India’s development needs will have to be kept in mind by world powers when talking of climate change, Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy, said on Sunday.

Addressing the valedictory session of the International Conference on Global Environmental Issues, Goyal said that India’s per capita consumption of coal is what the US had in the 1860s.

“The US has had 150 years to develop their country from cheap power using coal. Having met their development needs, it is easy to tell us that it is India’s imperative to clean the world. That is not acceptable. They will have to keep in mind India’s development needs. But having said that, this Government stands for convenient and honest action,” he said.

The Minister elaborated that even Japan has started going back to coal-fired power plants for growth and development.

“Japan wants to phase-out its nuclear sources of energy after the Fukushima incident and replace it with coal. Even they admit cheap power has to be provided to industry and people. End of the day, one has to balance cheap power with green power. Dirty energy and clean energy have to co-exist,” Goyal said.

He said India is doing its bit for protecting the environment with a sincerity of purpose. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal and actions on environment is an article of faith. This Government stands for a cleaner and better environment. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has given a renewed thrust to clean energy. Together we believe, our Government will be able to balance the development needs of India while protecting the environment,” Goyal said.