Do more on climate change: UK to India

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New Delhi, Jan 21: Visiting British Trade and Investment Minister Lord Jones Digby today expressed disagreement with the Indian position that it could not sacrifice its development and poverty removal programme by accepting mandatory cuts in carbon emission responsible for global warming leading to climate change.

One says poverty removal is important but the question is for whom when the planet cannot sustain itself, Lord Digby said at The India-UK Round Table on Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility here. His remarks came in response to Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal's statement who had said that he had made it clear to the West at Bali that the country's first priority was development.

Lord Digby said the first priority should be to make the economy sustainable, as without sustainbale environment, everything would come to nought.

He said that despite so many difficulties on the economic front, his country had set itself a target of emission cuts by 60 per cent by 2050. '' We are so much dependent on the US, but we are setting an example,'' he sought to stress.

He, however, agreed that India cannot achieve emission cuts the same way as Britian as the two countries were starting from different stages.

The British Minister felt that it was the private individual who can bring about change as it is the way he wants to lead his life that would condition the use of energy.

Earlier, Mr Sibal said that there were no two opinions on the fact that there was no future except to adopt green technologies, but it was also a fact that developing countries had to focus on poverty removal too as it was poverty that most contributed to environmental degradation.

''In Bali, I felt the West wants us to change overnight, but I made it clear that our first task was poverty removal,'' he said.

Pointing out that in India, most of the pollution came from medium and small industrial units, he said it was really a challenge to make them internationally competitive while at the same time adopt clean technologies that has a cost.


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