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Developed nations commit to progressive emission cuts: India

Le Bourget (France): With the first full day of climate talks getting underway here today, India said it remains committed to working with all parties for a “just and sustainable” deal and asserted it wanted developed nations to commit to more progressive targets on emission reductions.

Ajay Mathur, one of the top Indian negotiators at the Conference of Parties (CoP21), admitted that India was “lax” in communicating its energy story, which has led to attacks, especially by the US, on India’s projected coal consumption.

“We are looking at enhancing renewable energy capacity in India by more than seven times. That is not getting as much attention as the fact that even after we have used all the renewable energy, used nuclear and hydro, the balance will be met by coal electricity.

“(Coal) will increase by 2 to two and half times. This is getting far more attention than the fact that it would also mean a seven times increase of renewable. We are looking at something in 200 GW of solar and wind energy by 2030. The other part is we also foresee that as we move ahead there would be an increasing amount of discomfort with the fact that every Indian also needs a lot of energy as does every other citizen in the world,” said Mathur, who is also the director general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

India has been singled out over its projected increase in coal consumption, prominently by US Secretary of State John Kerry when he called India a “challenge” at the climate talks.

“Agreed. Many of us did not think that this issue needed a lot of international attention. We thought figures are there, if anybody wants to do the math they can do it. All of this is in public domain.

“We did not realise that we need to add up the numbers, put them there and tell people this is what is happening. We have been lax in communicating India energy story,” said Mathur, who has previously reacted sharply to Kerry’s comment saying countries are now “flexing their muscles”.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has already said that Kerrry’s comments were “unwarranted”.

Mathur said as far as India’s position is concerned, it will continue to work with other nations and make the point that we are looking for “just and sustainable” agreement.