It’s that time of the year again when climate and its politics get prominence! Starting today and for the next two weeks, official negotiators, bureaucrats, technocrats, think-tanks, activists, civil society, corporate honchos, trade union leaders and political leaders and ministers all over the world will come down to the Peruvian capital of Lima to engage in grueling negotiations to save the climate and our beloved planet.

01 December 2014 Greenpeace Activists take ‘Go Solar’ message to Machu Pichu as Climate Summit begins in Lima. © Greenpeace

History is unfolding in Lima, and if not now, then definitely, the curtain will be raised in Paris in a year’s time as this will be last chance for all of us and particularly for our world leaders to save millions of people across the globe from climate catastrophes. But this is also a moment of hope and opportunities for a country like India, as it is possibly the only country in the world which is on dual sides: it is one of the largest emitters as well as one of the most vulnerable nations facing climate impact. History is going to be created for sure. If not here, then in Paris at COP 21. However, is it going to be made for saving the planet? Let’s see.

Almost six months ago, Indians delivered a decisive mandate in three decades to form a majority “strong” government at the centre with the hope that new opportunities would be created for all including those who are at the margin of climate impact and still waiting to see light in their homes. Now expectations are high - will strong decision and decisive leadership show in favour of climate and Indian people when the opportunities are knocking on the door at Lima?

I have the privilege to watch these grueling negotiations from close quarters. I believe that there is hope. If we look at the last 6 or 7 annual climate negotiations, this is the best moment for India.  At an international level, US and China, the two biggest emitters have pledged their climate commitments. The amount pledged for Green Climate Fund soars expectations, touching almost $10 billion. On the domestic front, India has indicated developing a massive solar energy programme with a national target of 100 GW in the next few years and providing modern energy access to all by year 2022. With these developments, the focus is on India, the world’s third largest country carbon emitter. It is up to India to convert these opportunities into climate benefits for its own people to realise the hope of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas.”

As our honourable Prime Minister promised “acche din” (good days) for all, I urge him to use the existing opportunities to bring acche din for our climate and for us. He should ensure that India is proactive in ensuring climate agreements in Paris next year and to that end create an atmosphere of positivity in Lima.

We need a just transition of world energy towards a sustainable future ensuring light in everybody’s homes, including 300 millions Indians who do not have access to electricity yet! India needs to play the role of leader and a true climate champion!

Abhishek Pratap is a Climate & Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace India.