Special Correspondent

Discussions held with scientists, academics, NGOs

NEW DELHI: The eight missions identified in the National Action Plan on Climate Change are being elaborated and the exercise is drawing to a close.

The missions are: National Solar Mission, National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, National Mission on Sustainable Habitat, National Water Mission, National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, National Mission for a Green India, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.

Talking to journalists here on Friday, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Shyam Saran said comprehensive discussions were held with scientists, technologists, academia and the community representatives, including the non-governmental organisations, to consider their opinions also.

“The exercise is close to finalisation with the last meeting scheduled shortly following which the final draft would be prepared and placed before the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change,” Mr. Saran said.

Dismissing criticism that India was resisting calls by the developed countries to take on specific targets for the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions, and thereby stalling any agreement at the international level, Mr. Saran said India had consistently favoured a fair and equitable outcome in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Expecting an ambitious outcome at the 15th Conference of Parties at Copenhagen in December, Mr. Saran said as a developing nation, India would continue to be severely impacted by the climate change at a time when it is confronted with huge development imperatives. “We would expect the Copenhagen outcome to provide us with the space we require for accelerated social and economic development in order to eradicate widespread poverty.”

Further, Mr. Saran accused the developed nations of deviating from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on various pretexts, and said India had already declared that even as it pursued its social and economic development objectives, it would not allow its per capita emissions to exceed the average of the developed countries.

Appreciating the new recognition given to climate change by the U.S. President Barack Obama, who has announced a 10-year $150 billion Renewable Energy Initiative, Mr. Saran said the renewed focus on this sector fits very well into India’s strategy.

Investment in addressing climate change especially in renewable energy could create new industries, new jobs and spur technological innovation.

“Action on climate change must become part of the solution to the financial and economic crisis,” he added.