Strive for lighter carbon footprint: Modi

Paris: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the world must strive for a lighter carbon footprint in the course of its growth path.

“The advanced countries must leave enough room for developing countries to grow,” Modi said in an address at an event on “Mission Innovation” hosted by US President Barack Obama at the Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit that got underway here.

“And, we must strive for a lighter carbon footprint on our growth path,” he said.

“Mission Innovation”, launched by Obama and French President Francois Hollande on Sunday, is an initiative to dramatically accelerate public and private global energy innovation to address global climate change, provide affordable clean energy to consumers, including in the developing world and create commercial opportunities in clean energy.

Modi called for a global partnership to being clean energy to the reach of all people.

“Our innovation initiative should be driven by public purpose, not just market incentives, including on intellectual property,” he said while seeking strong public commitment by suppliers to developing countries.

“That will make clean energy technology available, accessible and affordable for all,” the prime minister said.

“This partnership will combine the responsibility of governments with the innovative capacity of the private sector. We will double our investments in research and innovation, and, deepen collaboration among ourselves.”

Modi said the world must speak about goals and targets on carbon emissions and rise in global temperature.

“But, it is just as important to focus on the instruments that will make it natural and easy for the world to get there,” he said.

“A vast section of humanity lives at the edge of poverty and in darkness after the sun sets. They need energy to light up their homes and power their future.”

Modi said that as the world’s majority worked its way to prosperity on a planet left with very limited carbon space, “we have to do many things”.

“We have to ensure, in the spirit of climate justice, that the life of a few does not crowd out the opportunities for the many still on the initial steps of the development ladder,” he said.

The prime minister also called for the laying of the foundation of a new economy in new low carbon age.

“We will restore the balance between ecology and economy, and between our inheritance and obligation to the future. And, live up to Gandhiji’s call to care for the world we shall not see,” he said.

Earlier, Modi started his speech by saluting Hollande and the people of France their courage and resolve after the November 13 terror attacks in the French capital that claimed at least 129 lives.