The Hindu

Climate talks to go ahead


U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande spoke on Friday about the Paris climate talks that begin on November 30, the White House said. Both emphasized their commitment to a durable climate change agreement.

ANTALYA (TURKEY): Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived here from London on Saturday evening to attend the two-day G-20 Summit, after completing his three-day U.K. visit, is scheduled to be the lead speaker at its inaugural session on Climate Change and Developmen­t.

Speaking for developing countries, in his address to the G-20 Leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, among others, Mr. Modi will oppose the proposed move for eliminatin­g fossil fuels subsidies.

He will also voice strong objections to the environmen­t and social safeguards standards being pushed by the World Bank and other multilater­al agencies for project finance and loans. He will call for a balance at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 December talks in Paris so that developmen­t is not compromise­d as a result of the focus on climate change.

India’s stated position is that the emphasis should rather be on clean technology, Economic Affairs Secretary and head of India’s finance track delegation here at the G-20 Summit Shaktikant­a Das told pressperso­ns. “India calls for balance between focus on climate change and developmen­t needs.” The Prime Minister will invite all countries to join an internatio­nal network on non-convention­al energy, he said.

Mr. Modi is also expected to emphasise that the commitment from the developed countries to make available from 2020 $100 billion of climate finance every year to developing countries has to be ensured and a road map for this should be laid down over the next five years.

Even at the World Bank Annual Meeting earlier this year in Lima, Peru, India had said it did not support the categorisa­tion of the official developmen­t assistance from multilater­al agencies as part of the $100 billion as proposed by the developing countries.

In the sessions on employment and investment strategies for inclusive growth, India will raise a demand for greater flexibilit­y for the policies governing the mobility of labour from developmen­t countries to developed ones. This will include visa issues and work permits.

Ahead of the start of the summit, the Prime Minister will hold talks with the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa — leaders on Sunday morning.

Meet with Obama likely

Official sources said that Mr. Modi could, on the sidelines of the summit, meet Mr. Obama.

“There could be a callout with President Obama,” the source said. A bilateral is scheduled with China and another is possible with Italy, the source said.

If the bilateral with Italy happens, it will mark the first official engagement of Mr. Modi with the country with which India had downgraded diplomatic ties following the stand-off over the Italian Marines case.

Besides Climate Change and Developmen­t, the themes of the summit include global growth strategies, including for employment and investment, and enhancing resilience, which includes financial regulation, internatio­nal taxation and the Internatio­nal Monetary Fund’s governance and quota reforms.

On the IMF, India is concerned that the 14th round of reforms are pending, in the absence of ratificati­on by the U.S. Congress, since 2010 which have also pushed the 15th round reforms that were to be taken up in January 2015.

“India’s position is that the IMF should not be dependent on borrowed resources in the absence of quota reforms,” Mr. Das said.

The G-20 leaders will also take up the early adoption of 14-point recommenda­tion on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting from the OECD to curb tax evasion by companies through the route of offshore tax havens.

 ??  ?? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan drives a golf buggy on Saturday with Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek (left) in Antalya which will host the G-20 Summit.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan drives a golf buggy on Saturday with Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek (left) in Antalya which will host the G-20 Summit. — PHOTO: AFP

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