Climate justice issue, highlighted by Modi, missing from Paris summit

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2015 10:46 IST
People demonstrate in front of a replica of the Eiffel Tower at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 9, 2015. (Reuters)

The issues of climate justice and sustainable lifestyle highlighted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of the Paris climate conference have been drowned out in the talks, with negotiators striving to push the points into the penultimate draft agreement on Thursday.

Sources said the Indian team did not get enough support from other countries to build a formidable alliance to ensure the Paris Outcome says its objective would be climate justice for the poor and vulnerable and a less-energy intensive sustainable lifestyle.

While expressing reservations on several elements of Wednesday’s Paris draft, environment minister Prakash Javadekar admitted that the two key issues were not included.

India was confident that the two phrases from the PM’s speech would be part of the draft prepared by ministerial facilitators.

Javadekar had earlier released a brochure highlighting how Indians live in a more sustainable way compared to their counterparts in the West.

The booklet points out that Indians perform yoga, 42% of them don’t eat mutton and people dry their clothes in the sun and not with machines. Crafting clay pots was also described as India’s way of living in a sustainable manner.

“Polluters and victims cannot be put at the same level,” Javadekar said, underscoring India’s stand, but expressed hope of an ambitious deal in Paris. “All the countries are working together,” he said before meeting conference president and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius.

Javadekar also met ministers from developing countries at a meeting of the G-77 plus China and Like Minded Developing Countries blocks, the most vocal proponents of the stand taken by emerging economies.

Indian negotiators said they want the preamble to the Paris agreement to include that it is based on the principles of the UN climate convention or is framed under the convention.

“Once that happens most of our concerns from differentiation and climate finance will get addressed,” explained a negotiator.

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