Narendra Modi says the developed world should share resources and technology so that universal aspiration for clean energy can be met
New Delhi: Signalling that India will not change its stance and is looking at a climate deal which is based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a “comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement" at the Paris summit.
“We approach the negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a spirit of partnership, which must be based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities. We want the world to act with urgency. We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement, which must lead us to restore the balance between humanity and nature," Modi said while inaugurating the Indian Pavilion at the Conference of Parties- 21 (CoP) in Paris.
“We want the conviction of the world to be matched by efforts to create conditions in which we can succeed. Because our challenge is pressing, our efforts must be urgent," he added.
Modi’s reiteration of CBDR, which comes within 24 hours of his opinion piece published in the Financial Times, is indication that CBDR will remain an important factor for India.
The concept of CBDR in international relations underpins the “polluter pays" principle. In the context of climate change, it holds that developed countries are to blame for climate change, caused mainly by emissions of greenhouse gases from manufacturing.
As a result, developing countries such as India and China argue, rich nations must do more to combat climate change—by agreeing to deeper and quicker cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions.
Modi’s reiteration thus is significant as some developed countries have been attempting to persuade the summit to redefine the category of developing countries.
In the CoP-21 that started in Paris on Monday, over 190 countries will try to negotiate a new climate deal under the UNFCCC to find a successor regime to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Stating that India comes to Paris with its commitment and hope, the prime minister, at the inauguration of the India Pavilion, said the developed world should share “resources and technology with those who live between want and hope" so that we can meet the universal aspiration for clean energy.
Modi had made a similar demand of sharing technology in his opinion piece, wherein he made a strong case for advanced countries to make green technologies “affordable and accessible".
It is a long-pending demand of developing countries from the industrialized bloc.
“This will mean a partnership in which those who have the luxury of choices and the capability of technology will make adjustments to sharply reduce their carbon emissions. The extent of their commitment and the strength of their action must be consistent with the carbon space they occupy," Modi said.
The prime minister said “the developed world must leave enough of what is left of our carbon space to let developing countries grow", while adding that it will also mean that the developing world will also try to have a lighter carbon footprint on its growth path.
Stating that the summit is of great significance to India’s future, Modi said the country’s progress will not just change the lives of one-sixth of humanity but will also mean a more successful and prosperous world.
At the inauguration of the pavilion, he also released a book called Parampara, which details traditional eco-friendly and sustainable practices in Indian culture.
He further said the choices the world makes will have an impact on its development. Modi said that India is concerned about the rising oceans that will threaten its 7,500km of coastline and over 1,300 islands while also stressing the retreat of glaciers which feed the country’s rivers. “That is why the outcome in Paris so important. That is why we are here," he said.
“Climate change is a major global challenge. But climate change is not of our making. It is the result of global warming that came from the prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel. But, we in India face its consequences today. We see it in the risks of our farmers, the changes in weather patterns, and the intensity of natural disasters," he stressed.
He also emphasized that India as a nation must also take the lead in combating climate change. “In India, nature has always been treated as mother. We have always believed that nature does not exist for the human race, but that we can’t exist without nature. When nature is in equilibrium, our lives and our world will be in balance," Modi said while quoting a Rig Veda verse.
The prime minister said recycling and conservation comes naturally to Indians and it is this spirit that leads India to set an ambitious and comprehensive strategy to combat climate change.
The prime minister also praised past leaders stating that “India’s leadership on environment has been the vision of Indian leaders and successive governments—from Stockholm in 1975 to Copenhagen in 2009".
“We are raising our national effort to an entirely new level. And, we are intensifying our international partnerships," Modi added, while calling for a change in lifestyles so that the burden on the planet is reduced.
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