COP 21: Modi puts the onus on developed world, focuses on equity

India pavilion

PARIS: Underlining that climate change is a major global challenge, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India Pavilion in Paris and stressed that the world must act with urgency to craft a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement to limit global warming.

Mr Modi asked developed countries to make adjustments to sharply    reduce their carbon emissions.  He called for a change in lifestyles so that the burden on the   planet is reduced, asserting that the lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for developing countries.

“Climate change is a major global challenge. But it is not of our making,” Mr Modi said, lashing  out at the developed countries during  his inaugural speech at the unique India Pavilion at the summit venue, showcasing the country’s commitment to combat climate change.

Stressing on the fact that the outcome of the summit is very important, Mr Modi said: “We   want the world to work with urgency. We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement which must lead us to restore the balance between humanity and nature and between    what we have inherited and what we will leave behind.” “And, I will also call for a change in lifestyles, so that we reduce the burden on our planet. For, the enduring success of our efforts    will depend on the way we live and think,” Mr Modi said in his address to the audience at the pavilion.

 In a column in the Financial times earlier, Mr Modi had warned developed nations that it would    be “morally wrong” if they shift the burden of reducing emissions on developing countries like India, observing that poor nations had a right to burn carbon to grow their economies.

Speaking about India’s role at the pavilion, Mr Modi said India’s progress is “our destiny and   right of our people. But we must also lead in combating climate change.” Mr Modi,    accompanied by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, went to various stalls at the Pavilion and later released a book on environment protection.

“Our Pavilion reflected our commitment towards combating climate change,” said Mr Javadekar. The pavilion will show films on adaptation measures that were taken up by India.

There were touch screens to provide information to visitors on how India has taken adaptation measures in four regions, including conservation of coral reefs in Gulf of Mannar, glacier    protection in Ladakh, heat action plans in Ahmedabad and Gujarat amongst others.

“So, we approach the negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in    a spirit of partnership, which must be based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities,” Mr Modi said.

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