The world’s response to the climate crisis must involve adaptation and not just mitigation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the COP26 summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Monday.
“Adaptation has not received the kind of importance in global climate debate that mitigation has. This is an injustice to those developing nations that are more impacted by climate change. We will need to make adaptation the key component of our development policies and projects,” he said in a 2-minute speech.
“Just like in India, climate is a big challenge for agriculture sector for most developing countries. There are changes in the cropping patterns, untimely rains and floods, or crops are destroyed by regular typhoons,” PM Modi said.
He listed how the Indian government’s projects like Tapwater for All, Clean India Mission and Clean Cooking Fuel for all “have not only provided adaptation benefits to our citizens in need, but also improved their quality of life”.
“Many traditional communities possess the knowledge to live in harmony with nature. Such traditional practices must get appropriate attention in our adaptation policies,” PM Modi said.
“To ensure this knowledge is passed onto our younger generations, we must include it as part of our school syllabi. Preservation of lifestyle per local conditions can be an important pillar of adaptation,” he said.
“Even if the methods of adaptation are local, the support provided to vulnerable countries must be global, i.e. keeping in mind the need for global support for local adaptation that India took the initiative for Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure,” he said.
The UN conference critical to averting the most disastrous effects of climate change opened on Monday, with world leaders, environmental experts and activists pleading for decisive action to halt global warming.
The task of the COP26 conference was made even more daunting by the failure of the Group of 20 major industrial nations to agree ambitious new commitments at a weekend summit in Rome.