Western industrialized nations must shoulder financial burden of tackling climate change, says environment minister

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said on Sunday that India’s per capita carbon emissions are among the lowest in the world and therefore Western industrialized countries should shoulder the bulk the financial burden of fighting climate change.

Addressing the “Conference on Environmental Diversity and Environmental Jurisprudence: National and International Perspective” at the University of Chandigarh, the Minister also stressed the need to strike a balance between development and environment.

He said India’s environmental legislation and policy is not only about protection and conservation but also about equity 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.

“It works both globally and locally: India’s per capita carbon emissions are among the lowest in the world (two tonnes) and therefore Western industrialized countries would have to shoulder most of the financial burden. of the fight against climate change,” a statement said. said the minister.

Yadav also referred to the “waves of environmental litigation over the years that have become detrimental to development”.

“Society will have to prosper, but not at the cost of the environment and likewise the environment will have to be protected but not at the cost of development. The need of the hour is to strike a balance between the two,” he said.

Yadav said the latest IPCC Working Group III report justifies India’s focus on equity at all scales in climate action and sustainable development. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body responsible for assessing climate change. “Equity remains a central element of the UN climate regime, despite changes in differentiation between states over time and challenges in assessing equitable shares,” the report quoted.

He said that India has the largest number of forest dependent communities in the world and their livelihoods, culture and existence depend on access to forest.

”In our zeal to protect forests, we cannot ignore the existence of so many forest communities. It is for this reason that Western ideas of conservation, which exclude local people, can have serious ramifications for the rights of forest-dependent communities,” Yadav added.

“Similarly, our coastal areas provide livelihoods for the world’s largest fishing communities whose very existence depends on the integrity of coastal areas. Therefore, while it is important to focus on building climate resilience infrastructure in coastal areas, it is equally important to ensure that no negative impacts are caused to those whose livelihoods depend on the coasts,” he said.

Yadav pointed out that environmental law, despite its development in recent times, is still in its infancy.

”The concept of accountability needs to be developed both nationally and internationally. Environmental jurisprudence still focuses on punishing the polluter or the poacher at the local level, while the reality of climate change, ocean and air pollution forces us to design mechanisms that can go beyond national borders. This is crucial given that there is a limited mechanism to hold polluters accountable if the origin is not in the country,” he said.

The minister also commended the judiciary for its important role in addressing environmental issues.

“Industrialization and environmental preservation are two opposing interests and their harmonization is a major challenge in front of the judicial system and the governance system of the country,” he said.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Teresa H. Sadler