Global leaders including US President Joe Biden are set to be greeted by stifling heat when they meet in New Delhi this week for the Group of 20 Summit, where climate change is set to be among key issues on the agenda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to make progress on global issues such as climate change, and recent scorching heat in the nation’s capital may help to highlight the plight of extreme weather to world leaders. On Monday, Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of 40.1 degrees Celsius(104F), the hottest September day in 85 years, according to the country’s weather bureau.
Extreme weather has swept across the globe this year, from flash flooding to wildfires that have killed people, buckled power grids and damaged roads and homes. The world recorded its hottest June ever for land and sea, with ocean temperatures setting new highs for a third month in a row.
Almost 30 world leaders including Chinese Premier Li Qiang, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from Saudi Arabia – a heavyweight of the OPEC+ oil producing group – will gather in India’s capital this week for the G-20 meet.
Other parts of India are also seeing a rise in the mercury – higher than usual for this time of the year – boosting demand for electricity from households, farmers and industries. Temperatures normally peak in May and gradually fall with rolling monsoon, but the driest August in more than a century pushed average maximum temperatures for the month to the highest since 1901.
There is a hint of immediate respite for Delhi. Some parts of the city may get isolated rains in the coming days, followed by another dry patch for five days through Sept. 11, according to the India Meteorological Department.