Prasad is a joint secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Traditionally, India has been an ardent advocate of “common but differentiated responsibility”, the diplomatic language agreed in 1992 at the first UN climate conference that assigns to northern economies the bulk of blame for having caused global warming.
Last year’s deal between Obama and Narendra Modi has raised hopes of a more proactive and flexible Indian position for this year’s talks. In the past, India’s climate diplomacy was more straightforward: For instance, it has been a staunch opponent of including private sector finance in the $100 billion Green Climate Fund. But developed countries have been lobbying for this and it is probable that a Paris deal will pave the way for it, given the strong focus on a cooperation framework that includes non-state actors.
India has also advocated voluntary commitments on reducing greenhouse gases and mandatory reductions for rich countries. It has not yet submitted its domestic climate action plans, also known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), in the negotiations.