Climate change: Clinton shares green thoughts with India

Last Updated: Sunday, July 19, 2009 - 16:22

New Delhi: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday began the Delhi leg of her five-day India visit with a conference on climate change and green technologies - a subject close to her heart and an emerging theme in burgeoning India-US ties.
Dressed in a turquoise blue business suit, a beaming Clinton landed at the ITC Green Building in Gurgaon, a township adjoining Delhi, soon after arriving in the capital on a two-day visit that will focus on expanding the scope of strategic dialogue between the two countries.

She was accompanied by US special envoy on climate change Todd Stern, US Ambassador-designate to India Tim Roemer and senior US Embassy officials.

Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh took Clinton on a guided tour of the building, which showcases eco-friendly practices in India.

She addressed a closed-door conference on climate change that was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s special envoy on climate change Shyam Saran.

Clinton also discussed climate change - a pressing global concern on which developing and developed countries remain divided - with Saran.

"We, along with other developed countries, have contributed significantly to the problem that we face with climate change," Clinton told reporters in Mumbai on Saturday after a meeting with Indian business leaders. "We are hoping that a great country like India will not make the same mistakes."

In Mumbai, Clinton also stressed there is "no inherent contradiction between poverty eradication and moving toward a low-carbon economy".

The issue of climate change will also figure in Clinton`s discussions with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna here on Monday.

Earlier this month, Manmohan Singh said at the G8 summit in Italy that developed countries must bear "historic responsibility" for industrial emissions of greenhouse gases they have produced.

India contributes four percent of the world`s emissions from burning fossil fuels, compared with 20 percent from the US. New Delhi has opposed any limits on emissions that would slow its growth.

From Gurgaon, she is due to visit the National Agriculture Science Centre in Delhi where she will speak about cooperation between India and the US in the field of agriculture.

The political business will start with Clinton`s call on the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chair and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the evening.

Before political talks Monday, Clinton goes to Delhi University - a trip aimed at giving the US` chief diplomat an insight into the thinking of young India. Over 90,000 Indian students study in the US.

Clinton will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday afternoon and discuss with him a host of bilateral, regional and global issues.

Clinton will hold delegation-level talks with Krishna that will focus on building multi-pronged strategic dialogue between the two countries that will pave the way for starting phase III in strategic partnership between them.

Besides civil nuclear cooperation, the two sides are expected to discuss economic and defence ties and invigorating cooperation in fields of clean energy, agriculture, science and education.

A slew of agreements, including pacts on an end-use monitoring agreement that will spur high-end arms sales between them and another pact on space launches, are expected to be signed on Monday. India is also likely to announce two sites for US nuclear reactors during Clinton`s visit.

The Mumbai attacks and its aftermath, the situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak) region and India`s likely role in it will also figure in the discussions.

IANS



First Published: Sunday, July 19, 2009 - 16:22
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