NEW DELHI – India would reject a deal to combat climate change that includes a pledge for the world to wean itself off fossil fuels this century, a senior official said, underlying the difficulties countries face in agreeing how to slow global warming.
Almost 200 nations will meet in the French capital on Nov. 30 to try and seal a deal to prevent the planet from warming more than the 2 degrees Celsius that scientists say is vital if the world is to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.
To keep warming in check, some countries want the Paris agreement to include a commitment to decarbonise — to reduce and ultimately phase out the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas that is blamed for climate change — this century.
India, the world’s third largest carbon emitter, is dependent on coal for most of its energy needs, and despite a pledge to expand solar and wind power has said its economy is too small and its people too poor to end use of the fossil fuel anytime soon.
“It’s problematic for us to make that commitment at this point in time. It’s certainly a stumbling block (to a deal),” Ajay Mathur, a senior member of India’s negotiating team for Paris, told Reuters in an interview this week.
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