The climate summit or COP26, Glasgow was an opportunity for world leaders to flex their capabilities and for countries to show the world their seriousness towards tackling global warming. While many countries and absolutely all major powers only talked simple words with no facts and clear cut commitments and on the other hand, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the clearest statement of intent at the beginning of the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow, saying the world’s third-largest emitter will be pollution-free by 2070.
And while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had all world leaders in admiration, Joe Biden was busy dozing off in the meeting. President Joe Biden has once again been teased and dubbed “Sleepy Joe” after appearing to nod off during the opening sessions of the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow. The US president sat with his arms folded, his eyes closed, and seemed to fall off to sleep for 30 seconds before one of his advisers whispered something into his ear.
Indian PM Narendra Modi shines
PM Modi stated that the country’s non-fossil fuel power capacity will be increased to 500 gigawatts by the end of the decade, up from 450GW. By 2030, 50% of India’s electricity will be generated from renewable sources, according to Modi. He also pledged to raise India’s 2030 carbon intensity target (carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product) from 35% to 45%.
It will also strive to produce half of its electricity using renewable energy and cut carbon-dioxide emissions 1 billion tons from business as usual by 2030. The Indian leader also demanded that rich countries ramp up their contributions to help less-developed nations decarbonize.
This is big, very big. 🚨
India has announced a net zero emissions target by 2070 at #COP26
This will have implications on everything — energy supply, transport, industry, air quality, jobs.@IEA's India Energy Outlook 2021 was the first study to analyze such a scenario. 🧵👇🏽
— Siddharth Singh (@siddharth3) November 1, 2021
As per Indian Energy Outlook, 2021, IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario takes India to net-zero emissions in the mid-2060s. Not very far away from the target of 2070. These statistics backed claims that PM Modi made were a rarity as most of the leaders shied away from the same making the usual virtue-signalling statements. This has brought global applause for PM Modi and thus for India.
‘Join my party’ Israeli PM Bennett to PM Modi
PM Modi also met with his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett on the sidelines of the COP26 summit where they held a formal meeting. During the meeting, the two reviewed bilateral ties and exchanged views on expanding cooperation in the area of technology and innovation.
In a video of their interaction tweeted by the official Twitter account of the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, PM Bennett praised PM Modi saying: “You are the most popular person in Israel”. Bennett also invited PM Modi to “come join my party” during the light-hearted conversation
Narendra, I want to thank you for your historic role in shaping the ties between our countries.
Together, we can bring India-Israel relations to a whole new level and build a better & brighter future for our nations.
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 2, 2021
After the meeting, PM Modi tweeted, “Glad to have met, yet again, PM @naftalibennett. We had fruitful talks on boosting India-Israel friendship in sectors such as research, innovation and futuristic technologies. These sectors are critical for empowering our youngsters.”
Glad to have met, yet again, PM @naftalibennett. We had fruitful talks on boosting India-Israel friendship in sectors such as research, innovation and futuristic technologies. These sectors are critical for empowering our youngsters. pic.twitter.com/AUEENd6xCE
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 2, 2021
Joe Biden’s failure at Climate summit
While listening to Eddie Ndopu, a disability rights activist, warn that global warming threatens “our ability to generate food and even to survive,” Biden appeared to fall asleep. Biden is pushing a $1.75 trillion social spending bill that includes $555 billion in proposed environmental spending and a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate that would fund weather resiliency programmes, $7.5 billion in new electric vehicle charging stations, and $5 billion for electric school buses.
However, he was not able to make any significant quantifiable declarations and claims. Officials from the White House say that Putin and Xi’s absence at the conference this weekend is not a missed opportunity. Instead, they argue that the absence has allowed US and European leaders to set the agenda at the summit and push the debate on issues that matter to them, such as climate change and the global pandemic.
Yet, to achieve any real progress on practically every key issue up for discussion at the G-20, such as climate change, Covid, an energy crisis, supply chain bottlenecks, and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, western nations must engage with Russia and China. And Biden, who has expressed a preference for in-person summits, would be denied a key opportunity to use his signature brand of personal diplomacy.
Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden offered promises of American action to combat climate change and propel clean energy but made no new big, bold promises in his speech. On the other hand, the Indian PM made solid and practical promises and had the whole international community in his awe.
India’s revised targets do not guarantee a reduction in total emissions by the end of the decade. If the targets are completed, the globe will be able to drastically reduce global warming compared to where it is now. To keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the world will need to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by mid-century, and then net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070.
Your foreign policy is influenced by the kind of leader you have. This has been proven by Joe Biden once again. He has proven that even the most powerful country can become of low impact if the leadership fails. On the other hand, Indian PM Narendra Modi is trying to address the issues bluntly and put targets that are meant to be achieved and thus making fans the world over while Joe Biden was dozing off, not able to find sufficient sleep, it seems.