India and the US appeared headed for a face-off at the Paris climate summit starting Monday with the world’s biggest democracies divided over who should share the larger blame for greenhouse gas emission and, therefore, do more towards mitigating it.
Ahead of the high-stakes talks to be attended by negotiators from 196 countries, New Delhi and Washington have already engaged in a verbal war with US secretary of state John Kerry describing India as the “biggest challenge” for the Paris summit. India hit back by terming his remarks as “unfortunate” and “ill-timed”.
Officials of both countries as well as China – the world’s three largest emitters of greenhouse gases – agree that a successful outcome at the Paris conference will depend in a large measure on the three big players’ willingness to resolve their differences, some of which could prove deal-breaking otherwise.
Joined by China and other developing countries, India believes developed countries have contributed more to environmental degradation with their longer history of industrialisation and, therefore, they should do more and pay to the developing world to go green, called differentiation in negotiating parlance.
“There is a difference between the developed and the developing world on historical responsibility and capabilities of each country. It cannot end,” Ajay Mathur, spokesperson for India’s climate negotiations team, told HT.
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