Indian PM says lack of collective will on climate change


NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday that “a lack of collective will” was hampering efforts to forge a common global front against the threat of climate change.

Addressing the opening of a Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi, Singh said India was committed to tackling greenhouse gas emissions, but rejected any framework that deprived the country of its right to develop.

“It is necessary to recognise that currently there appears to be a lack of collective global will to address this problem with the seriousness it deserves,” the prime minister said.

The threat of climate change has brought the world to a point where “the actions of each and every country” affect the whole planet, Singh said, adding that cooperation between industrialised and developing nations was crucial.

But any cooperation must be based on “the right to development and the need for an equitable distribution of burden,” he said, arguing that per capita greenhouse emissions in industrialised nations were 10 times higher than developing countries.

Emerging Asian giants India and China, both huge emitters of carbon, have long resisted calls to sign up to legally binding emission cuts.

Later in the day, the summit heard from Hollywood star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who said people had to embrace green energy without “waiting for anybody or any international agreement.”

“It is great to hope but I would not wait. Everyone has to participate… do not hesitate,” he said, offering up India’s independence icon Mahatma Gandhi as a model for how to affect radical change through grassroots movements.


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