There’s merit to Modi’s demand for ‘climate justice’ and success in Paris requires that all countries recognize it.
- To many eyes, India looks like a roadblock to an effective world climate deal.
- PM Modi’s demand for “climate justice” that, rich nations should reduce their carbon emissions even as India and others continue to pollute.
How does PM’s central argument is sound?
- India can’t accept a hard limit on emissions when it’s still trying to lift hundreds of millions of Indians, more than 20% of whom lack electricity, out of poverty.
- Western nations are most responsible for the greenhouse gases (Historical emissions) now in the atmosphere.
What’s the balanced solution on it?
- India has pressed developed nations to fulfil their promise to provide $100 billion a year to help India and others develop clean energy.
- What the country needs more is access to cheaper capital.
- It’s taken welcome steps in this direction by authorizing tax-free investment bonds and by setting up programmes to encourage private investment in renewables.
The Way Forward
- Better clean and grid technology could allow India to tap its potential for rooftop solar projects and access to next-generation solar cells could lower costs further.
- If India can’t raise its climate targets immediately, it should at least not block efforts to scrutinize the progress that all countries are making.
In the short term, India’s carbon emissions are virtually certain to rise. But that doesn’t mean the country can’t help move the world toward a clean-energy future.