New Delhi (PTI) India today hit out at US Secretary of State John Kerry for his remarks that India will be a “challenge” at the upcoming crucial Paris climate meet, saying they were “unwarranted” and made it clear that it is “not in the habit of taking any pressure from anybody”.
Hinting that there was no question of either compromising or making adjustments on any of the issues which the country has taken up, Environment Minister Prakash Javedekar told PTI that it has always been on the side of consensus and is trying to “proactively” bring consensus among nations.
“It is in a way unfair to say that India will be a challenge. It is actually not doing justice with India. The US is our great friend and strategic partner. His (Kerry’s) comment are unwarranted and unfair. The attitude of some of the developed countries is the challenge for the Paris conclusion,” he said.
Kerry in an interview with a leading international business daily had recently warned that India could be a “challenge” at upcoming climate change talks in Paris, with its government reluctant to accept more of a role in addressing global warming.
“We’ve got a lot of focus on India right now to try to bring them along. India has been more cautious, a little more restrained in its embrace of this new paradigm, and it’s a challenge,” he was quoted as saying.
Javadekar said while “there is no pressure from the developed world on India, the country is also not in the habit of taking any pressure from anybody.”
The Paris Climate Conference scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 11 aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
“When you are doing a global arrangement, every country will put forth its issue. We have to take consensus along. India is always is on the side of consensus. We are proactively helping to bring consensus. We are not nay sayers but helping bring consensus. It is not about compromising,” Javadekar said.
“Every country has given its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and we will walk the talk. Where is the issue of compromise. We have raised issues of finance, technology and many other topics.
“But our firm belief is Paris will be under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and with all its principles like CBDR, historical responsibility, polluter to pay and equity. All are embeded in the new Paris agreement,” Javadekar said.
The Environment Minister said India remains “positive and proactive” and expects a “fair and equitable” agreement in Paris which is the “need of the hour”.
“We, the world community, must reassure 7 billion people across the globe that the world has started walking in the right path. It has declared INDCs. The new journey has begun. It will mitigate climate challenge. This reassurance should ge the outcome of Paris and we will work till the end to achieve that,” he said.
India in its INDCs, which are also known as the climate action plans of countries, has pledged to curb its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 per cent from the 2005 level.
Under INDCs, India has announced its aim of achieving around 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
Javadekar gave credit to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the country’s recognition by the world as a “key” player at the Paris conference.
“This new recognition of India is because of leadership of Narendra Modi who is passionate about the issue. 20 years ago, Al Gore (the then US Vice President) presented the ‘inconvenient truth’, Narendra Modi is presenting convenient action. He has come up with new ideas like climate justice, lifestyle issues and solar alliance.
“All ideas were positively received by the world, some willingly and some not so willingly but they have clicked. India is now being reckoned with. The way Modi toured the world and has had a large congregations, all have impacted,” he said.
Observing that India’s INDCs speak for themselves, Javadekar said that it was not only “ambitious” but the world NGO alliance has summed up that India has done 400 per cent more than its fair share and capacity.
He said that the alliance has also noted that the developed world has done less than its capacity and much less than its fair share.
“Our narrative has changed. We are contributing positively. It was India’s persistant effort that finance and technology support are being discussed so seriously,” he said.