As the contours of the Paris agreement unravel, Magsasay award-winning water conservationist Rajendra Singh has accused the Centre of bartering adaptation for its right to use high emission-intensive coal.
Adaptation was one of the most sought-after elements of the Paris agreement as it has a direct bearing on the lives of people living in vulnerable regions such as drought-prone Rajasthan and Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh and high intensity rain-hit areas of Uttarakhand.
Talking to HT, Singh accused the Indian negotiating team for losing a hundred billion just to get the right to use coal for its manufacturing sector. “It’s a defeat for us as we were a guru (master) in the field of protecting wildlife and nature. But now we left a free path for those who are harming the nature,” he said. Singh, who was in Paris for the conference, accused the United States for causing climate change and claimed that India succumbed to the US pressure by agreeing to a weak commitment of rich nations for climate adaptation.
“We spoke of climate justice in the context of allowing the use of coal for 300 million people who don’t have power. This is not the climate justice that we want,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government on Tuesday assured the Lok Sabha that there would be no adverse impact on India’s development due to commitments made at the climate summit as the country will attain sustainable growth while reducing its carbon emissions.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said the outcome of the Paris climate summit was a victory for India and the country would reduce its carbon emissions. “We will work on carbon efficiency path,” he said in reply to questions.
Elaborating on the outcome of the Paris climate talks, the minister said it has been decided that differentiated action would be taken by developed and developing countries with respect to reducing carbon emissions.
(With inputs from HTC in New Delhi)