Days before climate change will be discussed among top global leaders at the G-20 summit in Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped hardliners and kept climate experts with “flexible” approach in his council on climate change.
Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), and former environment secretary Pradipto Ghosh inducted in the council by former PM Manmohan Singh in 2007, were dropped.
The only industry representative in the council, former chairman of Tata Sons Ratan Tata, did not find place in the new council.
The PM, however, retained RK Pachauri chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, a distinguished fellow with TERI from the last council. Another TERI fellow, Nitin Desai, a former UN under secretary general, has also been included.
Former special secretary in the environment ministry and co-chair of the first working group on the new climate treaty to be signed in Paris in 2015, JM Mauskar, too found a place in the new council.
Though the council appears filled with people who had been associated with the government, officials said the PM has left the door open to include more experts in the council as and when required.
“India’s climate stand will not be stubborn like that of the UPA government,” said a senior government functionary, while pointing out that Modi agreed to discuss the issue of refrigerant coolants under the Montreal Protocol in his first meeting with US President Barack Obama. The UPA had resisted the US offer saying the issue of the coolants should be discussed under the climate convention. He added the council will meet soon to discuss India’s future strategy.