Speaking at a two-day meeting for the Voice of the Global South, the minister expressed that the rich world has already used up its fair share of climatic resources
India is committed to tackling the impact of climate change and supporting the efforts of developing countries in achieving their development goals through necessary technical assistance, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said Thursday.
Addressing a two-day Voice of Global South summit, he said the developed world has already consumed its share of climate resources and it is time that they accept responsibility for past actions.
The development of a country and the conservation of its biodiversity and ecosystems are two important aspects, neither of which can be ignored. As such, there is a need for development policies to be inclusive and sustainable to reduce inequality and contribute to empowerment and improvement of the quality of people's lives, the minister said.
Asserting that India understands the vulnerability of developing nations and small island developing states, Yadav said urgent global climate action is indeed the need of the hour.
This must be guided by the principles of climate justice, including equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the Union minister said.
Equity means that each country's share of carbon dioxide emissions is equal to its share of the global population.
The Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) principle recognises that each country is responsible for addressing climate change but developed countries should bear primary responsibilities as they account for most of the historical and current greenhouse gas emissions.
"India is committed to tackling the impact of climate change and supporting the efforts of developing countries in achieving their developmental goals through necessary developmental and technical assistance. India has always encouraged a global initiative that champions the interest and concerns of developing countries," the Union environment minister said.
Yadav said that based on the learnings of the past, India has developed expertise in each component of the disaster management cycle such as preparedness, mitigation, recovery and reconstruction. "Sharing of technology and information can be of immense help in disaster relief actions. By collaborating and collating information, we can help each other during natural disasters."
While economic growth spurred by the industrial revolution has granted countries greater prosperity, it has come at a huge cost to the environment, Yadav said.
"The developmental path followed by most developed nations during the course of history has been ruthless. It led to excessive consumption of resources both at home and subjugate colonies."
Serious impacts of climate change are looming large over many developing nations that have contributed little to it, he remarked at the virtual summit of leaders of the Global South hosted by India.
Yadav said the solution to climate change and environmental degradation is possible only when "we work together towards a common goal".
The minister said India has raised the voice of the developing world in all international forums, including at COP27 and CBD-COP15.
"India has reminded the developed world on different occasions of its duty to provide financial and technical support to the developing world to combat the impacts of climate change. IPCC AR6 second report notes that inadequate adaptation due to lack of technical and financial resources, capacity building and other constraints led to losses and damages," the minister said.
COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt adopted the landmark decision of funding arrangement for responding to loss and damages associated with adverse effects of climate change and countries agreed to establish a new funding arrangement.
Leaders of several countries including Bangladesh, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guyana, Mozambique, Mongolia and Senegal were among those who attended the summit. The 'Global South' largely refers to developing countries, especially those in Asia, Africa and South America.