Outlining India's target of 175 GW of renewable energy in seven years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told a global summit on environment that while his country was doing its bit on climate change, the world must also act with urgency, led by rich nations.
"The entire world, 196 nations, have come together to shape the future of this world and the health of our planet," said Modi, who is here for the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP-21) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"We want the world to act with urgency. We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement, which must lead us to restore the balance between humanity and nature, and between what we have inherited and what we will leave behind," he said.
Among his engagements, the prime minister opened the India pavilion at the conference to showcase the country's commitment on renewable energy and climate change while also seeking to demonstrate that the world also needs to look beyond to focus on climate justice.
"India's progress is our destiny and the right of our people. But we must also lead in combating climate change," said the prime minister, while assuring 40 percent of India's installed energy capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
"We have a target for renewable generation of 175 Gigawatt by 2022. We have got off to a good start, with nearly 12 GW likely to be installed by 2016, more than three times the current capacity," he said.
India has already submitted for the consideration of the conference, what is called the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions sought from the 196 member states of the convention, offering to cut its emission intensity by 33-35 percent by 2030.
"So, we approach the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in a spirit of partnership -- which must be based on the principles of equity and common, but differentiated responsibilities," the prime minister said.
Alluding to what rich nations needed to do to protect the environment, Modi made it clear that a pact reached in Paris must be one of partnership, where resources and technology are shared with poor and developing economies, so as not to deprive people who live between want and hope.
Modi was also due to unveil a book authored by him on innovations, "Convenient Action", attend a innovation summit, speak at the summit and jointly launch with French President Francois Hollande a global alliance of 121 nations to promote greater use of solar energy.
Ahead of the summit, the prime minister had sought to remind the developed world, through an article in The Financial Times of London, that it has a moral imperative to lead the fight against global warming.
"Principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be the bedrock of our collective enterprise. Anything else would be morally wrong," he wrote, adding: "Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow."
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that India had to be able to grow and fight poverty, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to ensure development would be coupled with environmental protection.
One of the stumbling blocks to getting an inclusive agreement to fight climate change has been the United States' reluctance to accept that some countries should be obliged to do more than others, while nations such as India have objected to restrictions on their development.
After talks with Modi on the sidelines of a U.N. summit on climate change in Paris, Obama told reporters he and Modi had agreed climate change was an urgent threat and also that India also had to be able to grow.
In return, Modi said he would work "to ensure that development and environmental protection go hand in hand".