'We need to combat climate change'
India has proposed a set of steps, including 'climate proofing' of public infrastructure investments, food security and water resources that the developing countries can adopt to combat climate change.
"Governments can start working on key vulnerabilities like 'climate proofing' of public infrastructure investments, food security, water resources and pursue policies to incentivise private actions toward energy efficiencies," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said at a breakfast meeting on 'Taking the Bali Process Forward', organised as a part of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank in Washington.
Highlighting the steps undertaken by the government, Chidambaram said: "India's Green House Gas (GHG) emissions are among the lowest in per capita terms. They will, of course, inevitably increase as we endeavor to remove poverty and provide basic needs to all the people."
"Our prime minister had categorically declared that even while pursuing development goals, India's per capita GHG emissions will always remain below the per capita GHG emissions of developed countries," he said.
He said India has unilaterally taken significant steps to meet the challenges including "measures to promote clean technology, review the fuel emission and efficiency regulations, mass transport systems, encourage the use of gas and building sustainable Greenfield cities."
"A quick analysis showed that our government has spent 2.6 per cent of GDP during 2006-07 on adaptation-related activities. We propose to bring out our National Action Programme on Climate Change shortly," he said.
"We are also going to establish a permanent institutional mechanism to play a coordination role to explore and implement ideas on climate change and to take on the important responsibility of advocacy", Chidambaram said.
He also underlined the need for "fair burden sharing" and efforts to build "trust between developed and developing countries" for an effective global action on climate change.
"Global action on climate change will require building trust between developed and developing countries. There must be trust about the neutrality of processes or institutions through which agreements are implemented, money is disbursed or disputes are resolved," the minister said.
"The solutions should include fair burden sharing and measures to realise sustainable patterns of consumption and production. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should be the only basis for a global compact, anchored as it is in the well-established principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibility" he said.
The finance minister said that no discussion on climate change can be taken forward without underscoring the deep inequity in the causes and impacts of climate change.
"The developed world has caused the problem with many decades of unsustainable development process. But it is the poorer countries that will be worst affected," Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram stressed that the global community had "a shared responsibility to think through the complex challenges of climate change and come up with fair, equitable and imaginative solutions".
"Given their responsibility for causing the problem, the developed world has two clear obligations: to massively reduce their GHG emissions, and to provide new and additional financial and technological help to the developing countries to manage mitigation as well as adaptation efforts," he said.