India calls out historical polluters including US before climate meeting

Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar briefs the media in New Delhi | Photo: PTI
India wants historical polluters including the US and Europe to finance and provide technologies for climate mitigation, its environment minister said ahead of President Joe Biden’s planned leaders’ meeting later this month.

“In climate debates, historical responsibility is a very important aspect,” minister Prakash Javadekar said in a speech at a climate conference during French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to New Delhi. “We are not responsible for the climate change that is happening.”

The world’s third-biggest emitter, India has come under pressure to make a net-zero pledge ahead of the US meeting and global climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, this November. Signatories to the Paris Agreement are expected to boost their commitments to slow global warming, and China -- the biggest polluter and a rival of India -- won international praise for setting a 2060 net-zero target in September.

The minister defended India’s energy consumption and emissions, adding thatbig polluters had not kept their 2011 commitment to provide $1 billion each year for mitigation. India will raise its climate ambitions but is “not under pressure,” he said.

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