“Successful climate action needs access to financial resources and technology. Technology can help countries like India develop sustainably and enable the poor to benefit from it,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his inaugural address of the World Sustainable Development Summit here.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is the biggest achievement of the 21st annual Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Modi said, adding: “While the world was discussing inconvenient truths, we translated it into convenient action. India believes in growth, but is also committed to protecting the environment.”

“It was with this thought that India and France initiated the ISA. It already has 121 members and is perhaps the single most important global achievement of the Paris Climate Change talks,” he said.

The ISA had became a treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation in December last year after 19 countries including India, France, Australia and Bangladesh ratified its framework agreement.

In March, India will host the first ISA summit and French President Emmanuel Macron will inaugurate it. Modi said that India is on track to achieve the emission reduction goals.

“Our goal of creating a carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030 had once seemed difficult to many. Yet we continue our steady progress on that path,” he said.

Copenhagen Pledge

“According to UNEP GAP (United Nations Environment Emissions Gap) report, India is on track to meet its Copenhagen Pledge of reducing the emission intensity of its GAP by 20-25 per cent over 2005 levels by 2020. We are also on track to meet the 2030 Nationally Determined Commitments. The UN sustainable development goals put us on the path of equality, equity and climate justice.”

Taking a jibe at developed nations that are shying away from meeting commitments on reducing emissions, Modi said: “While we are doing everything that is required of us, we expect that others also join to fulfil the commitment based on common but differentiated responsibility.”