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Modi pledges to more than double India’s non-fossil fuel target

 UNITED NATIONS, Sept 23 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave a clarion call for a “global people’s movement” to bring about a behavioral change to deal with climate change as he made a path-breaking pledge to more than double India’s non-fossil fuel target to 450 gigawatts.

In his Independence Day speech, Modi had announced that India will produce 175 GW of non-fossil fuel as part of its commitment to the Paris Climate agreement. Monday’s announcement during Modi’s speech at the global climate summit goes well beyond the pledge of 175 GW.

But the US and India differ on the issue of climate change. Trump withdrew from the Paris climate deal in 2017 and blamed India and China for his decision, saying the agreement was unfair as it would have made the US pay for nations which benefited the most from the deal.

“We must accept that if we have to overcome a serious challenge like climate change, then what we are doing at the moment is just not enough,” Modi told world leaders at the summit organised by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres here.

Notably, it was Modi’s first engagement at the United Nations.

Modi noted that various efforts are being made by different countries to fight climate change and said what is needed today is a comprehensive approach which covers everything from education to values, and from lifestyle to developmental philosophy.

“The time for talking is over. The world needs to act now,” Modi asserted in the presence of President Trump, who made an unscheduled appearance at UN summit. Trump listened to Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speeches and left without saying anything.

Modi said India would increase the share of non-fossil fuel and by 2022 “we will increase our renewable energy capacity to much beyond 175 GW and we are committed to take it further to 450 GW.”

“Need, not Greed has been our guiding principle,” Modi said.

The Climate Action Summit aims to boost action to implement the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015.

The Paris deal aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“What we need is a global people’s movement to bring about behavioural change,” the Prime Minister said. – PTI

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