Indian environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan evoked Mahatma Gandhi's historic association with South Africa to seek an equitable and development oriented climate agreement.
Speaking at the plenary of the high level segment, Jayanthi said : "We gave South Africa Mohandas Gandhi the attorney. South Africa gave us Mahatma, the great soul".
She asked the nations to work with Gandhi's spirit to "insire our journey of climate stablisation."
Embarking on India is low carbon emitter and will remain so, she said that modelling studies sow that even in 2030 with a growth rate of 8-9 percent, India's per capita emissions will not exceed 3.7 tonnes. As of now, India annual per capita emissions is 1.7 tonnes.
"Our Prime Minister has already stated that we will follow a growth path that will help us remain sustainable and not emulate the fossil fuel intensive growt path followed by the developed countries in the past," she said.
On India's low efforts to check emissions, she said, there has been a 30 % dip in the amount of oil India takes to produce a dollar of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Taking a strong line, Natarajan said India was fulfilling its obiligations in taking new mitigation actions and reminded the developed world of their failure to meet their commitment under United Nations climate convention and Kyoto Protocol, the existing climate treaty.
She wanted Durban to deliver a ratifiable decision on second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012 and said failure will undermine credibility of any future legally binding agreement.
The minister also urged the rich nations to provide resources to capitalise the Green Climate Fund and ensure a long term financial structure for the fund.
She also spoke about equity in relation to access to global atmopsheric resources, unilateral trae measures in name of climate change and discussion in intellectual property right issues to facilitate technology development and transfer.
"I have come to Durban with an open mind ad a constructive spirit," she said, asking the countries participating in the conference to ensure that regime of climate change is anchored in the framework of existing climate convention.