India will remain firm on its demand for greater commitments by developed countries at the UN conference on Climate Change in Peru, in December.

“We are clear on our position and remain firm that developed countries have to make financial commitments on the principle of historic responsibility as well as commit to technology transfer to developing nations,” a senior official in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change told BusinessLine .

Subsequent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent US visit there were talks within environmental lobbies as well as a section of the Government that India is likely to soften its stance. But the official said that the basic stance on the matter will remain unchanged.

A possible change, if at all it happens at the December meet, will be on India’s emission targets as a quid pro quo. India may agree to increase its emission targets.

Critical meet

The upcoming talks in Peru are critical since during the next Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015 in Paris, all the signatories, including India, are expected to arrive at a binding and universal agreement on climate change efforts.

While developed countries are yet to reveal their cards, India is gearing up for the negotiations. Recently, the PM’s Council on Climate Change, which had been defunct for three years, was reconstituted to include key officials involved in climate negotiations such as JM Mauskar and retired diplomat Chandrashekhar Dasgupta.

If India were to soften its stance, other least-developed countries in the Southern hemisphere will face a major setback.

India and China are the two biggest and most powerful countries, economically and politically, in this region.

Taking the lead

India has been leading the developing and least developed countries at climate change negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC).

At the UNCCC meeting last year, India had walked out along with more than 100 developing countries following the refusal by developed countries to agree to a mechanism for compensation for climate change-induced disasters.

Under the 2009 Copenhagen pledge, developed countries had assured a sum of $100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries mitigate effects of climate change and also cut emissions.

However, since then, developed countries have been pressurising developing countries to commit to binding emission cuts, adaptation measures and others, which they are not bound to till now.

India, along with other developing countries, has been insisting that the developed world first honour promises over critical issues such as financial aid and technology transfer.