12/01/2015, 00.00
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Modi at COP21: Reduce emissions, but India will continue to use coal

The Indian prime minister has inaugurated the India pavilion and spoke before the plenary session. A series of commitments in favor of clean energy by 2030 and the launch of a "solar alliance". The need for rich countries who have the "luxury of choosing" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The need for development of India through the conventional energy sources like coal.

Paris (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Reduce emissions by 35% by 2030; convert 40% of power plants to non-fossil fuels; expand renewable energy, particularly for civilian use and transport; reforest the forest cover to absorb 2.5 billion cubic meters of carbon dioxide; create a "solar alliance" to use the energy produced by the sun in 121 countries where solar energy is abundant: These are the proposals of the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who spoke yesterday in Paris at the plenary session of the Conference of the Parties COP21 on climate change.  However he also emphasized that India will continue to use conventional energy sources and that it is mainly the industrialized countries who must work to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Modi attended the opening of the Indian pavilion at the UN conference and spoke before the heads of state and government. During the first event he said that " the choices the world makes here will have an impact on our development. Climate change is a major global challenge. But, climate change is not of our making. It is the result of global warming that came from the prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel.  But, we in India face its consequences today. We see it in the risks of our farmers, the changes in weather patterns, and the intensity of natural disasters. We are concerned about the rise in ocean levels that threatens 7,500 kilometers of coastline and over 1,300 islands. We fear shrinking glaciers that feed our rivers and feed our population. "

The political leader spoke of the gap with other developed countries regarding the responsibility for the pollution of the planet. Then he added: " We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement, which must lead us to restore the balance between humanity and Nature and between what we have inherited and what we will leave behind. This will mean a partnership in which those who have the luxury of choices and the capability of technology will make adjustments to sharply reduce their carbon emission".

India’s commitment in favor of a less polluted world was "clouded" somewhat when the leader said the nation would render energy sources such as coal "cleaner" and when - in front of the heads of state – he  underlined the need for growth and development for a nation with 1.2 billion people, of which over 300 million are without access to energy. He said: "We still need conventional energy. We must make this clear, do not impose the end of its use".

Finally, he stressed the "common but differentiated" responsibility of rich countries to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Modi called on developed countries "to provide $ 100 billion a year until 2020 for the reduction and adaptation in developing ones. Rich countries must maintain their commitment in a credible, transparent and meaningful way ".

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