India maintains Durban stand at TERI meet

India has reiterated that it stands by the Kyoto Protocol and the world’s rich will have to take into account and address the development needs of many countries.

Rahul Kumar/OneWorld South Asia

India has reiterated that it stands by the Kyoto Protocol and the world’s rich will have to take into account and address the development needs of many countries.

Union Minister for Commerce, Anand Sharma said in New Delhi on Wednesday that it is meaningless to have endless debates on the subject of climate change if the rich countries do not share clean technology and abide by the Koyoto Protocol. Speaking at the 9th World CEO Sustainability Summit, Sharma said that various countries on planet earth live on different levels of development. "There are monumental challenges still facing many countries due to a variety of reasons," he said.

The summit is part of the Delhi-based research organisation, The Energy and Resources Institute`s (TERI) annual event, Delhi Sustainability Development Summit (DSDS) 2012. Addressing Indian and international CEOs at a session, `Doing Business While Protecting the Global Commons`, Sharma said that though green and clean technologies are the latest mantra, there are poor countries which do not have the means to invest in such technologies. "A very small amount of $100 billion was committed at the Durban talks last year. What use is the intellect of the world if it cannot come to the rescue of the people."

Underlining India`s needs, he said that over 200 million young Indians will join the workforce by 2020. "It is a must for India to create at least 100 million jobs by then," Sharma stressed. Talking about manufacturing, he said that the country`s new manufacturing policy has incentivised green technology and skill training. The country is focussing on innovation and dissemination of green technologies. "We have decided to voluntarily reduce the emissions and have invested in new technologies also," the minister said.

Sam Pitroda, chairman, National Innovation Council, came down heavily on the current model of development that is based on "energy, consumption and consumerism." He said: "It was fine when 300 million people were hogging resources. But another one billion want the same lifestyle. We need a whole new model that is not based on the Western model of development. We need a human model of development." He added that international institutions have served their purpose. "All this while, these institutions were sorting out the problems of the rich, even when the rich had no problems. The problems of the poor are not being addressed."

TERI Director General R.K. Pachauri said that businesses cannot succeed in a society that fails. He said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had said in a report just two months back that disasters are increasing. "This means that it will have an implication on business… there will be implications on the availability of water.”

Peter Bakkar, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Geneva, a CEO-led, global association of companies, agreed that companies the world over are becoming aware about sustainable development. Bakkar said: "At the WEF too sustainability is taking centre-stage. The world is becoming aware of social inequalities. We have to live within the boundaries of the planet.” He added that businesses will provide a solution to the problems of the world.

Sudhir Vasudeva, Chairman and Managing Director, ONGC, proposed that the well-known R-3 of reduce, reuse and recycle be increased to R-6 by incorporating recover, replace and refuse. He said: “To be global leader and attain sustainable growth, knowledge excellence and exemplary business practices need to be adopted.” He added that the company will become carbon-neutral but has not arrived at a deadline.