Indian PM: Climate change deal must be equitable

By RTCC Staff

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said India will only discuss a deal that allows it to develop (Source: flickr/WEF)

The Indian Prime Minister has said his country is committed to the UN climate change negotiations, on the condition that it considers any deal under discussion to be “equitable”.

Manmohan Singh told the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit that any talks must enable the country to pursue its development.

“India will play a constructive role in ongoing talks as long as they are based on a fair and equitable agreement,” said Singh adding that equitable access to resources and ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ were a must.

“Durban must build on the Bali Action plan and we must find a solution to the problem keeping in mind that developing countries have the right to develop,” said Singh.

India was keen to highlight the same point during the UNFCCC climate talks in Durban at the end of 2011.

Earlier this week, a report in the Times of India claimed that government officials in the country were unhappy with the universal nature of the draft goals for the UN’s Rio+20 summit in June.

The objectives of the UN’s climate agency are based on the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’, which ensures that less developed countries are not committed to the same targets as rich nations.

‘Largest emitters doing the least’

A member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Climate Change committee has echoed those calls, saying that inaction from rich countries is the cause of a stalemate in international climate negotiations.

Speaking to OneWorld South Asia, Prodipto Ghosh said the largest emitters had already fallen short of their promises.

“The stalemate, if any, rises from the fact the developed countries have not lived up to their commitments in the Kyoto protocol,” said Ghosh. “They are unlikely to fulfil their pledges under the Copenhagen Accord and have no intention to take up seriously legally binding commitments as opposed to trivially legally binding commitments under the Durban platform. Those who create problems are least willing to take action against climate change.”

Although Canada has been singled out for criticism following its decision to withdraw from Kyoto, Ghosh said they were not the only offender.

VIDEO: Indian Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan made an impassioned plea for equity at the UN climate talks in Durban

India negotiator Jayanthi Natarajan 11/12 from Responding to Climate Change on Vimeo.

Read more on: Climate politics