India is planning a nation-wide and year-long series of events and programme during its presidency of the G20 countries over the next one year. The G20 leadership has come to India at a time the country is celebrating 75 years of Independence and provides a unique opportunity to showcase its growing influence in the world affairs. Plans are afoot to mark the occasion with multiple events — 75 in 75 cities across the country.
Comprising 19 countries and the European Union, thegroup of nations represents 90 percent of the global GDP, 80 percent output and two-thirds of the world’s population. India will officially assume the leadership from Indonesia beginning December 1, 2022.
At the meeting of the Union Council of Ministers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in November second week in Delhi, a presentation on the subject was made by Amitabh Kant, the Sherpa appointed by the government to coordinate G20-related activities.
Speaking at a separate function in capital New Delhi in November, Kant said, referring to top two Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, that the country “needs 10,000 Ambanis and 20,000 Adanis, then only India will grow”. “We would like all of you to use the opportunity of G20 to become big in your own respective fields,” he said.
The central government is also likely to call a meeting of all stake holders, including chief ministers, to discuss the details of the year-long programmes and functions. This meeting could be held in the first week of December itself with the PM seeking views from the various stakeholders. The Modi government completes its 4th year of its second term in office in 2023, and would be facing the electorate in the Parliamentary elections in 2024.
Food Security, Climate Change — Issues At Hand
India takes over the G20 presidency at a time whenhas emerged as a priority agenda in the face of the conflict in Ukraine and extreme weather conditions being experienced due to climate change.
Modi, while speaking at the valedictory session, said that the “sense of ownership over natural resources is giving us rise to conflict today and is the main cause of the plight of environment”. He added: “For the safe future of the planet, the sense of trusteeship is the solution.”
The joint statement at the Bali summit symbolises India’s growing influence and its acceptance in the international fora wherein PM Modi’s phrase that “this is not an era of war” was included in the final statement. It was an echo of what Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin at the SCO Summit in September.
Apart from the Ukraine conflict, climate change is the other issue that will keep the mandarins in the foreign office busy on various international fora — including the G20 — in the near future.
At the ongoingmeet at Sharm el-Sheikh this month, there have been tangible movement on the long-standing demand of the global south for compensation from polluter countries.
The developed and the under-developed nations have been seeking reparation losses both in terms of monitory compensation and technology transfer for making transition from fossil to cleaner energy.
The terms and conditions of this exchange would be thrashed out in the years to come and offer a unique opportunity to India to steward the talks towards negotiated settlements.
Voicing the concerns of the developing economies in climate change talks, India has at the COP27 meeting reiterated its demand for phasing out of all fossil fuel and not just coal to meet the 1.5 to 2.0 degrees Celsius targets on global warming.
Nearly 55 percent of India’s energy requirements are met by coal-based power.
The author is an independent journalist who writes on politics and policy.
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