Environment and Forests Minister Bhupender Yadav on Thursday underlined the need for checking emission levels, which he said was crucial for initiating climate change.
"Today we know that climate change is the most crucial of all other environmental challenges. Without cumulative emissions in check, success with other environmental challenges, even if they are achieved, will not carry lasting value," he pointed out.
Yadav said this while addressing a session on Infrastructure in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), held at the UNFCCC Pavilion on the sidelines of COP27.
"We will continue to fight all global environmental concerns in the call to protect humanity's planetary home. But global warming also warns us that equity and international cooperation, leaving no one behind, hold the key to success, where those most fortunate must lead the way. No nation can undertake this journey alone. Right understanding, right thought and co-operative action - these need to set our path for the next decisive half a century," he emphasised.
The minister said that India is committed to both domestic action and multilateral cooperation on climate change.
Apart from Yadav, Kavydass Ramano, minister for environment, solid waste and climate change in the Government of Mauritius, Senator Matthew Samuda, from the ministry of economic growth and job creation, Government of Jamaica and representatives from AOSIS and Fiji also participated in the session.
Yadav informed the gathering citing the IPCC's AR6 reports that the responsibility for warming is directly proportional to the contribution to cumulative emissions of CO2. All CO2 emissions, whenever they take place, contribute equally to warming.
"IPCC reports and all other best available science also show that India is among those countries with high vulnerability to climate change. So, we are very sympathetic to the situation of the island states and others. India, with over 7,500 km of coastline and more than 1,000 islands in the surrounding seas, and a large coastal population dependent on the sea for lives and livelihoods, is also a highly vulnerable nation on the global scale. Just to give an example, between 1995-2020, India recorded 1,058 climatic disaster events," Yadav said.
The minister further informed that considering per capita emissions, for an objective scale for comparison, India's emissions are, even today, about one-third of the global average. If the entire world were to emit at the same per capita level as India, the best available science tells that there would be no climate crisis.
The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2019 at New York. It aims to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.