The themes at the United Nations General Assembly have been varied, but what’s been the main theme at the U.N. General Assembly this year? It’s multilateralism – whether to work closely together or go it alone as nations. In speech after speech pretty much everyone has been talking about it.
While the US has been pushing to end globalism, India has declared that as a firm believer in multilateralism, it was ready to take the lead on climate action. “The world needs a roadmap for finance and technology to achieve the goals set out in the Convention and its Paris Agreement in everyone’s collective interest,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at a high-level meeting on climate change here on Wednesday.
As an example of India’s leadership, she cited the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Already 68 countries have signed on to the program launched with France that aims to mobilize technology and finance to lower unit costs, she said.
India looks forward to welcoming Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the first General Assembly of the ISA next week in New Delhi, she said. “Our commitment to combat climate change is rooted in our ethos, which considers Earth as Mother.”
Explaining India’s heritage, Sushma Swaraj said that ancient Indian tradition conceives the cosmos to comprise five basic elements, the panchbhutas, which are space, air, water, earth, and fire. “Trouble begins when the equilibrium (among them) is disturbed. From atmosphere to oceans our actions are leading us to unchartered territories with possibly disastrous consequences.”
For its part to fight climate change, she said India has set a target of generating 175 gigawatts of solar and wind energy by 2022 and has installed over 300 million LED bulbs saving $2 billion and 4 GW of electricity.
India is planning to reduce emission intensity of our GDP by 25 per cent over the 2005 levels by 2020 and by 33-35 per cent by 2030, she added.
At the meeting convened by Guterres on the sidelines of the General Assembly session, Sushma Swaraj was seated next to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and they were seen engaged in informal chats.