is on his first visit to Asia after assuming the position.

He is expected to welcome India’s significant progress on climate action and clean energy transition.

He will also highlight PM Modi’s global leadership in setting up the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), the latter of which is co-chaired by the UK.

India’s expertise is expected to be of great value to global discussions on a clean energy transition as part of COP preparations, the statement read.

The COP26 President will also highlight the opportunities in the low carbon economy, celebrate existing commitments to achieve net-zero emissions and encourage influential businesses to promote the growing movement of corporate climate action throughout their sector and supply chain.

After a year of virtual meetings, the in-person visit signals a step-change in momentum to COP26 preparations, and reinforces Sharma’s ambition to run an inclusive negotiating process that incorporates the views of all countries.

He said, When it comes to climate action, India is a key partner and a global leader. Together we can make change happen – delivering real progress on reducing emissions and building global commitments. The UK and India are already a joint force for good against climate change, and we look forward to strengthening this partnership in the run up to COP26 and beyond.”

High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis said, “Alok Sharma’s visit is the latest step in protecting our planet by making COP26 a success and will further develop the UK-India climate partnership on clean and resilient development. Hearing from the Indian government first hand, as well as civil society and business will be essential in informing the approach of the UK Presidency as we work towards a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced outcome at COP26.”

Alok Sharma’s visit follows those of the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss and paves the way for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit later this year, during which climate cooperation will be a focus.

As host of COP26, the UK is setting a strong example on climate action, with a legally binding target to cut emissions to net-zero by 2050.

According to the British High Commission, between 1990 and 2018, the UK nearly halved emissions whilst growing the economy by 75 per cent, and will cut coal use in the power sector entirely by 2025.

The country has committed to double its International Climate Finance to at least 11.6 billion euros over the next five years, to help developing countries take action.