In a strong message, India today asked the developed countries to modify their ‘unsustainable lifestyles’ to significantly cut down carbon emissions by 2020 and to ensure that developing nations had enough resources to cope with climate change while pursuing accelerated development.
Speaking at a round table during the Climate Change Summit here, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna called on developed countries to deliver on significant reduction in their emissions of at least 40 per cent by 2020 from the agreed 1990 baseline.
“We cannot get away from the fundamental fact that unsustainable lifestyles and patterns of production and consumption in the developed world have caused climate change ...
This cannot continue,” he said at the summit convened to mobilise political will ahead of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference.
Krishna said the outcome in Copenhagen must ensure that developing nations can pursue “accelerated development” and have the resources “to cope and adapt to climate change”.
“The way forward must ensure that developing countries can pursue growth and poverty eradication,” he said, while pledging that India would pursue unilateral voluntary measures for the year 2020 at national level.
“We have also repeatedly reaffirmed that our per-capita emissions would never exceed the average per capita emissions of the developed countries, even as we pursue our development objectives,” he said.
He added that the onus for action should be on the developed countries that have not met their commitments on emission.
Krishna said the developing nations’ expectations from Copenhagen include creation of mechanisms along with provision of financial resources and access to technology to upscale their national efforts.
He told world leaders that India continued to face enormous developmental challenges and poverty eradication remains the nation's top priority “for which we must address our energy poverty and use all sources of energy, including fossil fuels”.
“Nearly 200 millions live on less than one dollar a day and nearly 500 million do not have access to modern sources of energy, he said at the high-level summit, which featured more than 100 world leaders.
The meeting in Copenhagen is expected to yield a climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
India was represented by Krishna and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at the Summit.
He noted that India was taking many domestic adaptation and mitigation actions on a voluntary basis, including solar energy, extensive deployment of renewable, use of clean coal technologies, boosting energy efficiency and promotion of green agriculture.
He also said that domestic actions should not be “crimped by an international review obligation”.