British Cabinet minister to travel to India for climate action

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British Cabinet minister and India-born Alok Sharma, who led the UN climate summit (COP26), will travel to India from July 21-22, it was announced on Wednesday.

He will also meet the local community to hear how climate change is impacting them directly.

The visit is an opportunity to again engage with India on climate policy as well as strengthen and support progress and delivery of the Glasgow Climate Pact, following COP26 in Glasgow and in the run up to India’s G20 Presidency.

On his third visit to the country as COP President, Alok Sharma will continue the work of the UK COP Presidency in pressing for updated climate commitments from all countries, as he meets with senior ministers and climate and energy leaders to discuss India’s ambitious climate plans and progress on smart grid upgrades, electric vehicles and affordable energy storage.

Sharma will travel to the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) campus in Delhi.

There he will witness renewable energy generation in action, and discuss how to further advance the Green Grids Initiative — One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), a product of UK-India partnership focused on strengthening global support for green power infrastructure.

While in Delhi Sharma will attend a joint launch of UK-India initiatives on electric mobility, hosted by the apex government of India think-tank NITI Aayog.

The partnership between the UK government and NITI Aayog has been instrumental in taking forward Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) initiatives launched under the UK’s COP26 Presidency.

He will visit the Centre for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) to hear an update on progress since COP26 and discuss future plans.

As record heatwaves are recorded in India, Sharma will also meet the local community to hear how climate change is impacting them directly and understand how extreme heat affects their livelihoods in the city.

Sharma, the COP26 President said: “India’s green transition is gathering pace, with an increasing slate of renewables and commitments to phase down fossil fuel based energy. I have previously commended India on its emissions reduction targets and truly believe that delivery of its commitments will have a major positive impact.

“The UK continues to stand side-by-side with India as it progresses to a low carbon, self-sufficient future. At this critical juncture ahead of COP27 and the NDC Synthesis Report deadline, I am eager to explore how the UK can further support India in translating its COP26 commitments into action.”

After his visit to India, the COP President will travel to Australia, then on to Fiji, to engage with governments, states, businesses and civil society in support for stronger climate action ahead of COP27 in Egypt, an official statement said.

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