Narendra Modi’s greeting leaves UN Secretary General unsettled

Nov 2, 2021: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for his extraordinary welcome during his meetings with world leaders, was once again seen approaching and embracing UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in an unsettling manner on the opening day of Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.

The UN boss was seen as uncomfortable as Modi tried to hug him and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the start of the Glasgow Climate Conference.

The maskless Modi had earlier met several leaders in his bizarre manner including British Prime Minister Johnson, Luxembourg’s Xavier Beatle and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Modi has been seen carelessly meeting world leaders in an environment where COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, but some SOPs, including wearing face masks, have been strongly advised.

In the UK, around 41,278 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and 166 others died from the virus. The special moment for Modi came when he announced that India’s economy would be carbon neutral by 2070.

“By 2070, India will have achieved the net zero emissions target,” Narendra Modi told more than 120 leaders in key talks.

India is the last of the world’s major carbon pollutants to announce a net zero target, China says it will reach that target by 2060, and the US and EU target is 2050.

Modi also said that India would increase its 2030 target of “non-fossil energy” – mostly solar – from 450 to 500 gigawatts.

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