Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said the UK and India’s shared vision for a sustainable future will be among the issues on the agenda for talks with “friend” Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his upcoming visit to New Delhi next month.
Addressing the virtual International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) inaugurated by PM Modi, Mr Johnson praised the Indian Prime Minister’s “fantastic leadership” in areas such as renewable energy in the global fight against climate change and welcomed the “excellent initiative” of CDRI led by India and co-chaired by the UK.
He said the goal of such coalitions was to learn more from each other and support those particularly at risk from the dramatic effects of climate change, such as small island nations.
“We have a shared vision for a sustainable future for our nations and global community and I very much look forward to discussing this and many other issues with Prime Minister Modi on my upcoming visit to India,” he said, in his video message from Downing Street in London.
Mr Johnson is set to visit India at the end of April.
“I applaud my friend Prime Minister Modi for his commitment to this excellent initiative, the Coalition for Disaster Resilience Infrastructure (CDRI). The UK is proud to be its co-chair and I am delighted that since its launch, the coalition has made such a great start with 28 countries and organisations now signed up,” he said.
He highlighted how the UK embarked on its journey to make its infrastructure more disaster-resilient over 10 years ago and is investing 5.2 billion pounds in bolstering flood defences and has a “wealth of expertise to share”.
“If our battle with COVID-19 has taught us anything over the past year, it’s that we must be ready for whatever challenges may be coming next.”
“And, as the world’s climate changes, we must not only do everything in power to strive for Global Net Zero, an ambitious 2030 emissions reductions target, but we must also adapt to its damaging effects and build more resilience to disasters — our roads, our bridges, powerlines, our schools and hospitals — all the infrastructure that we rely on to keep our economies moving and our communities safe. They must be made ready,” Mr Johnson said.
“As we look forward to COP26 in Glasgow this November, we are working hard to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change. Let’s take action now so that as we build back better from the pandemic, we do so cleaner and greener, making all our communities stronger and more resilient,” he added, in reference to the United Nations climate conference being hosted by the UK later this year.
India and the UK are co-chairs of the CDRI and are presently working together to create a new multi-country facility to support Small Island Developing States in creating climate and disaster-resilient infrastructure.
“In our quest for resilience, we are all in the same boat. The pandemic has reminded us that no one is safe until everyone is safe,” PM Modi said in his inaugural address.
The virtual event, hosted by India from Wednesday to Friday, brings together stakeholders from partner countries and organisations to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems against climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.