Since the climate summit at Glasgow last month, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav’s phrasing — ‘phase-down’ instead of phase-out — has been a key development in the global fight against climate emergency. “When we made the amendment, we said that it was with the consensus of the presidency… It was decided in the interest of the developing countries. India raised the voice of developing countries…,” said Yadav in a keynote interview with Resident Editor Amitabh Sinha as part of ‘New Technology and the Green Economy: Two Trends Shaping a New India?’, the fourth in a series of webinars organised by the Financial Times and The Indian Express.
Yadav, who is currently the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, spoke about the announcements India made at COP26, the road map to meet those targets and the alarming situation of air pollution across India’s major cities. When asked if India’s announcements at the Glasgow meet were a response to an international demand for a net zero target or if they were planned keeping in mind India’s own growth trajectory, Yadav said that India’s primary energy consumption is only about one-third compared to the world average, and the per capita consumption is very low. “No other country has undertaken such an ambitious target for greening their energy supply while at a similar developmental stage… The climate goals will require international technological and financial support,” said Yadav. He added that India has recognised that climate change is real and that climate finance is a major component for achieving global net zero and it’s the duty of the developed countries to provide support to developing countries.