India hails climate pact, says it could have been better
Paris, Dec 13: India today hailed as "historic" the adoption of a legally-binding pact seeking to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius but said the deal could have been more ambitious had the developed nations shouldered more historical responsibilities.
Noting that the agreement acknowledges and recognises the development imperatives of India and other developing countries, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the accord also supported their right to development and their efforts to harmonise development with environment, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.
"Today is a historic day. What we have adopted is not only an agreement but a new 'chapter of hope' in the lives of 7 billion people.
Mahatma Gandhiji used to say that 'we have not inherited earth from our ancestors, but we have it on loan from future generations," Javadekar said.
"This is historic because it was not easy that all countries will agree to a reasonable ambitious deal. This has given a new hope, a new lease of life," he said.
"We have today reassured our future generation that we all together will mitigate the challenge posed by climate change and we will give them a better future," the Minister said at the plenary session after the agreement was adopted, ending 13-days of tough negotiations.
Javadekar, however, also said the agreement could have been more ambitious as the actions of developed nations are "far below" than their historical responsibilities and fair shares.
"The actions of developed countries are far below their historical responsibilities and fair shares. We have in the spirit of compromise agreed on a number of phrases in the agreement," he said.
Javadekar said the conference also witnessed the launch of the historic International Solar Alliance under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he termed as "path breaking" in providing unprecedented boost to solar energy development.
He said that India was happy that the agreement has "unequivocally" acknowledged the imperative of climate justice, which reflects common sentiment and has based itself on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.
"The agreement also acknowledges the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable consumption patterns. We are also happy that the agreement differentiates between the actions of developed and developing countries across its elements," Javadekar said.
Noting that India has consistently said that the path to climate ambition must be paved with equity, he said that the accord has recognised it.