Is India an obstacle in potential global climate change deal?
Published: 30 Nov 2015
Pressure to act now before it is too late is the urgent statement being echoed across the opening day of COP21. Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and David Cameron are among a few of the many leaders meeting in Paris today for the opening of the COP21 climate change talks.
What is the overall outlook of the climate summit and what deal can realistically be achieved from COP21 over the next few weeks? There has been growing concern whether India will pose an obstacle to potential plans within the climate summit.
India’s stand on COP21 is that the richer western nations should hold higher responsibility to tackle climate change whilst the poorer nations should have the ability to grow. India’s PM Narendra Modi “The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder”.
Somewhat ironically India is remarkably vulnerable to changes in the climate with the nation becoming more prone to droughts, floods, crop failures and cyclones. Yet the Indian government is currently seen as an obstacle to striking a global deal at the climate summit in Paris.
Looking back a few years China was seen as a potential obstacle but have made significant changes to their energy policies and now are seen as growing supporter for climate change talks.
Despite this growing fear that India will pose a problem within the summit the PM has promised to cooperate. Modi has highlighted that ‘India needs power but we will not create problems for the world’. The Indian government is keen to highlight that whilst carbon emissions are predicted to grow in India but to a level that is 50% of China. The government is also implementing an ambitious renewable energy program to massively invest in renewable energy, particularly in solar projects.
India’s defence is that they need to support their population and should be provided with the ‘carbon space’ t0 develop as other countries such as the UK and USA have had to develop in the past.
India is greatly trying to improve its quality of living yet is facing International pressure to manage its energy resources. It leaves a difficult scenario of how India can achieve higher quality of life with pressure to reduce overall energy usage.