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 Climate Change

COP26
Published on: Nov. 3, 2021, 8:22 a.m.
‘Atonement for our sins’
  • At sea: small island states are right in the frontline of loss and damage that is caused by global warming

By Business India Editorial

Calling it a ‘common atonement for our sins’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Initiative for the Resilient Island States (IRIS) with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at COP 26 in Glasgow.

Stating that small island developing states faced the biggest threat from climate change, Modi said, for him the CDRI or IRIS is not just a matter of infrastructure, but a “part of the most sensitive responsibility of human welfare”.

“It is the collective responsibility of all of us towards mankind,” Modi said.  “It is, in a way, a common atonement for our sins.” He said that IRIS gives new hope, new confidence and satisfaction of doing something for the most vulnerable countries in the world. 

The launch event was attended by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and leaders of Small Island States.

Modi said it was because of our selfish behaviour that these small island countries, which have been living in harmony with nature, have to face many natural calamities.

The initiative is a part of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which was also initiated by India. It will focus on building capacity, having pilot projects, especially in small island developing states. India’s space agency ISRO will build a special data window for them to provide them timely information about cyclones, coral-reef monitoring, coast-line monitoring, etc. through satellite.

“Through IRIS, it will be easier and faster to mobilise technology, finance, and necessary information. Promotion of quality infrastructure in Small Island States will benefit both lives and livelihoods there,” Modi said.

Johnson said it was incredibly cruel that vulnerable, small island states are right in the frontline of loss and damage that is caused by global warming. “They have done virtually nothing to cause the problem, they didn’t produce the huge volumes of CO2 to be pumped into the atmosphere,” he said. The UK is contributing financially to the initiative. Australia too is a partner in the effort.


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