Prakash Javadekar: ‘Climate Change Is A Challenge, Not A Business Opportunity'

21/04/2015 11:32 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Prakash Javadekar, Indian Union Minister for Environment and Forests, speaks to media at a press conference in New Delhi on December 5, 2014. India will not sign any deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at UN climate talks that threatens its growth or undermines its fight against poverty, the environment minister said December 5. AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA (Photo credit should read Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Talking tough, India today asked developed nations not to view climate change as "a business opportunity" and asserted that it would not allow "bullying" tactics as the days of "bulldozing" were over.

Ahead of the crucial climate conference in Paris later this year, India demanded the developed world "must" fulfil it's financial commitment to ensure that critical technologies are made available at affordable cost.

"India is committed to walk along the road to Paris, hand-in-hand with others for a fair and equitable agreement this year. But it would not join bullying tactics and will not allow yet another Copenhagen in Paris," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

"The days of bulldozing have gone and now we have to work like ants to build the Earth together," Javadekar said at the Major Economies Forum meeting that took place in Washington on April 19-20.

The strong statement from Javadekar came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asserted that India cannot be forced to "follow" the parameters laid down by the developed world on climate change and instead should lead the world in the fight against it.

"Paris will succeed only if we restrict to ensure that every country present their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and that they get implemented. For compliance, the developed world must fulfil it's financial commitment," the Minister said.

"It will also have to ensure that at the very least, critical technologies are available at affordable cost. The developed world should not profit from disaster. Climate change is a challenge, not a business opportunity," he said.

The UN climate conference, to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11 this year, is tasked with finalising a global agreement designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The remarks came a day after the US said there was no divide with India on the issue of climate change and it would like to be the nation's "best partner".

Stating that the US understands the kind of leadership that India wants it to play in climate talks, US Ambassador to India Richard R Verma yesterday said: "I think we are moving out and we need to move out of early 1990s world, which was divided into two camps. We are not in two camps anymore."

Javadekar also made it clear that his country wants that that each nation should consider adjustments on the basis of "historical" responsibilities and "equitable" sharing of global atmospheric resources and carbon space.

"Any delays threaten the credibility of their ambition and commitment to combat climate change,"

"India expects that there needs to be urgent and immediate ambitious actions in the pre- 2020 period, and it must not be delayed by developed countries. Any delays threaten the credibility of their ambition and commitment to combat climate change," he said.

Javadekar asserted that the cycle of INDCs should be ten years and drivers for updating should be science as it evolves and technologies, as they develop.

"There is a need for large-scale behavioural change programmes to be undertaken. All countries need to ensure that fuel consumption does not increase in the period when petrol prices are lower," he said.

Noting that there should be discussion on decarbonisation, long term goals on forums like Major Economies Forum, Javadekar said that nations should "not bring on table" any new idea for Paris at this late hour and urged countries not to put new targets which will not be sustainable.

He said that India has already initiated a very ambitious action plan for renewable energy and India will "walk energy efficiency path effectively".

"Our emission intensity is getting reduced as per our planning. Even the IPCC Emission Gap Report has certified that India is on the dot in the implementation.

"Let us ensure that all countries submit their INDCs and ensure and create an ambience whereby they will be implemented. That is the sure formula for success in Paris," Javadekar said.

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