Union environment minister Bhupendra Yadav said, India’s per capita carbon emission is among the lowest in the world and that western industrialised nations should bear the burden of financing to fight climate change.
Speaking at the Conference on Environmental Diversity and Environmental Jurisprudence: National and International Perspective at Chandigarh University, the minister emphasised the need to strike a balance between development and environment.
Bhupendra Yadav said that India’s environmental laws and policies are not only about protection and security, but also about equality and justice.
“There can be no environmental justice and equity if the people most affected by environmental protection measures are those who are not responsible for the problem. This operates both globally and locally: India’s per capita carbon emission is among the lowest in the world (two tonnes) and, therefore, the western industrialised nations should shoulder the bulk of the financial burden for combating climate change,” the minister said.
He further noted the “waves of environmental litigation over the years which have become detrimental to the development.”
Yadav said the recent IPCC Working Group III report demonstrates India’s focus on equity at all levels of climate action and sustainable development. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations agency responsible for assessing climate change.
The minister said India has the largest number of forest-dependent communities in the world and depends on their livelihood, culture and access to surviving forests.
“Similarly, our coastal areas provide livelihoods to the largest fisherfolk communities in the world whose very existence is dependent on the integrity of coastal areas. Therefore, even though it is important to focus on building climate resilience infrastructure in coastal areas, it is equally important to ensure that no adverse impact is caused to those whose livelihood depends on coasts,” he said.