Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed hosting the COP33 climate summit in India in 2028, at the ongoing COP28 summit in Dubai where he launched the Green Credit Initiative (GCI) to create a carbon sink with people’s participation that will go beyond the “commercial aspect’’ of carbon credit.

The PM emphasised that while India and the global south contributed only marginally to climate change, they were affected disproportionately by its adverse impact. Therefore, he said, they must be provided adequate climate finance and technology by developed nations.

“India is committed to the UN Framework for Climate Change and that is why I propose from this stage that COP33 Summit in 2028 be hosted in India,” Modi said during his speech. The Indian PM was the only leader invited to speak at the Ceremonial Opening of COP28 by the UAE government along with COP28 President Sultan Jaber and UNFCC Executive Secretary.

Green credit

On the green credit Initiative, the PM said it was based on a new philosophy as the existing system of carbon credit lacked a sense of social responsibility.

“On this platform I am calling for another pro planet, proactive and positive initiative – that is the Green Credit Initiative. This is a mass campaign that goes beyond the commercial mindset associated with carbon credits. It focuses on creating carbon sinks through people’s participation and I invite all of you to join this initiative,” he said.

The GCI is based on the green credit programme notified by the Environment Ministry in October this year. This initiative involves creating an inventory of degraded wastelands, which can be utilised for planting by individuals and organisations who will receive tradable green credits for the effort. 

The PM pointed out that while India’s population was 17 per cent of the global population, it contributed only 4 per cent to global carbon emissions and was also moving fast in achieving its Nationally Determined Contribution targets fixed by countries for cutting emissions.

“We reached our non-fossil fuel targets nine years before the deadline. And India did not stop there. Our goal is to reduce our emission intensity to 45 per cent by 2030 and increase share of non-fossil fuels to 50 per cent. And by 2070, we will move towards target of net zero ,” Modi said.

New fund

The Indian PM welcomed the “historic” decision of operationalising the `loss and damage fund’, with an initial corpus estimated at $475 million, to help vulnerable countries cope with the impact of climate change.

“We hope that in the COP28, there would be results on other aspects of climate finance,” he said, outlining four objectives. These include “real progress on the new collective quantified goal (NCQG) finance from a floor of $100 billion per year; not allowing depletion in green climate fund and adoption fund; multilateral development banks providing affordable finance for climate goal along with development goals; developed nations ending their carbon footprint before 2050”.