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India was the only one of 51 invited countries that didn’t visit a two-day ministerial conference in the U.K. capital, hosted by the incoming president of the COP26 United Nations talks. Global attempts to undertake climate change suffered another setback this week as India, the world’s third-biggest emitter, failed to attend a critical diplomatic gathering in London.

According to people present at the summit who asked not to be named, India was the only one of 51 invited countries that didn’t attend a two-day official meeting in the U.K. capital, entertained by the incoming president of the COP26 United Nations talks.

The conference was designed to lay the groundwork for a successful COP26 due in Glasgow in three months. COP26 President Alok Sharma has stated it will be the last chance to ensure global temperature increases don’t surpass 1.5 degrees Celsius – the lower limit of the Paris Agreement. Last week, a Group of 20 meetings failed to close a more aggressive climate agreement, and India was a chief holdout.

The London event was positioned to follow on from the G-20 with a broader group, meeting mainly in person. According to a report released by Sharma’s office beforehand, India had been due to attend the convention.

Gaurav Khare, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, stated the government had determined against attending in person. The country had previously made its views known at the G-20 in Naples. Then technical issues prevented it from taking part virtually.

Sharma “has constructive ongoing dialogue with his counterparts in India, having visited the country earlier this year where he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a spokeswoman for COP26 said.

India’s incompetence to be present at the meeting was perceived as a snub by the COP Presidency, one of the people present at the London summit. With all of the Group of Seven nations promptly pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas discharges by 2050, the presidency is endeavoring to pressure emerging economies such as China and India.

By Shree

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