Durban: Criticising developed nations for not doing enough to combat climate change, India's Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan has said the principles of "equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR)" were central for climate talks. South Africa not ready for EU's climate pact
"Equity has to be the centrepiece of the climate discussion and our negotiations should be built on it. We cannot accept the principle of CBDR to be diluted. The firewall of CBDR must not be broken. Equity in the debate must be secured," Natarajan said while addressing the climate change conference here.
"My biggest concern with reference to the texts is that there is no reference to the fundamental principle of equity and CBDR in the bigger picture text," she said.
According to the principle of CBDR, the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases originated in developed countries and per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low.
"I am disturbed to find that a legally binding protocol to the Convention, negotiated just 14 years ago is now being junked in a cavalier manner," Natarajan said.
Former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi said that poverty is the greatest polluter and development is the greatest healer, she said.
"I am from India and I represent 1.2 billion people," she said adding that the country has a tiny per capita carbon footprint of 1.7 ton with even lower per capita GDP.
"I was also deeply moved listening to the comments of my colleagues and friends from the small island states," Natarajan said. "Our positions may be different, but their sentiments resonate with me very strongly."
India has 600 islands which may be submerged as they are absolutely at the forefront of the vulnerability of Climate Change, she said.
Natarajan's strong words were met with applause and standing ovation on a day when India has been described as a stumbling block to the talks here.
The climate talks in Durban, which were set to conclude on Friday, are spilling to Saturday. Delegates have been negotiating for hours at stretch and well into the night.
India has expressed anger at the developed world for shifting the burden of its "historical responsibility" on the developing world.
The country wants the developed world to shoulder the international burden of reducing its carbon emissions since eradicating poverty remains its overriding priority.
India, US and China are under pressure to accept a legally binding treaty proposed by the EU, which would be signed by 2015 and come into force by 2020.
Durban: Criticising developed nations for not doing enough to combat climate change, India's Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan has said the principles of "equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR)" were central for climate talks.
South Africa not ready for EU's climate pact