India at driver’s seat on climate change debate: Dave

Neelu Vyas

Environment Minister Anil Dave Photo-RSTV

As India becomes 61st nation in the world to ratify the Paris Climate Change agreement, Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave in an exclusive interview to Rajya Sabha TV said that India’s credibility at the global level has raised exponentially.

Speaking on the climate change, he said that India will show a mirror to the world by urging the global community to tackle climate change through Gandhian ways. In fact this was the motive behind putting a Gandhi seal on the instrument of ratification which was deposited at the UN headquarters, the minister told Rajya Sabha TV in an exclusive interview.

Dismissing reports of India being under pressure from US and China, Dave said India will be in the driver’s seat to tackle the climate change but the first big challenge was putting in place the mechanism within the constitutional framework.

The Environment Minister credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American President Barack Obama for closely working around the deal. He expressed hope of thrashing out issues like adaptation climate finance, climate justice in the forthcoming climate change summit to be held at Marrakesh in Morocco.

You can watch the entire interview tonight at 10 pm and Thursday 10 am only on Rajya Sabha TV

Here are some of the excerpts from an interview given to Rajya Sabha TV’s Neelu Vyas.

Q: Now that the Instrument of ratification has been deposited at UN headquarters, how does India leverage its position at the global forums?

A: It’s not that the ratification process was easy. We held wide ranging consultations with stakeholders, bringing them all on one page was an uphill task. This is a win-win position for India. At the global level credibility of India will spike up to a great extent.

Q: Very interestingly there was a Gandhian seal on the instrument of ratification; does that indicate that India will urge the global community to adopt the Gandhian ways?

A:  Gandhian way of dealing climate change is the only way. India has very low per capita carbon footprint and we just want to show the mirror across the world

Q: Many feel the Paris deal is big part of Obama’s legacy or Modiji’s parting gift to Obama?

A: It’s a win-win situation for all and India will take the lead from the front as far as shaping the rules at the international forums is concerned

Q: Next month is the Climate Change summit, what’s the first big challenge you see coming?

A: The challenge lies in implementing the agreement. India is very confident of achieving targets and the implementation will be within the constitutional framework.

Q: India is talking about increasing its carbon sink through expanding the forest cover, only 24 percent of the area is under forest and many are being cut for developmental activities, don’t you see this as a problem?

A: The government is committed to increase green cover and we will increase the green cover along with the developmental activities. How we will do it will be a secret. Government plans to promote good builders. These builders may have green ratings in urban sector.