Environment Protection Not At Poor Nations' Expense: India

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New Delhi, Oct 9 (UNI) India has urged developed nations to take a lead in addressing climate change, asserting that environment cannot be protected by perpetuating poverty in developing states, it was officially stated today.

The Indian intervention by Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandareswari came at a conference of inter Parliamentary Union at Geneva, Switzerland yesterday.

Heading the Indian Delegation at the 117th IPU Assembly, Purandareswari was taking part in a debate on Parliamentary Campaign on Climate Change.

The meeting is being attended by delegations representing more than 140 Parliaments around the world as well United Nations and other multilateral fora.

Purandareswari said India shared the world community's concerns on climate change and environmental degradation which disproportionately impact developing nations short on resources to tackle it.

She suggested meeting the challenge through universal mechanisms such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change protecting developing countries's interests.

She stressed common but differentiated responsibilities.

She said environment could not be protecting at the expense of perpetuating poverty in the developing countries or by sustaining excessive consumption patterns in the developed world.

Purandareswari said nations primarily responsible for the present state of Green House Gases concentrations in the atmosphere must shoulder the responsibility in addressing this global challenge.

She emphasised the importance of developed nations taking the lead in mitigating the emissions and giving developing nations access to affordable critical clean technologies.

Purandeswari told delegates the key issue for India and other developing nations was to develop an ability to cope with adverse impacts of climate change and adapt.

This, she pointed out, required technological and financial resources that can only come through development, the best form of adaptation.

For now, she said, time was not ripe for developing countries to take on quantitative targets of emissions limitations.

India with 17 per cent of the world's population produces only four per cent of such emissions, she pointed out.

She said energy intensity of Gross Domestic Product growth in India in fact dipped from 0.30 kilogram of oil equivalent per United States Dollar in 1972 to 0.16 in Purchasing Power Parity terms in 2003.

She reminded members that India is already committed to ''not increasing'' the per capita GHG emissions beyond those of the industrial countries while pursuing economic growth.

She said India has a comprehensive policy and legislative framework to address energy environment issues and a Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change to coordinate nationwide assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

She said that in terms of number of projects, India is the largest global player in Clean Development Mechanism-- host country approval having been accorded to more than 667 projects.

UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner echoed India's concern that the industrialised nations should sense the pressure and take up responsibility in addressing climate change.

He said new technological innovations would help developing nations gain energy efficiency.

Steiner voiced appreciation of measures taken by India to mitigate such emissions in spite of being an emerging global economic power and said it ought to be emulated in the endeavour.

UNI

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