Developed countries must reduce emissions: India

December 13th, 2008 - 12:43 am ICT by IANS  

Poznan (Poland), Dec 12 (IANS) “Developed countries, occupying so much of the carbon capacity of the earth’s atmosphere, must deliver on significant emission reductions,” Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests Vijai Sharma said here Friday. Speaking at the final plenary session of the Dec 1-12 summit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Sharma said: “It is a matter of deep concern that the emissions of developed countries have been rising contrary to the provisions of the Convention.”

“The per capita emissions of developed countries must also reduce, which would involve shifts from current unsustainable lifestyles. Developed countries, occupying so much of the carbon capacity of the earth’s atmosphere, must deliver on significant emission reductions.”

Climate change, called the defining challenge of our times, has been caused almost totally by industrialised countries and is leading to reduced farm output, more frequent and more severe droughts, floods and storms and a rise in sea level, with developing countries bearing the brunt.

Sharma pointed out: “The brunt of the adverse impact of climate change is being borne by developing countries, which lack technological and financial resources to cope with a problem for which developed countries are principally responsible.”

“India, with its dependence on rain-fed agriculture and large coastal population is particularly vulnerable.”

Emphasising that no agreement for a global deal to combat climate change should deviate from the UN convention, Sharma also said the global financial crisis “should not retard our efforts at addressing climate change or diluting the commitments of developed countries.”

“The financial crisis has shown that huge resources can be mobilised in developed countries when there is a will. This should spur action on R&D in clean technologies. We welcome ideas for the investments proposed in renewable energy, and India would be a willing participant.”

Sharma made a plea for cooperation between developed and developing countries in clean technology areas.

“As regards finance,” he said, “we should move away from the development finance paradigm, based on voluntary actions by developed countries, towards assessed contributions from developed countries consistent with the principles of the (UN) Convention.”

Sharma pointed out: “India’s emissions are among the lowest in the world; in fact, one-fourth of the global average in per capita terms. At the same time, through our national planning. we are addressing enormous development related challenges, including those of food and energy security.”

“Needless to say, we have a long way to go, to improve the quality of life of our citizens and build capacities to respond to climate change,” he added.

(Joydeep Gupta can be contacted at

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