India has said that developed nations should encourage renewable energy programmes and not “put a spoke into it” as it termed “unfortunate” a recent WTO ruling against its power purchase agreements with solar firms. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is here to sign the historic Paris climate change agreement at the United Nations today, said he will use the occasion to raise the “unfortunate” case of the US going to the WTO on the issue. “I will definitely raise (this issue) in my speech. This is unfortunate, not the ruling, even America going to WTO, that is unfortunate,” he told PTI here.
Javadekar added that India has launched the world’s largest renewable program and reserved a “very small” part of it for Indian manufacturers. Yet, if that is being “challenged without seeing the things in proper context and perspective” and on technical grounds, it is discouraging for the developing nations, he said. Such an action “discourages. This is not multilateralism. We must encourage” nations undertaking clean energy programs. “India generating 175 GW of renewable energy is the biggest program. One should not put a spoke into it. You are lecturing one thing and practicing the exact opposite,” he said. He said while it is up to the Commerce Ministry to take a call on how to proceed with the matter, “such things should not happen.”
Ruling against India, WTO had recently said the government’s power purchase agreements with solar firms were “inconsistent” with international norms — a matter in which the US had filed a complaint before the global trade body alleging discrimination against American firms. The US had dragged India to WTO on this issue in 2014, alleging the clause relating to Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) in the country’s solar power mission were discriminatory in nature and “nullified” the benefits accruing to American solar power developers. Javadekar will join heads of state, foreign ministers and other representatives from more than 165 countries who will sign the historic climate change agreement reached in Paris last December at the signature ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The large number of countries will set a record for the most countries to sign an international agreement on one day, previously set in 1982, when 119 countries signed the Law of the Sea Convention.