Temperatures rising! India’s PM Narendra Modi has a moment of awkwardness as he gives UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres a big hug during COP26

  • As they arrived at Cop26 to discuss climate change, the Indian PM was seen trying to make friends with the UN leader.
  • Maskless Modi was photographed getting close to Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau. 
  • Guterres looked visibly uneasy as Modi cozied up with him at a photocall to mark the arrival leaders


After the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and India’s Prime minister Narendra Modi shared a awkward moment at Cop26, the former hugged the latter despite Britain being engulfed by high Covid case counts on the opening day.

The awkward moment between Guterres and the Indian premier occurred during their meeting at the Glasgow conference. 

Modi was pictured getting to know several leaders during the first days at Cop26.

As world leaders arrived in Glasgow this weekend, many were there at the G20 summit in Rome, he was seen with his arms around Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel. 

Guterres looked visibly uncomfortable as a maskless Modi went in for a big hug as world leaders arrived in Glasgow for Cop26

Guterres looked visibly uneasy as Modi, a mascotless Modi, went in for a big hug while world leaders arrived in Glasgow to Cop26

Guterres placed an arm on Modi to try and keep him at a safer distance but could do little to stop bear-hugger Modi

Guterres placed an arms on Modi to keep him away from danger, but could not stop Modi from being a bear-hugger.

Modi has form as a hugger as he was seen in a clutch with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel earlier today

Modi has a habit of hugging as he was seen with Xavier Bettel (Prime Minister of Luxembourg) earlier today

Modi also gave a warm welcome to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the day the Indian PM made a commitment for India to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 - two decades later than the UK

Modi also welcomed Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, warmly on the occasion that Modi made an Indian PM’s promise to India to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2070. This was two decades later than the UK.

What are the main goals of COP26? 

  • Secure commitments to reduce emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as close as 2050.
  • Keep alive the possibility of limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees.
  • Unabated coal power plants must be phased out. Increase investment in renewable energy.
  • Strike deals to reduce deforestation  
  • Climate finance pledges of $100 billion
  • Finalize the rules for implementing the Paris Agreement.   

This cringeworthy moment occurs on the same day Modi promised that India would target net-zero carbon emission by 2070 – twenty years later than the conference targets. 

The first days at the seminal climate conference were fraught with problems. Many journalists reported long lines, which caused Government officials to miss meetings. 

After urging attendees who had traveled to Glasgow to check the online feed, conference organizers came under fire. This was due to a high level of attendance at the venue.

Many people waited outside for over 90 minutes in cold and windy conditions.

The Scottish Event Campus was the scene of the waiting. Thousands of officers were present and they erected a steel ring as representatives from 200 nations gathered to strike a deal to limit global climate change to 1.5C.

Those attending – many of whom have flown in from around the world on planes – have already needed to go through a detailed accreditation process, including getting an official letter stating they are registered and using an app to verify their visual ID. They must also provide evidence of a negative Covidlateral flow test.

The summit was blighted by organisational chaos as world leaders arrived, with huge queues for delegates to get in

The summit was marred by organisational chaos when world leaders arrived. There were huge lines for delegates to get in. 

But those arriving at the SEC today were confronted with enormous queues at various layers of security – starting with the gates checking letters, then security screening, and then to pick up accreditation passes in person.

There was a bottleneck at security. Delegates who had obtained accreditation yesterday were made to wait in large lines with new arrivals.

The train chaos caused massive delays for those trying to reach Glasgow eco-friendly.

Greta Thunberg, an eco-activist, blasted arriving world leaders for failing climate change action in a foul-mouthed tirade at her Cop26 colleagues.  

Miss Thunberg, a Swedish 18-year old activist, stated that heads of government are not doing enough to save the world from disaster when she spoke at Festival Park, Glasgow, during the Cop26 summit’s first day. 

She said: ‘No more blah blah blah, no more whatever the f*** they are doing inside there. 

Greta Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the Cop26 summit

Greta Thunberg and other climate activists demonstrate at Festival Park, Glasgow on the first day Cop26 summit

Speaking to demonstrators outside the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, she said: 'No more blaa blaa blaa, no more whatever the f*** they are doing inside there'

Speaking to demonstrators outside the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, she said: ‘No more blaa blaa blaa, no more whatever the f*** they are doing inside there’

‘Inside Cop, there is only politicians and people in authority pretending that they take our future seriously, pretending that they take the present very seriously.

‘Change is not going to come from inside there, that is not leadership – this is leadership… We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and the planet.’

Miss Thunberg arrived by train in Glasgow on Sunday and will participate in two large protests in the city later in week.

Sir David Attenborough, a naturalist and broadcaster, asked the audience: “Is this how our story ends – a story of the smartest species doomed to failure to see the bigger picture in pursuit to short-term goals?” 

And Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the outcome of the climate summit would be ‘life or death for millions of people’, suggesting that failure to act could be worse than leaders who ignored warnings about the Nazis in the 1930s – a comment he later apologised for.