India says historic polluters must pay more, ahead of Biden climate meet

India, the world's third-biggest emitter, has come under pressure to make a net-zero pledge, ahead of the meeting in November.
India, the world's third-biggest emitter, has come under pressure to make a net-zero pledge, ahead of the meeting in November.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (BLOOMBERG) - India wants historical polluters, including the United States and Europe, to finance and provide technologies for climate mitigation, its Environment Minister said ahead of US President Joe Biden's planned leaders' meeting later this month.

"In climate debates, historical responsibility is a very important aspect," minister Prakash Javadekar said in a speech at a climate conference, during French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's visit to New Delhi.

"We are not responsible for the climate change that is happening."

The world's third-biggest emitter, India has come under pressure to make a net-zero pledge ahead of the US meeting and global climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, this November.

Signatories to the Paris Agreement are expected to boost their commitments to slow global warming, and China - the biggest polluter and a rival of India - won international praise for setting a 2060 net-zero target last September.

The minister defended India's energy consumption and emissions, adding that big polluters had not kept their 2011 commitment to provide US$1 billion (S$1.34 billion) each year for mitigation.

India will raise its climate ambitions but is "not under pressure", he said.