Last week, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi embarked on crucial visits to attend the G-20 (Group of 20) meeting in Italy, a bilateral visit to the Vatican City followed by the COP26 (Conference of Parties) Summit in the United Kingdom.
Group of 20
The Group of 20 nations are the top twenty economies of the world. The importance of the G-20 is underlined by the facts which say that it represents 80% of the world’s GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the world population. This time the meet was held in the Italian capital of Rome.
Bilaterals at G-20
On the sidelines of the G-20, meet the Indian Prime Minister held several high-level bilateral meetings, including those with European Council President Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission. It was followed by a meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Later, Prime Minister Modi met and held discussions with almost all the top world leaders, including US President Biden, French President Macron, state heads of Canada, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Indonesia and various heads of international bodies like the United Nations, World Health Organization, etc.
NSG and Climate Goals
At G-20, India directly linked adherence to climate goals with its pitch for membership of the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group). The bold statement hints at significant developments which could happen in India’s atomic energy sector. Also, the statement is a diplomatic shot fired at China as it continues to block India’s NSG membership.
The Indian Prime Minister also paid a crucial visit to the Vatican City, where he met Pope Francis, the head of the worldwide Catholic Church and Head of State of the Vatican City State. Geopolitical analysts attach very high symbolic and consequent strategic importance to this meet.
The body language and friendliness observed during the meetings between Prime Minister Modi and all the world leaders was an indicator of India’s growing global influence. The G-20 meet served as a springboard for COP26.
Arriving in the United Kingdom’s Glasgow, Prime Minister Modi had a one-on-one meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Nepalese Prime Minister Deuba, Ukrainian President Zelensky and some corporate heads on the sidelines of COP26.
At COP26, India took the lead to commit itself to negate Climate Change and saving humanity. New Delhi made the following five commitments at COP26:
– India will achieve net-zero emissions by 2070
Also, by 2030, India will:
– Increase non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW.
– Reduce its economy’s carbon intensity to 45%.
– Will fulfil 50% of its energy requirement through renewable energy.
– Will reduce 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions from the total projected emissions.
Later, at the climate change summit, India pitched itself as a potential leader of the global solar energy supply chain.
Green Grids Initiative
India and the United Kingdom came together to launch the global ‘Green Grids Initiative – The One Sun One World One Grid’, the world’s first transnational network of interconnected solar power grids. The initiative has the backing of 80 of the 99 nations of the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA). Besides, India, Australia, France, the US, and the UK will be the Green Grids Initiative’s steering members.
The step comes as a major boost to energy security and provides a huge step for India towards leading the global energy transition from fossil fuels to non-conventional energy.