United Nations: As the world prepares for the UN climate change conference in Paris next month, India accused developed nations of stifling the voices of the developing countries.
"The voices and interests of a vast majority of developing countries are being stifled if not ignored," India's delegate S.P. Muddahanumegowda told a UN committee dealing with economic and financial matters on Monday. "This does not augur well. The path to climate ambition must be paved with equity."
"Livelihoods in the developing South cannot be compromised for sake of preserving lifestyles in the North," he said.
The climate change crisis was the result of "choices that were made by many, mostly developed, countries in their race for unsustainable development - choices that have led to climate change and wrecked the environment," he said. "The burden of sustainability therefore cannot be placed on the poor."
"We were not part of the problem, but we have every intention to be part of the solution," he declared.
Muddahanumegowda, a Congress member of the Lok Sabha representing Hassan in Karnataka, is among five members of parliament from both ruling and opposition parties who are currently in the Indian delegation to the UN.
The UN Framework Conference of Climate Change is set to meet next month in Paris with the goal of adopting a legally binding agreement on limiting carbon emissions. India, like other developing countries, has been under intense pressure from developed countries and non-governmental orgainisations to cut its greenhouse gas emissions even though an Indian produces only about a tenth of an American's carbon emissions.
When dealing with the goal of sustainable development, the emphasis appears to have been placed on the environment rather than giving importance to development, Muddahanumegowda said. "There is something clearly wrong in the manner in which this agenda item has been framed," he said giving as an example the document prepared for the committee debate.