Emerging world needs climate finance and to burn coal, India says

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Emerging economies need climate finance, help with technology and the right to pursue development, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday before leaving for the UN climate summit in Dubai.

The COP28 summit opened in Dubai on Thursday for two weeks of talks. Nations are divided over whether to prioritise phasing out coal, oil and gas, or to scale up technologies to reduce the climate impact of fossil fuels.

Emerging powers, including India and China, often blame the developed world for having used more than its share of the available carbon resources.

A statement from Modi’s office said emerging economies “must have access to equitable carbon and development space to achieve sustainable development”.

Earlier on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said coal would remain India’s main source of energy for years to come.

“Coal is, and would, remain an important part of India’s energy needs,” he told reporters.

Reuters reported that India, which depends on coal for 73% of its energy needs, is working to add 17 gigawatts of coal-based power generation capacity to meet a record increase in power demand.

India and China oppose any attempt to block construction of coal-fired power stations for their economies, while France, backed by the United States, plans to seek a halt to private financing for these plants at COP28, sources have said.

Kwatra said India expects a clear roadmap on climate financing at COP28 and has always been upfront about its support for a “loss-and-damage” fund aimed at helping countries recover from environmental degradation caused by industrial development.

“Loss and damage fund will be of great benefit to developing countries,” he added.

(Reporting by Sarita Chaganti Singh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Miral Fahmy and Barbara Lewis)