The Narendra Modi government reacted sharply on Wednesday to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks identifying India as a “challenge” for next month’s Paris climate talks, saying it was a “deliberate” attempt to divide developing nations.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar termed Kerry’s statement “unfair” and “untrue” while briefing the media on India’s stand for the climate conference that aims to nail down a binding agreement to limit global warming.
One of the senior-most climate negotiators and a member of the Prime Minister’s panel on climate change, Ajay Mathur, too criticised the comments, saying countries were now “flexing their muscles”. He also said the remarks meant nations could not put forward their points of view during the climate change negotiations especially if their outlook was not agreeable to the US.
The dominant view in India’s negotiating team is that Kerry was trying to drive a wedge between developing countries and the reason was New Delhi’s “proactive” role in the consultations that have started to yield “positive” results.
The US has also announced $14 billion as investment in Africa before the Paris talks, which is being seen as an attempt to create a divide in G77 plus China, a group of 130 countries from the developing block.
Javadekar said India was engaging at every possible level and its comprehensive climate action plan had been appreciated by everyone.
An NGO alliance report says India has taken four times the responsibility than its fair share to check global warming. The fair share of India’s emission should have been 17% of the world total but it is just about 5%, indicating the country has already adopted a low carbon growth path.