Bracing itself for a likely showdown with developed nations at the Paris climate change conference, the NDA government is reaching out to different political parties to build a consensus over its stance at the international conclave starting next week.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar met senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and his party colleague Nilotpal Basu over the past two days.
The minister is scheduled to hold further consultations with other parties in the coming days. Sources said that a political consensus is emerging on the country’s stance.
Yechury was learnt to have drawn three ‘red lines’ to Javadekar: India must not allow any dilution on common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR), transfer of green technology (by developed countries) without any commitment to intellectual property rights (IPR), and the shift to green technology to be financed by advanced countries.
These lines, said sources, already form part of the government’s agenda in Paris.
India has been at the forefront of the developing nations’ attempt to pressurise developed countries to take more obligations in terms of emission cuts and funding because they are ‘historically’ responsible for greenhouse gases emitted in the process of industrialisation. The government of India has already touched base with about 60 developing countries to form a joint strategy at Paris.
Seeking to turn the table on India, US secretary of state John Kerry told Financial Times early this month that India’s stance was a ‘challenge’ at the Paris meet.
He said that India is ‘regrettably’ planning to use its domestically produced coal, which is ‘not the direction that we ought to be moving in’.
Environment ministry sources interpreted these remarks as an attempt to project India as a ‘naysayer’ ahead of the meet.
Explaining the developed nations’ non-committal approach, the source pointed out that they had committed $100 billion to assist developing countries in their fight against climate change. Out of this, only $160 million has been released so far.