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Easier rules for coastal projects: Ramesh

 


In an interview with Mint, Ramesh maintained that his tenure has marked a shift in the way the environment ministry views the development versus environment debate

Anil Padmanabhan & Padmaparna Ghosh

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh is not new to controversy. At present he is being targeted by the political opposition and some green activists for relaxing India’s stand on climate change at the just concluded negotiations in Cancun, Mexico. Ramesh believes his actions have been misunderstood and that his stance, sometimes controversial, on domestic development projects is based on existing green laws. In an interview with Mint, Ramesh maintained that his tenure has marked a shift in the way the environment ministry views the development versus environment debate. Going forward, he is convinced that his actions will not be reversed. Edited excerpts:

Critics say that you sold out at Cancun. True?

That is a complete misreading of the situation. I think what we accomplished at Cancun has been recognized internationally. Whether in developed or developing countries, India’s role in fashioning a solution at Cancun and restoring the primacy of the multilateral process has been acknowledged. It is a bit unfortunate that there have been certain sections in India which have sort of cried foul and said sovereignty has been bartered away, for the umpteenth time.

What is your justification of the change in stance?

I have sent a detailed six-page letter to all members of Parliament where I have explained what all our contributions at Cancun were.




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