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India’s emissions to rise for at least 30 years

India’s greenhouse gas emissions are likely to continue to rise for at least the next three decades, an official said.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told The New York Times that as a developing country, India’s priority is to improve its economy and pull citizens out of poverty.

{mosads}That will probably include a growing economy with increasing pollution, such as from coal-fired power plants and transportation that uses fossil fuels.

“What cuts?” Javadekar told the Times. “That’s for more developed countries. The moral principle of historic responsibility cannot be washed away.”

Javadekar said countries that have spent previous decades building up their economies and emitting greenhouse gases have more of a responsibility to cut emissions than ones that are further behind, like India.

India is working to curb emissions, but that will only slow the rate of growth for the coming decades, Javadekar told the Times.

“India’s first task is eradication of poverty,” he said.

India is the world’s third largest polluter of carbon, which scientists say causes global warming.

Javadekar made his comments as world powers are negotiating an agreement to curb emissions internationally. United Nations countries agreed in recent years that such a pact should include all countries.

It remains to be seen how the agreement includes developing nations, which don’t feel as if they should be responsible for reducing emissions. 

Tags carbon emissions Climate change India United Nations climate agreement

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