Minister says India 'walking the talk' on climate change
India's government on Tuesday defended its efforts to combat climate change after US President Barack Obama urged the country to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government was already turning words into action on clean energy with efforts that include increasing solar power across the country.
"We have already started walking the talk," he said.
But Javadekar declined to say whether India—the world's third biggest emitter of polluting greenhouse gases—would set itself a target on reducing carbon emissions ahead of a UN climate summit in Paris in December.
"Let me tell you very clearly that 'business as usual' will not be there as far as our actions on climate change are concerned," Javadekar said at a conference on the issue in New Delhi.
India has so far balked at committing itself to major cuts in emissions, arguing that it will not set itself targets that undermine efforts to end poverty.
During a visit to New Delhi last month, Obama warned that the world does not "stand a chance against climate change" unless developing countries such as India reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India was not under any pressure on climate change —after China and the United States announced a bilateral pact on capping emissions in November.
India relies hugely on coal to generate its electricity, while its population is set to overtake that of China by 2030.
Since coming to power in May, Modi has pledged to increase India's renewable energy in a bid to lower coal use and bring electricity to more than 300 million poor people currently without power.
Modi, who built up a solar industry in Gujarat state when he was chief minister, has set a target for India to have 100 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2022.
© 2015 AFP