Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni shared a selfie with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. Meloni expressed camaraderie in her caption, referring to them as “good friends at COP28.” The two leaders had previously interacted during Meloni’s visit to Delhi in September for the G20 summit.

During the COP28 summit, PM Modi engaged with various global leaders, including Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, and Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu.

PM Modi’s schedule was packed, and he addressed multiple sessions at the UN climate change conference. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra highlighted that the discussions encompassed ways to promote clean and green growth, as well as bilateral and regional issues.

While global climate negotiations had historically avoided explicit mentions of fossil fuels, recent summits, including COP26 in Glasgow, introduced commitments to “phasedown” unfiltered coal power and the “phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.”

The momentum towards more ambitious pledges to move away from all fossil fuels has been growing. Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate chief, expressed optimism about achieving climate goals, citing an unprecedented surge in renewables and electric vehicles.

PM Modi, in his COP28 speech, urged nations to collaborate in significantly reducing global emissions. He announced a “green credit” initiative focusing on creating carbon sinks with public participation. He emphasized India’s relatively low emissions compared to its population share and highlighted the nation’s progress in reaching non-fossil fuel targets well ahead of schedule.

Referring to the urgent need to address the mistakes of the past century, PM Modi urged nations to sincerely work towards meeting their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets—a climate action plan aimed at reducing emissions and adapting to climate impacts. The COP28 summit served as a platform for global leaders to discuss crucial climate issues and collaborate on sustainable solutions.