In an unambiguous reiteration of the government’s stand on climate change, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday declared that while India would work towards a “purposeful outcome” at the Copenhagen conference next month, the rich nations responsible for the damage caused in the first place should fund the developing countries’ efforts at limiting carbon emissions.

Responding to a question on India’s stand on climate change following his inaugural address at the India Economic Summit organised by the WEF and the CII here, Dr. Singh said: “We will work with all like-minded countries to promote a purposeful outcome of the Copenhagen Conference.”

Alongside, the Prime Minister maintained that the developed countries were responsible for the CO2 accumulation following their rapid pace of industrialisation over the last 150 years. The ecological damage by way of global warming was “not as a result of anything that we have done … In recognition of common but differentiative capabilities, which is our hope that while all the countries will be required to contribute according to their capacities and abilities, the world’s major economies will be prepared to [ensure that] large capital flows become available for integration for adaptation measures,” Dr. Singh said.

Dr. Singh’s reiteration of India’s “official” stand on the crucial issue assumes significance in the wake of Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s note recently to the Prime Minister suggesting an accommodative posture. The Minister had later clarified that it was his personal view.

Noting that climate change was a reality and India was more affected than some others, Dr. Singh sought assistance from rich nations for a technology regime wherein the developing countries would have access to the know-how for tackling the problem at affordable rates.

Earlier, referring to the issue, Dr. Singh said: “Environmental sustainability is also an important objective and one that has gained significance in the context of climate change. Special attention has to be paid to prevent degradation of scarce land and water resources.”

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