The country on Tuesday asked the United Nations to ensure universal energy access by 2030 and wanted right based approach enabling legal entitlements to be part of the UN charter on sustainable development.
The country provides legal entitlements through laws such as Right To Information, Right To Education, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Forest Rights Act.
Environment minister Jairam Ramesh told a UN panel on sustainable development at Helsinki on Tuesday that the country’s rights based approach in service delivery and citizen empowerment can be key component of the committee's final report.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon had constituted a high level panel on global sustainability in 2010 headed by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and President Tarja Hallonen of Finland having 20 members from across the world including Ramesh.
Ramesh was of the view that the right approach can provide important lessons to both the developed and the developing world on inclusive paradigm. That can be enabled through equity and justice in sustainable development
He also emphasized on mainstreaming biodiversity and increments in per capita income in sustainability discussions meaning that every human being should have a right to basic standard of living, which should result in bridging the disparities.
To emphasise on equity principle, which is the country's mainstay in climate change negotiations, Ramesh presented a paper prepared by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
The paper said traditionally equity was seen as a social issue and environment as a green issue but the two were linked as development means using resources in such a way to meet needs of the future generations. The lack of connect between the two, the paper says, has resulted in battles in the developing countries over developmental activities such as mining, dams and factories.
It also said that the polluters were better-off than the pollutees, thereby calling for justice in the concept of sustainable growth. Ramesh also emphasized that equity can enhance sustainable growth and it can be achieved through right based approach.
The country also presented a paper on new global indicator for sustainable development based on equity and on data that is not captured in Gross Domestic Product and Human Development Index.
The paper also says that there can be targets for sustainable development like the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) and consumption should be basis of the new index, rather than production.
The logic presented for this is that consumption measures welfare whereas production can be bound for export like China produces a lot for US markets. But, it cautioned that low consumption should not be a benchmark as it restricts development. Access to food, health, education, water and energy have been suggested as metrics for the new indicator.