New Delhi: Union Minister Suresh Prabhu, who has been critical of the idea of India aligning with China on climate change talks, Saturday favoured "mobilisation" of Commonwealth countries, including India, on the issue for a better deal at the Paris meet.
Prabhu, who was Prime Minister's special envoy on climate change before assuming charge as Railway Minister, wanted China to play a "big role" in arriving at a deal on climate change at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 21) to be held in Paris in December this year.
Participating in a ministerial session at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) organised by the Energy Resources Institute (TERI), Prabhu emphaised the need for various blocs on climate change, including the one led by European Union, the United States, island nations and the Commonwealth playing a major role in making a deal happen in Paris.
The Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member-states, including India, that were mostly territories of the former British Empire.
Prabhu suggested separate meetings of such blocs ahead of the Paris meet to put "some influence" on nations to arrive at a deal on climate change which will replace Kyoto Protocol.
Prabhu, however, did not suggest the meeting of BASIC group in which China and India are key members. The BASIC countries are a bloc of four large emerging economies to define a common position on emission reductions in a geo-politcal scenario. Brazil and South Africa are the other two members of the grouping.
"China must play a big role because China's emissions are the highest in the world today... We should try to involve China into whole thing. But I think we really need to work on that," the Railway Minister said in the presence of French Environment Minister Segolene Royal.
"As far as India is concerned, as we always maintained that we want to be part of the global deal. India has been playing a pro-active role into this.
"I think India also could host another ministerial to make sure that all the countries who believe in this particular position could also take the stand between now and Paris. So we should do that. Of course, Sharma (Commonwealth secretary-general India's Kamalesh Sharma) can help in Commonwealth mobilisation," Prahu said.
He said "the Commonwealth is a right way to do it because we have to really preserve the common global wealth of environment. We really need to take it forward... And if you want to do it, it is the best time."
Sharma, who participated in the session, welcomed Prabhu's suggestion.