New Delhi: The world must accept that India's per capita carbon emissions will need to rise rapidly if it is to eliminate poverty, the environment minister said on Friday, as delegates meet in Lima for key U.N. climate change talks.
India, the world's third largest carbon emitter, is under growing pressure to set out a strategy to address climate change after the United States and China agreed a deal last month under which Beijing said its emissions would peak by 2030.
India has long defended the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility" - the concept that the burden of emissions reductions and financial assistance to tackle climate change belongs to developed countries.
"They (China and the U.S.) have accepted the differentiated responsibility and the need for time to be given for growth and China is four times ahead of us. So you calculate," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters in Delhi.
India's emissions are around 1.9 tonnes per person - less than China, which emits around 7.2 tonnes per person and the 5 tonnes world average - but with a population of 1.2 billion people it is the third largest emitter and heavily reliant on thermal coal for its energy needs.
Javadekar said the current U.N. talks in Lima, where delegates from about 190 nations are meeting during Dec. 1-12 to work towards a U.N. climate treaty in 2015, were not the place to announce when India's emissions might peak.
"We need to grow. Our emissions will grow ... Our growth cannot be compromised. Poverty must be eliminated immediately," he said....