PM Modi to talk about Paris deal, trade barriers at G20 in Hamburg


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unequivocally reiterated India’s commitment to Paris Agreement on climate change that was signed by 195 countries in December, 2015.

Modi is expected to reinforce India’s commitment to Paris climate accord and renewables, express concern over trade protectionism and stress on India’s support to Africa’s development at the G20 summit in Hamburg on July 7-8, the first such meeting of major global economies since Donald Trump was elected as the US President.

The Paris Agreement or Paris climate accord and Paris climate agreement, is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaption and finance starting in the year 2020.

The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 196 parties at the  21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. As of June 2017, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, 148 of which have ratified it.

In the Paris Agreement, each country determines, plans and regularly reports its own contribution it should make in order to mitigate global warming. There is no mechanism to force a country to set a specific target by a specific date, but each target should go beyond previously set targets.

While all eyes will be on Trump at his maiden appearance at a G20 summit, Modi is likely to be in the limelight following the praise he received at Germany, Spain and Russia for his stand on climate change issues and economic reforms of his government.

The G20 or Group of Twenty is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. It was founded in 1999 with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability. It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.

The G20 Heads of Government or heads of state have periodically conferred at summits since their initial meeting in 2008, and the group also hosts separate meetings of  and  Finance ministers and Central Bank Governors

The heads of the G20 nations met semi-annually at G20 summits between 2009 and 2010. Since the November 2011 Cannes summit, all G20 summits have been held annually.

Earlier, at the annual Petersburg climate meet in Germany, India made a strong pitch for developed countries to fulfil their financial commitments for combating climate change before 2020. India emphasised that it has the political will to deliver on its promises on nationally-determined contributions and that the world should follow.

PM Modi is also expected to emphasise on the burning issue of trade protectionism.

India strongly supports resistance to all forms of protectionism and is fully with Germany, which currently holds the G20 presidency, on measures to liberalise trade in goods and services, said one of the persons cited earlier, who did not wish to be identified.

Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between countries through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations. Protectionist policies, in theory, protect the producers, businesses, and workers of the import-competing sector in a country from foreign competitors.

Meanwhile, it has been the stated policy of most First World countries to eliminate protectionism through free trade policies enforced by international treaties and organizations such as the World Trade Organization.

Andreas Lux, head of G20 presidency team (global economy/framework for growth), German federal ministry of finance, had earlier said that the failure to incorporate the sentence,“We will resist all forms of protectionism.”, in the March 17-18 meeting communique was a “major setback for us (Germany) and India”.

Mr. Lux said G20 had the ability to cope with setbacks and survive them, adding that: “Lots of people in the new U.S. administration may not be used to (working on) international cooperation… we will learn from them and they will learn from us… we are still quite optimistic (on ensuring resistance to protectionism),” he added.

“India strongly supports resistance to all forms of protectionism, and is fully with Germany (which is holding the G20 Presidency) on measures to open up trade in goods and services,” said Jayant Narlikar, Deputy Secretary, Finance Ministry and a member of the G20 India Secretariat, at an event organised by the German Embassy.

The PM will reinforce Delhi’s commitment to the Paris climate accord and renewable energy sources at the summit in Hamburg, in what will be his second visit to Germany since May.

Both the PM and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj have announced that India will stick to its commitment based on thousands of years of tradition of respecting nature.

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