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India’s Modi urges ‘climate justice’ ahead of Paris meet

Narendra ModiIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Thursday for a focus on “climate justice” rather than climate change, saying the poor suffered most from global warming.

India is under pressure to commit to cutting its carbon emissions ahead of a major conference in Paris later this year aimed at forging a global climate pact.

It argues the burden should lie with industrialised countries, which have been accused of hypocrisy in heaping demands on poorer nations.

In a speech in New Delhi Thursday, Modi said natural disasters such as flooding or drought disproportionately affected poor communities and called for a shift in focus.

“We can’t let climate change keep affecting people in this manner. Which is why I believe the discourse must shift focus from climate change to climate justice,” he said.

India has so far resisted pressure to commit to any major emissions cuts despite a pact last year between the two top global emitters, China and the United States.

Modi has bet big on coal, a key source of pollution, although India also has an ambitious renewable energy output target of 175,000 megawatts by 2022.

US President Barack Obama added to the pressure in January, saying the world did not “stand a chance against climate change” unless developing nations like India reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

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