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| Last Updated:14/01/2019

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India will not create any problems on climate change, says PM Narendra Modi

SINGAPORE: Setting the tone for Paris climate change conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that India will not create any "problems" for the world in combating global warming, an apparent response to the US' contention that it will be a "challenge" at the meet.

He said India needs huge amounts of energy for development but will do whatever it can to deal with the problem of climate change as it sees the world as one family.

Addressing the Indian diaspora here before winding up his two-day visit to Singapore, PM Modi said his government is laying thrust in generating of power from clean and renewable sources like solar, nuclear, wind and biomass with the target of 175 giga watts and in turn reduce dependence on coal.

"By 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th Independence Day, we want to provide 24x7 electricity to all the villages," he said.

"We need power but we will not create problems for the world," the Prime Minister asserted as he highlighted how environment is worshipped in India and invoked Mahatma Gandhi in this regard.

His assertion came days after US secretary of state John Kerry said India could be a "challenge" at upcoming climate change talks in Paris beginning November 30 as it "has been more cautious, a little more restrained in its embrace of this new paradigm".

India has been resisting the efforts of the developed world to put the onus of the climate change problem on developing countries, citing the "historical responsibility" of the industrialised nations in polluting the environment.

It is pressing for funding and transfer of low-cost technology to developing nations by the developed countries to enable them to meet their developmental needs in a clean manner.

"40 per cent of the electricity generated will be from non-fossil sources," Modi said.

"There are small island nations which fear that they will be drowned by global warming. We will not let that happen. India will do whatever we can (to combat climate change) as we believe in 'vasudeva kutumbakam' (whole world is one family)," he said in his 75-minute speech.

Sending out a message to the developed world, Modi said Indians see God in elements of the environment like plants, water and sun and worship them as if it linked to their life.

"We cannot even think of damaging the environment," he added.

Talking about his government's efforts to boost solar power generation, the Prime Minister said it is expensive and hence India needs funds, technology and collaboration with foreign countries having expertise in the field.

"People are seeing new opportunities for investments (in this field)," he said.