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India hits out at Kerry for terming it a ‘challenge’ at Paris meet

November 22, 2015 02:50 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 04:13 am IST - New Delhi

India has reacted strongly to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that the country will be a “challenge” in the coming climate change talks in Paris.

“It is in a way unfair to say that India will be a challenge. It is actually not doing justice to India,” Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told PTI .

“The U.S. is our great friend and strategic partner. His [Kerry’s] comment is unwarranted and unfair. The attitude of some of the developed countries is the challenge for the Paris conclusion,” the Minister said.

Mr. Javadekar said there was no question of compromising on India’s stand on climate change. He blamed the “attitude” of the developed countries for the problem. India was trying to “proactively” forge a consensus on the issue.

The Minister said while there was no pressure from the developed world on India, the country was also not in the habit of taking pressure from anybody.

“We’ve got a lot of focus on India right now to try to bring them along. India has been more cautious, a little more restrained, in its embrace of this new paradigm, and it’s a challenge,” Mr. Kerry had told an international business daily.

The Paris Climate Conference, slated to take place from November 30 to December 11, will look to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate to check global warming.

“When you are doing a global arrangement, every country will put forth its issues. We have to take consensus along. India is always is on the side of consensus. We are proactively helping to bring consensus. We are not naysayers, but helping bring consensus. It is not about compromising,” Mr. Javadekar said. “….But our firm belief is Paris will be under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and with all its principles like CBDR, historical responsibility, polluter to pay and equity. All are embedded in the new Paris agreement.”

While the developed world has been looking at increased emission cuts from developing countries, the latter — including India — have sought common but differentiated responsibility. Shorn of jargon, it means that the developed world has been the prime polluter since its early lead in industrialisation and stays way ahead in emissions per capita to this day, meaning that it cannot expect nations now industrialising to forget this skew.

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