(Bloomberg) -- India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered to host the United Nations sponsored COP conference in 2028, as he seeks to position the world’s third-largest emitter as a climate leader.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of COP28 in Dubai on Friday, Modi reiterated his call for a “just, inclusive and equitable” energy transition as he offered to host COP33.
The COP presidency rotates between different world regions and India’s next opportunity will be in 2028 when Asia gets its turn. All countries in that group must unanimously agree to Modi’s bid before it’s confirmed.
India is one of the very few economies on track to achieve its national climate commitments, Modi said. The country’s targets have been labeled “highly insufficient” by non-profit Climate Action Tracker, which highlights it has made significant progress in boosting renewable power capacity but a reliance on coal is a drag on its ambition.
Modi has been trying to position India as a leader on climate. He presided over the Group of 20 this year, where he got leaders to commit to tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030.
His offer will bring some relief to the UN which is still struggling to find a host for COP29. It’s scheduled to be held in an Eastern European country, but Russia has said it will veto any bid by a European Union member because of its support for Ukraine.
If no agreement can be reached, the United Arab Emirates will by default retain the COP presidency. But Sultan Al Jaber, the COP28 president, has indicated he doesn’t want to host it again.
Another option is for it to be held at the UN headquarters in Bonn, Germany. But the German government has also said it doesn’t want it to be hosted there, particularly because COP has grown to almost 100,000 people this year, a number far too big for the small city of Bonn to accommodate.
Brazil is already preparing to host COP30 in November 2025 in the city of Belem, which is likely to have a strong focus on food production and forestry.
--With assistance from Jennifer A. Dlouhy.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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