Prakash Javadekar: rich countries are on a climate vacation

India’s environment chief say he wants more pre-2020 carbon cuts from wealthy countries, and is not happy with a draft UN climate agreement 

(Pic: Prakash Javadekar/Flickr)

(Pic: Prakash Javadekar/Flickr)

By Ed King

India’s environment chief has delivered a blistering attack on developed countries, accusing them of going on a five year climate policy “holiday”.

In an interview with the Times of India, Prakash Javadekar said wealthy countries should “vacate carbon space” and “take care of their lifestyles”, referring to consumption levels.

“It was their historical emission (during 1850-2011) that led to 0.8 degree Celsius temperature rise in the post-industrialisation phase. They must act and lead by example,” he said.

Nearly 200 countries are working on plans for a global climate pact, due to be finalised in Paris this December.

A new draft agreement was recently released by UN officials, radically shorter than previous versions and one that will be discussed at negotiations in Bonn in little over a week.

No stranger to controversy when discussing UN climate talks, Javadekar said the text was “quite disappointing”, although did not reveal what elements he was unhappy with.

“Our negotiators will oppose this first draft text during the next round of negotiation at Bonn. Our negotiators will submit India’s suggestions,” he said.

Javadekar met UK officials in Delhi last month to discuss plans for a global deal (Pic: UK in India/Flickr)

Javadekar met UK officials in Delhi last month to discuss plans for a global deal (Pic: UK in India/Flickr)

The comments are unlikely to overly concern UN officials working on the deal, who expected the new radically distilled document, which was requested by all parties, to be criticised.

The EU’s climate chief Miguel Arias Canete said it was “unbalanced” and lacked “ambition and specificity.”

He added: “this text cannot be it, we must improve it, next session in Bonn will be crucial.”

India’s headline contribution to a global climate deal will be a 33-35% carbon intensity cut based on 2005 levels by 2030.

It said it would also raise the level of clean sources of energy to 40% of the overall mix by the same year.

The submission, said Javadekar, as “comprehensive”, “ambitious”, “practical” and “pragmatic.”

A recent analysis by analysts at Climate Action Tracker said the country’s emissions target would be achieved fairly easily.

“India has been unnecessarily cautious in setting its emissions intensity target,” said Kornelis Blok of Ecofys, one of the CAT initiative’s members.

“Taking up stronger action will not only reduce emissions but also be beneficial for the Indian economy.”

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