India resisted pressure from developed nations for phase out of fossil fuels: Environment Minister

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Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav during a session at the COP28 climate conference, in Dubai

Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav during a session at the COP28 climate conference, in Dubai

New Delhi: India resisted pressure from developed countries at the climate conference in the United Arab Emirates to end the use of fossil fuels, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said on Tuesday.


Addressing a press conference here, the minister said India is committed to meeting the energy needs of its people and this cannot be done by "just importing oil and gas".

"While India is committed to increasing its renewable energy capacity, we will have to rely on coal power until we achieve the objective of developed India," he said.

The minister said India accounts for 17 per cent of the global population but its contribution to global carbon emissions is just four per cent. "Poverty eradication is a priority for many nations. So, we did not accept the pressure from developed countries (for a fossil fuel phase-out)," Yadav said.


The minister said developed nations, which account for a large part of historical emissions (since the start of the industrial revolution), are required to provide finance and technological support to developing countries to help them combat climate change.

"But the developed countries are pressuring developing nations to end the use of fossil fuels. We did not accept it.

"We said efforts to (limit temperature rise to) 1.5 degrees Celsius should be seen in light of national circumstances and should adhere to (the principles of) equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC)," Yadav said.


These principles acknowledge that countries' efforts to combat climate change should be considered in light of their contributions to total emissions. They also stress that wealthier nations should bear primary responsibilities due to their substantial historical emissions.

Yadav said that India reduced its GDP emission intensity by 33 per cent between 2005 and 2019, achieving the target 11 years in advance.

The emission intensity of the economy refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted for every unit increase of gross domestic product (GDP).

Countries reached a historic deal on a 'transition away from fossil fuels' at COP28 in Dubai last week while emerging economies like India and China strongly resisted the targeting of coal.

The deal called for tripling global renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency rates by 2030 which, according to the International Energy Agency, is critical to avoid breaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold.