Developed world benefited hugely from fossil fuel; and they should pay more to save the planet–says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is supposed to bear the symbolic leadership of the third world at Paris COP 21 has made a strongly worded statement that the developed world should shoulder more responsibilities to save the planet.

In an article with the Financial Times of London, Prime Minister provided heat to the Paris Conference saying that “Developed countries benefited from fossil fuel and they should shoulder the burden of climate protection more.”

Modi’s aggressive and yet bold stand may influence the outcome of the Paris Conference. According to him, the advanced countries that “powered their way to prosperity on fossil fuel” must continue to shoulder the greatest burden. “Anything else would be morally wrong,” the Prime Minister said.

He indicated that the developing countries are now postponing their development priorities because of the environmental damage made by the developed in their course to fast and high prosperity.

He highlights that the opportunities of the vast majority of world’s population in developing countries should not be blocked by the excesses of the few in the developed world.

“The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder”.

On the emission cutting responsibilities, Modi stresses the Kyoto principle of greater responsibilities by the rich.

“The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be the bedrock of our collective enterprise.”

          In an important note, Prime Minister questions the usefulness of renewable energy technological progress achieved by the advanced countries in poor developing countries. “Just because technology exists does not mean it is affordable and accessible.”

At Paris, the consensus decision decisively hangs on India’s stand because India is the third largest carbon emitter at the same time having largest number of poor people in the world. Any agreement on emission cutting by India will have positive impact on cleaner environment, at the same time will have development cost. Last year, China, which is far ahead of India in the development ladder, has declared firm policies for emission cutting.


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