India makes common cause with Africa ahead of climate meet
New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited African countries to join an alliance of solar- rich nations that he would announce on November 30 at crucial climate Summit in Paris and asserted that "excess of few cannot become the burden of many", in an apparent attack on the developed world.
Speaking at the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) here, Modi asserted no one has done less to contribute to global warming than India and Africa and no one can be more conscious of climate change than Indians and Africans. While pitching in for a deeper India-Africa partnership on clean energy, sustainable habitats, public transport and climate resilient agriculture, Modi said "it is also true that the excess of few cannot become the burden of many."
"So, when the world meets in Paris in December, we look to see a comprehensive and concrete outcome that is based on the well established principles in the UN Convention on Climate Change. We will all do our part for it," he said. India, Modi said, also wants to see a genuine global public partnership that makes clean energy affordable and provides finance and technology to developing countries to access it.
"I also invite you to join an alliance of solar-rich countries that I have proposed to launch in Paris on November 30 at the time of COP-21 meeting. Our goal is to make solar energy an integral part of our life and take it to the most unconnected villages and communities," he said, addressing the visiting heads of government and state of Africa.
Noting that millions of homes in India and Africa are without electricity, he said there is a need to light up lives of these people and power their future.
"But, we want to do it in a way that the snow on Kilimanjaro does not disappear, the glacier that feeds the River Ganga does not retreat and our islands are not doomed,"he said, adding the two countries are the inheritors of nature's most precious gifts, and their traditions and lives remain most connected to Mother Earth.
"We are each making enormous efforts with our modest resources to combat climate change," Modi said, adding that 175 gigawatts of additional renewable energy capacity by 2022 and reduction in emission intensity by 33-35 per cent by 2030
are just two aspects of India's efforts.
Emphasising on the significance of Africa for India, Modi said, "African energy helps run the engine of the Indian economy, its resources are powering our industries, and African prosperity offers growing market for Indian products."
He added that Africa's economic growth has gathered momentum and has a more diversified base. African initiatives are replacing old fault lines with new bridges of regional economic integration, he said.
Modi also said that technology can be a strong foundation of the partnership between India and Africa.
"It will help develop Africa's agriculture sector. Africa has 60 per cent of the world's arable land reserves, and just 10 per cent of the global output," Modi added.
Agriculture in Africa can drive the continent's march to prosperity and also support global food security.
India's expertise in healthcare and affordable medicines can offer new hope in the fight against many diseases; and give a newborn a better chance to survive.
"We will also collaborate to develop Indian and African treasures of traditional knowledge and medicines," he said.
Prime Minister also said with both India and Africa can use digital technology to transform development, public services, governance, disaster response, resource management and quality of life.
"We will expand and extend the Pan Africa E-Network, conceived by late President APJ Abdul Kalam, which links 48 African countries to India and to each other. This will also help set up your Pan Africa Virtual University," he said.
Talking about blue economy, Modi said we will cooperate for sustainable development of Blue Economy that will become important future drivers of our prosperity.
"For me, Blue Economy is part of a larger Blue Revolution to reclaim our blue skies and blue waters, as we move on the path of clean development," he said.