Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday said that climate change is a result of historical actions and India is not responsible for it, asserting that the country has only 3 per cent of all historical emissions.
Speaking on the eve of five years of Paris Agreement, he said that India's present emission levels are just 6 per cent today and the country has nearly achieved targets of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
"Climate change isn't an overnight phenomenon. It has taken the last 100 years. Historically the USA has 25 per cent of all emissions, Europe has 22 per cent whereas China has 13 per cent and India only 3 per cent. We are in no way responsible for this climate change. But as a responsible participant in world affairs, India chose to take part in combating climate change," Javadekar said.
"Our present emission levels are just 6 per cent today. India has behaved more responsibly than many countries in mitigating this climate change challenge. We have nearly achieved our targets of NDC much before the beginning of the Paris Agreement implementation," he said.
The Minister said that India is one of the few countries which are Paris Agreement compliant. "Our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) will lead to less than 2-degree rise in temperature," he said.
"Five years back at Paris agreement, we had committed to reduce emission intensity of GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030, of which we have already achieved 21 per cent and remaining will be achieved in next 10 years. Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 but its implementation will begin from January 1, 2021," he said.
Javadekar said that India's has 8 per cent biodiversity and total forest cover is around 25 per cent.
"India has 2.4 per cent of the earth's total area, 17 per cent of the world population and 16 per cent of world cattle population. We have only 4 per cent of the world's fresh rainwater resources. Despite all these constraints, we have 8 per cent biodiversity and total forest cover is around 25 per cent," he said.
"According to the Climate Transparency Report 2020, India is the only G20 country to meet its commitments...The recent report by UNEP also says that India's emissions grew 1.4 per cent in 2019, much lower than average of 3.3 per cent per year over the last decade," he added.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the global climate summit on December 12, on the fifth anniversary of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.