No compromise on development, but India must control emissions: PM

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) Developing countries cannot and will not compromise on development. But India must do its bit to keep its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within levels that are sustainable and equitable, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Thursday.

Inaugurating a conference on development and transfer of green technologies to fight climate change, Manmohan Singh said: “Technology and its diffusion will be a key element in meeting the challenge of climate change. The key issue is that of developing the appropriate technologies and then collapsing the time from their first commercialization to their large-scale adoption in developing countries.”

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The two-day conference co-hosted by India’s environment ministry and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs is being attended by 30 ministers and 58 delegations from around the world.

The challenge before developing countries is to develop while minimising their GHG emissions, which are leading to climate change.

For this, the prime minister pointed out, diffusion of green technologies “have to be backed by the establishment of appropriate financial arrangements to facilitate technology transfers”.

“The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should play a leading role in directing effective and collaborative actions in this regard,” he added.

Cheap transfer of clean technologies has repeatedly come unstuck due to the cost of buying patents. Manmohan Singh said: “Climate friendly and environmentally sound technologies should be viewed as global public goods.

“This implies that the IPR (intellectual property rights) regime applied to those goods should balance rewards for innovators with the need to promote the common good of humankind.”

He pointed out that the approach has worked for HIV/AIDS drugs. “The moral case of a similar approach for protecting our planet is equally compelling.”

If developed countries make a serious effort to bring their per capita emissions within tolerable levels, they will unleash large resources directed towards research, the prime minister said.

“This will generate an upsurge of technology that will make it much easier for other countries to follow suit.

“Meanwhile, we are acting to do what we can within our own limited capacity. We are committed to further evolving and pursuing our sustainable growth strategy for reasons of our own vital national interests.”

Setting at rest recent media speculation on whether India was changing its stance in international climate negotiations, Manmohan Singh backed “a comprehensive, balanced and above all, an equitable outcome at Copenhagen”, where the next climate summit is scheduled this December.

“As we move towards Copenhagen, we must keep to the mandate for our deliberations agreed upon by consensus at Bali. Our objective is to enhance the implementation of the principles and provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”