Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first address in New York was at the Climate Action Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Even as PM Modi prepared to begin his address, there was a surprise guest in the audience, US President Donald Trump. It was unscheduled. He sat there for 10 minutes to listen to PM Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel before leaving for another event.
It is significant since Donald Trump not only heard the PM Modi but also applauded his speech even as the US is yet to rethink on its own decision of pulling out of the Paris Agreement.
World leaders gathered on Monday morning to “discuss a leap in collective national ambition”.
Asserting that the world has not done enough to fight climate change, PM Modi implored the world to make the shift in mindset, in behaviour. He, in many ways, invoked the teachings of Gandhi’s simple ways of life.
“What we need is a global people’s movement to bring about behavioural change. The respect for nature, the judicious use of resources, reducing our needs and living within our means have all been important aspects of both our traditions and present day efforts… We believe that an ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching,” PM Modi told the gathering at the UN Headquarters in New York.
PM Modi emphasised on the fact that “need” and not “greed” should be the guiding principles if we have to overcome the serious challenge of climate change.