The government has taken exception to the `biases' in the United NationsDevelopment Programme's (UNDP) Asia Pacific Human Development report, titled, One Planet, which was released on Thursday.
UNDP, required to play a neutral role in international governance, has recommended that India and other countries in the Asia Pacific region take greater responsibility to reduce emissions and warned that 'inclusive growth' would increase emissions, a trade-off that India cannot afford.
Pointing out that UNDP had not even consulted the government on the draft report, an environment and forests ministry official said, "It pits the issue of growth against environment which is not a correct framework for analysis. The very title of the report is objectionable. It suggests that cleaning up first, and growing up later should be the option. This is like putting the logic on its head."
Sources in the ministry said that the government would write to UNDP shortly, raising its concerns about the `biased' report.
The report plays down the issues of equity and historical emissions, while suggesting that future emissions from developing countries would cause harm. "The report is silent on the principle of equity. It only says that developed countries are taking adequate steps to reduce carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutral production and consumption. Our experience with theKyoto Protocol and low-level of pledges made in Cancun do not support this view," the environment ministry responded.
Earlier, miffed with other UN agencies like the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), India had demanded that such documents should not be used as basis of climate negotiations as suggested by the European Union and its allies, the small island states. India was irked by UNEP's report on emission reduction and its participation in a US-backed coalition of select countries to reduce short-lived greenhouse gas emissions that shifts the onus to act on developing nations.
The UNDP report recommends that India take emission reductions beyond the point where such cuts come out of energy security measures, implying costlier methods.
In a pre-release meeting with media, UNDP officials and team leader, Anuradha Rajivan, had defended the report on various counts, and claimed that the UN body had consulted the government on it.
However, ministry officials told TOI that only a final version of the copy had been provided at the last moment breaking the tradition where UN organizations share draft reports relevant to the country. In 2007 too, the deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia had slammed the UNDP report on climate change for taking a similar partisan position, creating ripples in the UN body.
"While it does recognize the historical responsibility of the developed countries in the region, it seeks to put the blame for damaging the environment in future on the fast growing economies in the region like India and China. Their rising emissions and increasing economic growth are mentioned as the possible sources of trouble. This is clearly unacceptable. Growth is essential to eradicate poverty and enhance the adaptive capacity," ministry officials said.