India should focus on domestic climate change: Ramesh

November 12th, 2010 - 2:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday said that India’s approach on climate change has been unduly influenced by international negotiations and the country needs to focus on the domestic process.

Speaking at the National Policy Dialogue on Climate Change Actions here, Ramesh said adaptation to climate change has to be a community driven process and not one driven by the government.

“It is unfortunate that our approach on climate change has been unduly influenced by international negotiations. We need to delink from international community and focus on the domestic agenda to fight climate change,” he said.

Underlining that adaptation to climate change has to be a community driven process, Ramesh said: “The ministry has initiated an exercise where women self-help groups in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are providing feasible ideas of adaptation to climate change.”

He said that the ministry will work with civil society organisations to come up with solutions that will work on the ground.

Ramesh said India will be most profoundly affected by climate change but its approach to climate change has been paradoxical.

“We think that we are not the polluters and should sit back and wait for others to take action. In the last 15 months, I have tried to shake this complacency,” he said.

Ramesh listed variation in monsoon, water security, rise in mean sea level and confluence of mineral wealth and forest as four major reasons that make India vulnerable to climate change.

“No country in the world has all the four dimensions of vulnerabilities operating together but in India…and this is the most important reason why we should be more worried about climate change,” he added.

The ministry Nov 16 is likely to release an assessment report on the impact of climate change on agriculture, health, water and forests in four regions - the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, Coastal zone and the northeast.

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