Copenhagen: As the US and BASIC countries
struck a deal on climate change, President Barack Obama on Saturday
lauded India for setting forth "very significant mitigation"
efforts and for voluntarily saying that it will reduce carbon
Obama said India, China, Brazil and South Africa have
set forth for the first time some very significant mitigation
efforts and "I want to give them credit for that."
"I mean, if you look at a country like India, as I
said, they`ve got hundreds of millions of people who don`t
have electricity, hundreds of millions of people who, by any
standard, are still living in dire poverty.
"For them, even voluntarily to say, we are going to
reduce carbon emissions relative to our current ways of doing
business by X percent is an important step. And we applaud
them for that," he told reporters before he left for
"On the other hand, from the perspective of the
developing countries like China and India, they are saying to
themselves, per capita our carbon footprint remains very
small, and we have hundreds of millions of people who don`t
even have electricity yet, so for us to get bound by a set of
legal obligations could potentially curtail our ability to
develop, and that`s not fair," the US President said.
Obama said he thought that there was a "fundamental
deadlock" in perspectives between developing and developed
countries. "And both sides have legitimate points," Obama
"My view was that if we could begin to acknowledge
that the emerging countries are going to have some
responsibilities, but that those responsibilities are not
exactly the same as the developed countries.
"And if we could set up a financing mechanism to help
those countries that are most vulnerable, like Bangladesh,
then we would be at least starting to reorient ourselves in a
way that allows us to be effective in the future," Obama said.