greenland ice sheet
Even as more evidence piles on, highlighting increase in emissions and its impact on the environment, not much has been done to allocate responsibilities on various nations to curb emissions Getty

Barely few weeks after entering into a climate pact with the US, China has called on rich nations to do more than their developing counterparts to address the impact of climate change.

The country's climate negotiator Su Wei, who is a senior official of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a press briefing that rich nations should cut emissions by large margins and provide developing countries with funds and capacity building.

Economic growth and poverty alleviation remain the priorities of the developing world, he said reports AFP.

Calling on the need for common but differentiated responsibilities, Su reaffirmed China's stance on climate change, something shared by India.

Both countries have insisted on increased onus on the West for its share in emissions so far.

China and India have resorted to per capita emission figures which still sees a large gap between China and the US, despite the former taking the lead as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Electricity use by an average household for instance totals 900 kWh per household in India, 1,200 kWh in China and 10,000 kWh in the US.

In 2007, then prime minister Manmohan Singh had said India's per capita emission would never exceed the average per capita emission achieved by the developed world at any given time.

China, US deal

The recent climate deal by the world's top greenhouse emitters saw the US promising to reduce emissions by 26-28% below the 2005 levels by 2025. China pledged to peak its carbon emissions around 2030.

Both countries have agreed to converge their per capita emissions at 12 tonnes in 2030.

Questions remain on whether the US will take the emission cuts immediately or not, as also if China will continue its emissions till 2030.

India on its part voiced disappointment on the deal with its environment minister saying that it had expected more from the US and earlier peaking by China.

About the action taken by India, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said that India is already doing its bit to declare an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (for cutting emission). Efficient use of natural resources and energy efficiency figure prominently in the plan, reported the Times of India.

India's stance

However, the minister was unequivocal in declaring that India's poverty eradication and energy access were more important and emissions peaking will only come later.

Experts have been advising the government against blocking climate negotiations in the name of equity and instead focus on a judicious sharing of the carbon budget which accounts for
countries' contribution to past emissions and allocates future space.

Following the IPCC report calling for a total weaning away from fossil fuels by the end of the century, a UNEP report and World Bank commissioned studies have warned that the earth is on its way to locking in some amount of disastrous climate change already.

Countries are currently working towards striking a climate agreement in 2015 that would be applicable to all countries. They will meet next month in Peru to continue talks prior to the Paris summit next year.