India has reiterated that as the world itself with a new awareness of climate change has decided to take action voluntarily, this voluntarism should be respected and appreciated and taken to its logical end. Making a statement at the informal ministerial consultations at Paris, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said, “We must therefore, welcome that all countries are taking action and we should limit Paris to that.” Shri Javadekar also stated that the concept of differentiation is cardinal to the UNFCCC mandate and as such there should be no attempt to dilute differentiation. It should be reflected across all elements of the new agreement. The annexes are an important part and basic structure of differentiation and as such we should not play with the basic concepts and the pillars on which UNFCCC edifice of climate action is based.”
The Minister pointed out that the present per capita emissions and cumulative per capita emissions upto 2012 are extremely important indicators. Shri Javadekar said, “Agenda 21 has clearly stated that developed countries accepted responsibility for finance and technology support. We should not go back to pre-1992 days, where there was no differentiation. Even Montreal Protocol has the concept of incremental cost. The UNEP and IPCC reports point to the emission gaps. By diluting differentiation, the world will be destroying the principle of Additonality, UNFCCC, Agenda 21 and it will impact Biodiversity agreement, global environment facility and many other international treaties. The provision of additionality of finance very clearly states that it is over and above normal business channels and it is over and above ODA.”
Pointing out that India is in a unique position, the Minister said, “Yes we are a major economy. Yes we are on a development trajectory. But we are a poor country also. Let us not forget that. We have 17% of the world’s population, 17 % of the cattle population. Both require land, water and food. We have only 2.5% of the world’s landmass and we have only 4 % of water and therefore, we have challenges. But we are addressing them in our own way, and successfully.
On every parameter, we are a developing country, and poverty eradication is our main challenge and we are committed to deliver on that in a short span of time. Poverty eradication is our main aim. We have 50 percent rural households, i.e 90 million houses are not ‘pucca’ houses but ‘kutcha’ houses. 90 million households are deprived, as they are lacking in one of the basic development indicators. 90 million households depend on manual casual labour. 130 million families have a main earning member who earns less than 3 dollars a day. 60 million households have no toilets. 300 million people don’t have access to power. 80 percent people do not have motorized vehicles. 90 percent people don’t have refrigeration.
So in this backdrop, what India is doing under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi is a laudable job. Our target is to eradicate poverty first and our INDCs will indicate the action on this. Still in this backdrop Modi government is working overtime and taking its own climate action with conviction. On our own volition. With our own resources.
We are walking energy efficiency path aggressively and we will reduce our emission intensity. But that is what India is doing on its own. Developed countries need to do it vigorously.”
We have launched world’s one of the largest renewable energy programmes of 175 GW, and it is essentially a pre-2020 action. We have given weightage to afforestation at 8.5% for the first time, and 9 billion dollars are reserved for that in the 14th finance commission and 6 billion dollars will be unlocked through Compensatory Afforestation Fund bill for afforestation. We have launched a scheme of urban forestry, school nursery, afforestation on banks of Ganga, PPP for afforestation on degraded land, and National Highway Authority of India has also decided to green the sides of 90,000 km of highways. India has launched the clean Air Quality Index and is monitoring highly polluting industries on 24/7 basis. Clean Water is our priority and Ganga and other rivers’ cleaning is a major initiative. For promoting Clean energy, we are giving subsidy for electrical vehicles. We have brought in a law for e-rickshaws. We are practicing clean coal. We have quadrupled the coal cess. The waste management rules have been revamped which will take care of Methane and it will be managed properly. The smart cities building code, affordable housing, railways with solar tops and giving up LPG subsidy are new initiatives”, Shri Javadekar added.