India will not sign any deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at UN climate talks that threatens its growth or undermines its fight against poverty, the environment minister said Friday.
Prakash Javadekar, Indian Union Minister for Environment and Forests, speaks to media at a press conference in New Delhi on Dec 5, 2014. India will not sign any deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at UN climate talks that threatens its growth or undermines its fight against poverty, the environment minister said Dec 5. — PHOTO: AFP
Speaking ahead of his departure to a key round of talks in the Peruvian capital, Prakash Javadekar said he was heading into the negotiations with “an open mind” but warned the Indian delegation would not “shy away” from tough debate.
“Any agreement … will be by consensus,” Javadekar told reporters in New Delhi. “Our growth cannot be compromised.”
The minister branded poverty as the worst kind of environmental disaster which “needs to be eradicated immediately”, adding that no one should dispute the right of the poorest members of society to have access to energy.
“Poor people have aspirations we must fulfill them, we must give them energy access,” he said.
“The developing countries’ need for inclusive growth, sustainable development, poverty eradication, and energy access to all must be recognised as fundamental,” he added.
Negotiators from 195 countries are gathering in Lima for talks which end on December 12, hoping to agree on a draft agreement to address climate change that will be adopted in Paris next December.
Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have already set an outside target of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.
China, the United States and Europe have also unveiled emissions pledges.
Energy-starved India is seen as one of the major obstacles to a deal as it is heavily dependent on coal-fired power plants and millions suffer regular power cuts.