With a key global climate change conference just a month away, India's leader is making a blunt call for concessions from the industrialized nations.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged Sunday that his government will work for a positive outcome at next month's crucial United Nations summit on setting targets for carbon emissions. But Mr. Singh made it clear that the richest nations have to bear the brunt of the financial burden since they created the mess.
"The historic accumulation of CO2 is not as a result of anything that we have done," he said. "It is largely a consequence of 150 years of industrialization in the major developed countries of the world."
The prime minister, opening the World Economic Forum's India summit, said the traditional big polluters will need to subsidize technology for developing countries to cope with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The European Union has estimated that the price for that, by the year 2020, will total $150 billion annually.
India's stance, going into the Copenhagen summit, which begins December 6, is that poorer nations should be exempt from legally binding caps on carbon emissions.
The United States and other developed countries want India to reduce its share of carbon emissions, which is currently about four percent. Mr. Singh, in recent days, has said his government is not yet ready to quantify reduction targets but he has left the door open to that.
India and China are viewed as the key players for any deal at next month's summit. The two Asian giants are reluctant, however, of being put into any binding position that could slow their rapidly growing economies. They have made recent public pronouncements to work as a team in the multi-national climate change negotiations.