Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday linked the Chennai deluge that has claimed several lives, flooded streets and cut power and ration supplies to the global warming caused by developed nations in their bid to industrialise in the last century and a half.
“What is happening in Chennai is the result of what has happened for 150 years in the developed world. That is what has caused 0.8 degrees Celsius temperature rise. And therefore they must now take action more vigorously,” he told The Hindu in a conversation here a day before he leaves for the ongoing climate change conference in Paris. He will stay there till December 12.
The statement comes at a time when about 40,000 delegates from across the world are present in Paris to work out a plan to contain global warming by limiting the rise in global temperatures to within two degrees Celsius of the pre-industrial levels.
“Historically, for the last 150 years, they have reaped the benefits of growth and now they can’t say that past is past,” he added.
Mr. Javadekar, however, refused to comment on Union Minister Maneka Gandhi’s statement that even India was a large polluter now and the West being the historical polluter did not absolve India of its responsibility.
His statement comes at a time when the Chennai situation has also been taken note of at the Paris conclave.
France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday that there was no time left, and the world must take quick and concrete steps against global warming. He expressed solidarity with those who affected by the floods in Chennai.