| Mitigation strategies
There have been suggestions recently that a process should commence to enhance commitments of developing countries on mitigating climate change beyond that included in the convention. This suggestion is misplaced for several reasons.
First, our per capita greenhouse gas emissions are only a fraction of the world average, and an order of magnitude below that of many developed countries. This situation will not change for several decades to come. We do not believe that the ethos of democracy can support any norm other than equal per capita rights to global environmental resources.
Second, our per capita incomes are again a small fraction of those in industrialized countries. Developing countries do not have adequate resources to meet their basic human needs. Climate change mitigation will bring additional strain to the already fragile economies of the developing countries, and will affect our efforts to achieve higher GDP growth rates to eradicate poverty speedily.
Third, the GHG intensity of our economies at purchasing power parity is low and, in any case, not higher than that of industrialized countries. Thus, the assertion that developing countries generate GHG emissions, which are unnecessary for their economies, is not based on facts.
Friends, India’s 5,000-year-old culture enjoins us to look at the whole world and all that it sustains — living and non-living — as a family, coexisting in a symbiotic manner. I do hope that this essential principle of sustainable development would inform the deliberations of this conference and help all the parties, which have assembled here, to make progress in responding to this challenge.
EXTRACTS FROM THE DRAFT DELHI MINISTERIAL DECLARATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
The ministers and other heads of delegation present at the eighth session of the conference of the parties to the UN framework convention on climate change,
Recalling the ultimate objective and principles of, and the commitments under, the convention,
Reaffirming that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing country parties,
Recognizing with concern the findings of the IPCC third assessment report, which confirms that significant cuts in global emissions will be necessary to meet the ultimate objective of the convention, and recognizing the on-going consideration in the subsidiary body for scienti- fic and technological advice of the implications of this report,
Noting that mitigation actions are now taking place both in Annex I and non-Annex I countries and emphasizing that mitigation of GHG emissions to combat climate change continues to have high priority under the provisions of the convention and that, at the same time, urgent action is required to advance adaptation measures,
Recognizing that climate change could endanger future well-being, ecosystems and economic progress in all regions,
Deeply concerned that all countries, particularly developing countries, including the least developed countries and small island developing states, face an increased risk of the negative impacts of climate change,
Recognizing that, as Africa is the region suffering the most from the combined impacts of climate change and poverty, development initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development should be supported in the context of sustainable development,
Resolve that, in order to respond to the challenges faced now and in the future, climate change and its adverse effects should be addressed while meeting the requirements of sustainable development. Therefore, we call for the following:
(a) Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol strongly urge parties that have not already done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in a timely manner;
(b) Parties have a right to, and should, promote sustainable development. Policies and measures to protect the climate system against human-induced change should be appropriate for the specific conditions of each party and should be integrated with national development programmes, taking into account that economic development is essential for adopting measures to address climate change;
(c) National sustainable development strategies should integrate more fully climate change objectives in key areas such as water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity, and build on the outcomes of the world summit on sustainable development;...