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COP26 President-designate to meet Environment Minister Yadav

New Delhi : After a packed schedule of meetings, including those with two of India’s Union Ministers and a host of civil society groups, COP26 President-designate Alok Sharma is set to meet Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday.

Going by the experience at Italy’s G20 ministerial earlier, the UK, host to the Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) is insisting on G20 countries to sign up to net zero. In this context, the Article 6 of the Paris Agreement becomes crucial negotiation point.

Sharma met Union Minister for Power & New and Renewable Energy RK Singh, Commerce, and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, PK Mishra, and discussed a range of issues including UK-India collaborations on renewables, global energy transition and NDCs, the Nationally Determined Contributions that each nation has promised as part of the Paris Agreement to restrict temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-Industrial era.

With fewer than 100 days to go until the landmark UN climate change summit in Glasgow, UK, Sharma’s in-person visit “represents the UK’s commitment to raise global ambition on climate action for a balanced and inclusive outcome at COP26,” a statement from the British High Commission had said on Monday.

According to a PIB release, when Sharma raised the topic of phasing out coal fired power plants, Singh told him, “India has already retired 16,369 MW of inefficient thermal units till March 2021.”

Singh expressed India’s interest in collaborating with the UK on offshore wind and also stressed on the need of the developed and developing countries to work together for bringing down the cost of storage, the release said, adding, he informed the UK delegation that India is the only G20 country whose actions are in accordance with the NDCs set by them under the Paris Agreement.

During the meeting, discussions were held on the need of increasing storage capacity in view of India’s ambitious target of having 450 GW of installed Renewable capacity by 2030. “The UK side was invited to participate in the upcoming bids for Green Hydrogen and lithium-ion,” the release said.

Sharma held a series of meetings with civil society representatives and also businesses.

The UK has called on all G20 countries to sign up to net zero, set out clear plans to cut emissions by 2030, and commit to ending coal power, transitioning to electric vehicles, and restoring nature, with the richest nations providing financial support to the rest of the planet.

This is Sharma’s second visit to India in 2021. At the start of this visit, the COP26 President-designate had said: “India has a vital role to play as the world comes together in Glasgow to demonstrate renewed action under the Paris Agreement. India’s leadership – including through the International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure – is hugely important as we look to build global resilience ahead of COP26 and beyond. All countries – including the UK and India – have a historic opportunity to build back greener from the Covid pandemic. Providing climate resilient jobs that also promote economic growth will lead to a green industrial revolution that also makes financial sense.”

On Wednesday morning, Sharma is set to meet Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, who is currently touring various constituencies as part of the Jan Ashirwad Yatra. “This would be a closed-door meeting,” said an official from the Ministry and refused to speak further.

Hindi Website