Manmohan Singh: We'll play our part on emissions, but India won't clean up your mess

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Our generation has an opportunity given to few, to remake a new global equilibrium after the irreversible changes brought about by the rapid and recent geopolitical and economic shifts. Nowhere are the changes more visible than in Asia. India and the United States can work together with other countries in the region to create an open and inclusive regional architecture.

Yet the negotiations heading toward Copenhagen are proving more difficult than we would have liked. There is disagreement among industrialised countries and between industrialised and developing countries.

It is important for all countries to make every effort to contribute to a successful outcome at Copenhagen. India was a latecomer to industrialisation and as such we have contributed very little to the accumulation of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. But, we are determined to be part of the solution to the problem. We are willing to work towards any solution that does not compromise the right of developing countries to develop and lift their populations out of poverty.

We recognise that we have to act on climate change in our own interest, since we are among the countries most impacted by climate change. It is for this reason that we have adopted an ambitious National Action Plan on Climate Change. We are committed to ambitious and time-bound outcomes that will increase the energy efficiency of our economy, the share of clean energy including nuclear power in our energy mix, and our forest cover.

All this requires resources. We have undertaken to do what we can with our own resources. We will do more if there is global support in terms of financial resources and technology transfer.

India's economic transition is gathering pace. It will be faster in the years ahead as we harness the expanding economic productivity of our young population. The unshackling of our markets; the latent demand, particularly of our rural economy; and the fact that our domestic savings rate now is as high as 35 per cent of our GDP all suggest that we can achieve a sustained growth of 9 per cent per annum over the next couple of decades. This will create the resources to make our development process more inclusive as well as sustainable.

Taken from a speech by the Indian Prime Minister to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on Monday