A day ahead of the high-level segment at the COP26, India claimed that it pushed for introduction of “what actions need to be taken, including by developed countries” to achieve the climate and energy goals in the Rome Declaration at the conclusion of G20 Leaders’ Summit.
“Instead of only focusing on the climate goals, India along with other developing countries was able to introduce a language on what actions need to be taken, including by developed countries to achieve these goals,” said Piyush Goyal, India’s Sherpa for the G20 and Union Minister for Commerce and Industries, while briefing the media after the G20 Leaders’ Summit concluded in Rome.
He was briefing about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interventions and the combined effort at reaching the text of ‘Rome Declaration’ adopted by the G20 Leaders’ Summit. This was Modi’s eighth G20 Summit since 2014 and the first in-person summit since the Osaka Summit in 2019. The theme of the summit under the Italian Presidency was ‘People, Planet, Prosperity’, with an overarching theme of recovery from the pandemic.
The Prime Minister participated in all three Summit Sessions on ‘Global Economy and Global Health’, ‘Climate Change and Environment’ and ‘Sustainable Development’. The leaders adopted the ‘Rome Declaration’ after over five days of extensive negotiations.
Modi is to fly from Rome to Glasgow in the United Kingdom for participating in the UN climate summit COP26.
Asked by a media person, Goyal clarified that what G20 discussed and decided “is global net zero, so all countries put together will be net zero, which means that developed countries that have already enjoyed the fruits of low-cost energy for several years, will have to go in for net zero much faster and possibly even for net negative, so that they can release policy space and some carbon space for the developing countries to pursue their development agenda.”
The Union MInister explained that in terms of the year — the year by which all countries together will declare net zero — they still have to work on technological solutions as the available technologies are inadequate for base load, there are no adequate technologies to be able to absorb large amounts of clean energy into the grids and maintain grid stability.
“Therefore, we will have to look at more technology and innovation take an important role before we can identify a year.”
Asked a query related to nuclear energy, Goyal said it is something which needs to be determined based on the type of technologies that would be available for just climate transition.
“For example, for our base load replacement from coal, maybe to nuclear, we will need large amount of capital for setting up nuclear plants for coal to replace the current demand and for the future demand that are development imperative requires,” he said, adding, “We will need to be a member of the nuclear suppliers group to ensure aware adequate availability of raw material for nuclear supply and several other associated concerns around cost of power.”
“It’s going to be a holistic solution, which will emerge through more dialogue, discussion and the collective effort of all countries,” he said.