India to reject climate change deal to phase out fossil fuels by 2100

India is set to reject a deal aimed at combating climate change, which includes a commitment by nations to move away from fossil fuels this century, according to a senior official. The rejection would highlight the hurdles such an agreement to slow global warming faced, according to commentators.

Almost 200 nations would meet on the French capital on 30 November to try and seal a pact to prevent the planet from warming more than the 2 degrees Celsius that, according to scientists, was vital if the world was to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.

To curb warming, some countries want the Paris agreement to include a commitment to decarbonise, to cut and ultimately phase out the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas blamed for climate change, this century.

India, the world's third largest carbon emitter, depends on coal for most of its energy needs, and even as it had committed to expand solar and wind power, has said its economy was too small. Further, because of the poverty of its people, it was not possible to end fossil fuel use anytime soon.

''It's problematic for us to make that commitment at this point in time. It's certainly a stumbling block (to a deal),'' Reuters quoted Ajay Mathur, a senior member of India's negotiating team for Paris, as saying in an interview earlier this week.

Meanwhile, fossil fuel companies would risk around $2 trillion of investors' money in the next decade on projects rendered unviable by global action on climate change and the surge in clean energy, according to a new report.

The world's nations aimed to seal a pact in Paris in December to keep global warming below the danger limit of 2 degree C. This would necessitate heavy cuts in carbon emissions, ruling out new coal mines and oil demand peaking in 2020, according to the influential thinktank Carbon Tracker. It found $2.2 trillion of projects could be stranded, ie, left valueless with the shrinking market for fossil fuels.