India urges rich nations to do more ahead of climate talks

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Apr 19, 2015 18:39 IST

On the eve of a crucial meeting in Washington on climate change, India asked the developed world to show better understanding and respect for mitigation efforts by developing nations.

Also, India said it would like to see discussions and remedial measures move beyond mitigation and focus also on adaptation, capacity building, finance and technology.

“The developed world must understand the way the developing world is ready to take action, and actually respect (it),” said Indian environment minister Prakash Javadekar.

Picking up a theme walked around the world recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Javadekar sought to remind the developed world of its historical responsibilities.

They need to do more. Contributions to the Green Fund, for instance, have to improve drastically. It has only $10 billion now for the four years to 2020, which is “peanuts”.

The minister is here to attend a two-day meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate being hosted by the US state department here starting Sunday.

The forum, which has 17 member countries including India, is intended to facilitate a “candid dialogue” among major developed and developing economies, the US said.

As the world’s third largest polluter, behind China and the US, India is under pressure to pledge a cut in its greenhouse gas emissions as required before the Paris talks later this year.

But India has argued for another path to the same goal.

It has announced it will quadruple renewable energy to 175 gigawatts by 2022 at the cost of $150 billion — which will save 350 million tonnes of carbon emission a year.

“This is a huge contribution from India,” said the minister.

India will submit its plan — Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) — under the UN framework convention on climate change for the final round in Paris.

Though details of the plan are not available yet, its fundamental premise will be the energy needs of a developing country. “We want to grow, we are a growing economy,” the minister said.

“We are walking the energy efficiency path.” It’s the developed world that needs to step up. He added: “Paris is continuation of Kyoto (protocol — that put the onus on the developed world, requiring it to do more) not its negation.”

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