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Modi prepares for UK visit as India sounds off on climate change

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to liberalise his country’s foreign investment rules ahead of his visit to the UK later this week, while his ministers make increasingly bold statements on climate change.

Modi, whose market-based economic ideas took a battering in recent state elections, will look to unveil $15 billion worth of trade deals with British companies during his visit to the UK.

The push for investment comes as Indian ministers talk up the need for the international community to tackle climate change.

Prakash Javadekar, the environment minister, told The Associated Press in September that his country was looking for “climate justice”

“Today, I see the carbon space occupied by the developed world,” he said. “We are asking the developed world to vacate the carbon space to accommodate us. That carbon space demand is climate justice.”

As this New York Times article states, India is uniquely placed to suffer the consequences of climate change.

600 million Indians are affected by annual monsoons, large swathes of the north of the country rely on the Himalayan glaciers for their water and 150 million people are at risk from rising sea-levels.

While we’re on the Indian energy scene, earlier this year Energydesk revealed how Essar, one of the country’s biggest companies, one which is registered in London and was recently listed on the LSX no less, has been stashing hundreds of millions of pounds in offshore accounts.

The company, which was recently fined £500k by the British government for oil spills in Cheshire, is being scrutinised by India’s Supreme Court over leaked emails that indicate shady ties to ministers.

Modi will be hoping that none of this comes up during his visit this week.

Saudia Arabia makes climate commitments ahead of COP21

Saudi Arabia, the oil rich Gulf state which gets 80-90% of its revenue from oil exports, has submitted its climate change plan ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris.

The Saudis have pledged to diversify their economy and conduct research into the causes of climate change.

The submission claims that diversification efforts could help Saudi Arabia avoid 130 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2030, though it makes no explicit reference to how this will be achieved.

The weak commitments are being warmly received by the international community, with world leaders keen to point to international agreement on the need to tackle global warming in the run-up to the COP.

Renewables to become world’s largest source of power within 20 years

Renewables – such as wind and solar power – will replace coal to become the biggest single source of power across the planet by the 2030s, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA also found that as oil and gas supplies dwindle and new deposits prove expensive to extract, fossil fuels are becoming less competitive as the price of renewables comes down.

The Guardian reports this morning that investment in renewables is set to increase dramatically with this news, as countries realise that fossil fuels are no longer a safe bet.

In other news

Climate change: Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere hit record levels – report

Nigeria: Renowned environmental activist to be pardoned

US: The climate change probe into ExxonMobil explained