COP26 president Alok Sharma arrives in New Delhi to strengthen UK-India climate partnership
Alok Sharma, President of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), on Monday arrived in New Delhi on a two-day visit for climate discussions with Indian leaders.
During his visit, Sharma will meet senior ministers, as well as leaders from business and civil society to discuss strengthening the UK-India climate partnership and preparing for a successful COP26 summit later this year, according to a statement from the British High Commission in New Delhi.
This is Sharma's first visit to Asia as COP President, where he is expected to welcome India's significant progress on climate action and clean energy transition. He will also highlight PM Modi's global leadership in setting up the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), the latter of which is co-chaired by the UK.
India's expertise is expected to be of great value to global discussions on a clean energy transition as part of COP preparations, read the statement.
The COP26 President will also highlight the opportunities in the low carbon economy, celebrate existing commitments to achieve net-zero emissions and encourage influential businesses to promote the growing movement of corporate climate action throughout their sector and supply chain. He will meet with the civil society including experts and young thinkers to discuss challenges and possible solutions to climate change.
Sharma's visit signals a step-change in momentum to COP26 preparations and reinforces his ambition to run an inclusive negotiating process that incorporates the views of all countries, according to the statement.
"When it comes to climate action, India is a key partner and a global leader. Together we can make change happen - delivering real progress on reducing emissions and building global commitments. The UK and India are already a joint force for good against climate change, and we look forward to strengthening this partnership in the run up to COP26 and beyond," he said.
"Alok Sharma's visit is the latest step in protecting our planet by making COP26 a success and will further develop the UK-India climate partnership on clean and resilient development. Hearing from the Indian government first hand, as well as civil society and business will be essential in informing the approach of the UK Presidency as we work towards a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced outcome at COP26," said Alex Ellis CMG, High Commissioner to India.
Sharma's visit follows those of the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss and paves the way for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit later this year, during which climate cooperation will be a focus.
As host of COP26, the UK is setting a strong example on climate action, with a legally binding target to cut emissions to net-zero by 2050.
According to the British High Commission, between 1990 and 2018, the UK nearly halved emissions whilst growing the economy by 75 per cent, and will cut coal use in the power sector entirely by 2025. The country has committed to double its International Climate Finance to at least 11.6 billion euros over the next five years, to help developing countries take action.