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UK official backs Indian stand on carbon emissions cuts

Last Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 21:06

Mumbai: Stating that developing countries like India were right in asking for a differentiated treatment on cutting down of carbon footprint, a top British official today said negotiators should be more "pragmatic" and help find consensus by 2015.

"If you are the same negotiator for your country for 15 years and you repeat the same thing, you are not even listening," British foreign secretary`s special representative for climate change David King said on the sidelines of an event at the IIT Bombay.

King was referring to the rounds of talks over the past few years that have failed to bring consensus on the per capita carbon emission reduction.

"Of course, you should be more pragmatic. The problem is urgent; we need to get an agreement in 2015 in Paris and that agreement has to produce a sea change in human behaviour.

"We can`t go on arguing about the points of detail, legal points etc. It`s time everybody come to an agreement that is equitable and meets the nature of the challenge," King added.

Earlier, addressing a seminar at the IIT on climate change, he said that by 2050 all countries must reach the target of cutting down the per capita carbon footprint to two tonnes.

Acknowledging that the per capita carbon footprint in India where economic development started late stands at a lower 1.8 tonne at present, King said the international community can take historical facts into account and emerging economies like India and China can go up before settling down at the 2 tonne-mark by 2050.

"We are suggesting India`s responsibility should be to go up, and as your economy switches into the renewables that are being developed in the West, it`s not going to be at a cost to your economy, as you switch, you come right down," he said.

Developing countries, which started on industrialisation path in recent decades, contend that the developed world whose reckless excesses resulted in global warming should start cutting carbon emissions first.

In the last round of negotiations held at Warsaw last month, a group of 77 countries walked out asking the rich nations to immediately start supporting the developing countries facing "loss and damage" due to global warming. India has backed this stand.

First Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 21:06

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