By Anders Lorenzen
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has said that fighting climate change and terrorism are the two largest challenges the world faces.
Modi, the incumbent leader, is gearing up for a general election that will be held in April or May this year. He made the comments as he attended a two-day South Korea-India Business summit. Also present were the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-In, and climate advocate and former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
Modi who unveiled a bust of Gandhi said that the teachings of the peace hero can guide us in tackling those two huge issues. Modi believes that if we look at Gandhi’s values and teachings we can find a way through on these two issues. He said that even though during his time we were not aware of climate change Gandhi showed that we can live in harmony with nature, and it is important to leave a clean and green planet for future generations.
Modi did not go further into detail or offer any practical solutions on how to deal with climate change, nor did he present any new goals and targets.
India is set to overtake China by 2022 as the world’s most populous country. It is facing huge challenges in attempting to reduce emissions while at the same time producing more food and energy for its growing population. With millions coming out of poverty there will be even greater demands on energy and resources.
India has in the past been criticised for not doing enough to tackle climate change. At the same time, many places in India are being severely impacted by extreme temperatures and flooding events happening more and more frequently. There has also been criticism about Modi’s reluctance to enforce tougher climate regulations having exempted big industry from polluting controls.