This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
If you watched Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s top-billed speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23, you might be inclined to say the South Asian leader is very serious about climate change. In his brief remarks, Modi touted his “Champion of the Earth” designation, emphasized his renewable energy and water conservation goals, promoted India’s global solar panel network, praised the newly announced Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and boasted about India’s forthcoming ban on six different types of single-use and disposable plastics, which is set to be instated nationwide this week. Two days after, Modi, joined by the leaders of six other nations, helped inaugurate the Gandhi Solar Park and Gandhi Peace Garden at the U.N. headquarters, installing India-manufactured solar panels on the roof.
Modi knew that all eyes would be on him. As the need for sweeping climate action grows more urgent, the world has been desperately following what India will do next. The country is often perceived as being at the forefront ... Read more