India's environment minister says "equity is central to any debate on climate change"
Makes her first public address in Durban at a side event organised by CSE in association with the ministry
Durban, December 6, 2011: India's side event on December 5, organised by CSE in association with the ministry of environment and forests, saw a packed hall listening to a panel which included the environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, CSE's director general Sunita Narain and deputy director general Chandra Bhushan, Charles Di Leva from the World Bank and Ambuj Sagar from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi. The subject of the discussion was 'the imperative of equity in climate negotiations' (see the announcement and videos at www.cseindia.org/content/durban).
Speaking at the CoP17 side event, the minister made it clear that India will not compromise on the principles of equity and historical responsibility, which according to her, were the bulwarks on which all climate negotiations must rest. She supported the contention made by Sunita Narain earlier in the evening, that India had a "right to grow". After over 20 years of negotiations, Narain had pointed out, concrete consensus on climate was still eluding the world. The Cancun Agreement, according to her, was the latest debacle, where the burden had been shifted unjustly on to the developing world, without any concession on this critical right.
At Durban, India and China are being pilloried for their growing emissions and for being stumbling blocks to the negotiations, but the world is conveniently forgetting -- said Narain -- about the US emissions, which are still growing at 4 per cent.
Chandra Bhushan, who made a presentation on the CSE study on low-carbon growth, said that many industrial sectors in India had already achieved a high level of efficiency and low emission intensity. Even with a very ambitious mitigation programme, India will need the carbon space to grow -- for which an agreement based on equity is critical