Javadekar: India trying to be part of the solution for climate change

M K Venu

javadekar_bjpIn an interview to Rajya Sabha TV, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar spoke about the crucial Paris Climate Change Summit that he will be heading to next week. Javadekar will be handling the critical negotiations for India at a time when there is a lot of contest going on between the developed and the developing countries. India has taken a very proactive role and for the first time, India is not being seen as a deal breaker. Ahead of the summit, India is being seen as a country which is participating in the overall climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. In the interview, Javadekar explains the dynamics of the climate change negotiations that will be witnessed in Paris.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

What are the big issues at the climate change summit in Paris? And how are you strategizing that India gets the best deal so that its development imperative doesn’t get compromised and still remains a participant in the global carbon reduction strategy.

That is very important aspect of finance and technology. So, that is what Paris will decide. So with these two, three new features, we are entering into a new regime. But that regime will be under UNFCCC, under convention all principles of common differentiated responsibilities and expect us to pay historical responsibilities and equity.

So, Mr. Javadekar what you are saying is that, we are entering a new framework of negotiations where common but differentiated responsibilities will remain?

Historical responsibilities cannot be shared like this…I’ll explain – A temperature rise of 0.8 degrees has taken place, that’s a fact. But who is to be blamed for that? It is a result of emissions over hundreds of years…. India’s share is just 3% and the developed world’s share is 80%, and China’s is 10%.

So is India the least responsible for the world today?

We are suffering because of what is happening today. And therefore we are saying that, even though we are not part of the problem, we want to be a part of the solution. And therefore, we are engaging in dialogue with the developing world so that we arrive at an amicable solution.

Are these countries coming together?

There are 30-40 like-minded developing countries that we are working with – G-77 plus China. In the last one year, we have also been working with the developed countries…We are holding bi-lateral talks with more than 60 countries.

So, give me two issues on which all these countries are firmly together? One is 100 billion dollars and technology transfer.

Nothing can be said until it is finally declared. French President Hollande has clearly cautioned everyone that Paris success is not certain unless we solve the two issues of technology transfer. The issue of technology was raised by India. We said that if technology has the power to mitigate the challenge, why should it not be free? We said that we need to allow free flow of technology at an affordable cost. And we can compensate certain companies of critical technologies through Green Climate Fund.

Can the fund finance research in critical areas of green technology and thereby distribute the technology?

We are insisting for this and all countries are positively attuned to it. And if it really happens it will be a major gain for India and the developing world and it will also be a major revolution in the international framework.

There is a fear that multinationals of the west want to profit from this whole arrangement. They want to sell technology, get royalties and all kinds of figures are being quoted. If all these technologies are imported and if royalties are charged, then India may have to pay 30-40 billion dollars to multinationals.

The answer is solar. The US and European technologies were at the forefront 10 years ago. But in the last 10 years, India has also developed some potential. China also developed this in a major way and now they are proving it so cheap…. That is why India is engaged with the solar alliance concept.

There is another apprehension – the US-China bilateral deal on climate. Now it’s not necessary that it will be accepted by the multilateral framework. So how much per capita emission should China be allowed?

China is a large emitter….By 2030, both China and US will converge to 12-14 tons per capita. We will never reach that figure. We are just below 2 tons today. And even if we grow fast in next 15 years, we will never reach 14. Science and technology is not static. It will develop…I think within the next 5-6 years because of Make in India, we will also be developing technologies and promoting innovation in a large way.

So what is your political sense? US, China, Europe and India. These are the big players. Give me a sense that on what issues there is a broad consensus?

There is a sense of urgency on finance and there will be a talk of 100 billion dollars. The issue is, there should not be double accounting. At present there is 62 billion dollars in the market, but no one has bought that theory….We are saying that new additional predicable public money and even private money can be non-profit money.

So, you are saying that this conference will probably establish the foundations and processes? And you will have an agreement in the subsequent.

The same agreement will provide for the reviews and reports and same will be done.

Give me an honest opinion, is the industry spending enough on research?

My honest opinion is that some companies do research and some competitive companies survive without it. But still the Indian industries do not invest much in research…We don’t have innovations and innovations are what make a country prosper.

Will there be some budgetary provisions to encourage this?

The whole Make in India program is to innovate in India and sell it with pride. It’s all for innovation and for more jobs.