New Delhi, Mar 21: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has urged India to exercise leadership in the global concerns on climate change. "I think India got to play a role in this. I think this is the moment when India can exercise leadership on the issue. It is such a powerful developing nation because the Prime Minister made it clear by creating climate change council. He is personally giving support to find right response to this issue," Blair said in a conference on climate change here last evening.
Last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said India would unveil a national plan to deal with the threat of global warming in June, but would not commit to any emission targets that risk slowing economic growth. Dr. Singh's Council on Climate Change will look at setting up a venture capital fund to promote green technologies, increasing energy efficiency and combating the possible impact of climate change on millions of India's poor.
Blair said the developed nations were ready to take a 'strong definitive action' for a substantial cut in emissions. "America, Europe, Japan is prepared to take really strong definitive action for a substantial cut in emissions with the right incentive systems to deliver then there. It is fair that we ask India and China to play its part," he said.
"In particular, if we are as we should be in the developed world help the transfer and access of technology and development with financial support necessary to make that happen properly then in no circumstances we could construct a global deal that would make this work and hang together," he added.
According to reports, India contributes around four per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and would be hit by heat waves, frequent droughts, floods and severe water shortages, if it did not bring down its emission levels. Like China, India says it cannot be subjected to emission caps, as it must burn up fossil fuel to lift millions out of poverty, an argument that the United States says is invalid and cites to stay away from committing to emission targets.