India follows China, likely to announce carbon cuts
New Delhi: With pressure mounting to match China’s public diplomacy over Climate Change, the Indian government is likely to announce on Thursday its plan to reduce carbon intensity, three days before world leaders from 192 countries meet in Copenhagen.
In an interview to a leading US newspaper Shyam Saran, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special envoy on climate change, said India can reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by as much as 35 percent through that year and make a “similar” cut in carbon dioxide.
However, Saran also said his figures are not the final call that would be taken by the Indian government. “I have no idea on whether we will take them to Copenhagen as our voluntary measures on tackling climate change”. India has previously released the energy-intensity estimate, he told the newspaper.
The government is likely to announce today its position on the climate change in the Lok Sabha to take the members of the House into confidence over the critical issue.
India is under immense pressure from the US and China after both the countries recently quantified their targets on carbon emissions. While China has announced to cut the carbon intensity in the range of 40 to 45 percent, the US has pledged to reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020.
A special discussion has been scheduled in the Lok Sabha today where environment minister Jairam Ramesh will spell out various steps, including the legislative, which the government is taking to tackle the climate change.
India is the world`s sixth highest emitter of greenhouse gases.
New Delhi has, however, already made it clear that it will, at no cost, take any binding emission cuts as envisaged in the UN Framework on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) keeping the need of its millions of people living Below the Poverty Line.
India has maintained that its approach to the climate change negotiations is based on the principles of equity and common, but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities to achieve the objectives of the convention.
Pointing out that India is most vulnerable to global warming, Ramesh while calling the attention motion in the Rajya Sabha last month had stressed the need for a domestic legislation to meet specific performance targets in sectors such as power, transport, industry, agriculture, building and forestry to tackle the challenge.
Ramesh will represent India at the ministerial level talks at Copenhagen on December 14 while the Danish prime minister has extended an invite to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to participate in the plenary on December 18.
Ramesh will be accompanied by six other MPs from various political parties including Murali Manhoar Joshi, B Mehtab (BJD) and Sitaram Yechury from CPI(M).
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