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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  India against keeping poverty reduction priority out of climate pact

India against keeping poverty reduction priority out of climate pact

At Lima Climate Change talks, India challenged rich nations who want to keep poverty eradication in a climate pact to be signed next year in Paris

Environment minister Prakash Javadekar. Photo: PTIPremium
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: India on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to “protecting the interests of the poor" at the Lima Climate Change talks, challenging rich nations who want to keep poverty eradication out of a list of priorities for developing countries in a new climate pact to be signed next year in Paris.

At Lima, nations were expected to spell out only the nature of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that each country has to give for the new agreement to be signed by 2015-end.

Developed countries, however, also tried finalizing the principles of the Paris 2015 agreement and argued against including poverty reduction and sustainable development as priority areas of developing countries.

Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar told the meeting that protecting the interests of the poor continues to be India’s priority.

“While there is often a talk about changed reality, one in every seven persons in the world today still lives in abject poverty. The number of poor people in the world is more than twice the combined population of Europe. All of them are in developing countries," Javadekar told the high-level segment of the Lima Climate Change Conference on Wednesday. The minister said India is determined to ensure development for all its poor and provide them with basic services of energy, water, sanitation, healthcare, education and employment.

“We in India are committed to protecting the interests of the poor …We did in it WTO (World Trade Organization) for ensuring food security of our people," said Javadekar. India had blocked the Bali trade package in the WTO arguing it was impacting its food security legislation. Though the stand came under heavy criticism, the issue was resolved to India’s satisfaction recently with India and the US finding a compromise. Javadekar said India at Lima hopes to put in place “the stepping stones towards a post-2020 agreement under the Convention that is comprehensive, balanced, equitable and pragmatic" —which is able to address the genuine needs of developing countries so that they can achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

The minister also reminded the developed countries to “urgently fulfil" their promise of providing financial and technological support to developing countries in tackling climate change.

He said India, “firmly believe that the INDCs are to be nationally determined" and that the country does “not see any role for any ex-ante review in this process". Ex-ante review refers to demands from some countries that the INDCs be subject to a review for their adequacy next year—before an agreement is reached in Paris.

“The INDCs should include all elements including mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building," said Javadekar while adding that adaptation is a central and critical priority for developing countries in addressing climate change.

Interestingly, developed nations are of the view that adaptation should not be central to the 2015 agreement and that the principle of common but differentiated responsibility between developing and developed countries, as existing under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, should also be done away with.

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Published: 11 Dec 2014, 01:18 AM IST
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