London, Jan 19: A day ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's India visit, UK Environment Minister Phil Woolas said New Delhi was not doing enough in the fight against climate change.
Prime Minister Brown, presently in Beijing, is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi tomorrow on a two-day visit. Mr Woolas, comparing the performance of India and China, said the Indian government was not ''putting its shoulder to the wheel'' in tackling climate change. ''Although it (India) now recognises the reality of man-made climate change, it does not put its shoulder to the wheel. Its basic attitude and its public statements are that western governments created the problem so the western governments must solve it,'' he was quoted by the Guardian as saying.
''They point out that if you look at emissions per capita they are not a major emitter. The counter argument is that it is the total amount of emissions that actually matter. Because India is growing so fast-- particularly in car transport and electricity generation from fossil fuels-- then it is increasingly becoming a major emitter,'' he said.
Contrasting India and China's views over the issue, Mr Woolas said ''The Chinese central government is part of the solution and not part of the problem...India is more difficult.'' The Minister said he accepted that the developed world had largely caused the current threats to the climate, but argued that there would still be a problem even if the G8 nations all stopped producing any emissions.
''We all have to be involved. Climate change is the latest example of mutually assured destruction since the nuclear arms race. We cannot act in isolation,'' he said.
Mr Woolas argued the funds required to build clean technologies will only come from cap and trade schemes, a form of tax on carbon.
Indian emissions-- at about 1.1 tonnes per head, are well below the world average on a per capita basis.