"India is the world's largest democracy and a country with immense potential. It has its own development path and needs. That said, the country is highly vulnerable to climate change. More than 37 million of its people live along its long coastline and are vulnerable to the impacts of sea-level rise," the UN Secretary General said.
    
Ban said that India's dependence on imported sources of fossil fuel energy is draining its coffers and weakening its own energy security.

"So I see action on climate change as very much in line with India's own development goals. There is no trade-off between climate action and a robust economy. We can have both. While climate action is not cost-free, it involves actions that will have numerous and very significant long-term benefits for energy security, public health, and growth," he said in an email interview.

India's long-held position has been that it will not sacrifice eradicating poverty to limit carbon emissions.     

On what more does India need to do towards climate change, Ban said the motto for the government "development without destruction" should serve as a useful guide.

"Understanding that poverty reduction is a critical concern for India, there are effective paths forward that can be pursued to fight poverty, promote prosperity, improve people's well-being, and  protect the environment. It is not an either-or choice, but an 'all of the above': poverty eradication and climate action are two sides of the same coin," he said.

The UN Chief said ultimately, India will need to go further than reducing energy intensity.

"The science requires actual emissions reductions, and we now see that it is actually cost-effective to do that while strengthening economic development and increasing energy access through renewable energy," he added.

Ban said every country has the right to develop and provide enhanced well-being and opportunities for its citizens and investing in a low-carbon, climate resilient economy is investing in sustainable development and poverty eradication.     

On the Green Climate Fund, Ban said the recent pledges of close to USD 10 billion were a good start to capitalise the fund and to enable it to start operations as soon as possible to finance low-carbon development projects.

In September Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar had said at the UN Climate Summit that India is fully committed to achieving its voluntary goal for reducing Emission Intensity of its GDP by 20-25 percent by 2020 over 2005 level.

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