Poor cannot be sacrificed to climate pact: Manmohan Singh

Last Updated: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 14:56

New Delhi: India can`t accept a global warming treaty that would stall drive to lift millions out of poverty, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said as he left for the final phase of UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

Manmohan Singh is among the world leaders descending on the Danish capital for the final two days of a summit blighted by bitter wrangling that could wreck efforts to draw up a sweeping pact to combat global warming.

The Prime Minister said he looked forward to "constructive deliberation" but stressed that the developed world needed to address the concerns of poorer nations over the impact of any proposed agreement on their economic growth.

"Climate change cannot be addressed by perpetuating the poverty of the developing countries," he said in a departure statement released by his office.

India went to the Danish capital with an offer to reduce its carbon intensity by 20 to 25 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

"We are willing to do more provided there are credible arrangements to provide both additional financial support as well as technological transfers from developed to developing countries," Manmohan Singh said.

The fraught negotiations in Copenhagen received a shot in the arm Wednesday when wealthy nations pledged some 22 billion dollars to fund the fight against global warming.

India remains steadfastly opposed to binding emission cuts and has refused to adopt a peak year when its emissions would have to stop growing and start falling.

The presence of around 120 world leaders at the end of the summit, including US President Barack Obama, is meant to inject momentum into reaching a deal to stop climate change after the end of 2012, when obligations run out under the landmark Kyoto Protocol.

The Prime Minister also listed some initiatives taken by the country as a responsible member of the international community:

Commitment to reduce growth-linked emissions intensity by 20-25 percent over the 2005 levels by 2020

• Comprehensive action plan on climate change

• Eight national missions set up on various facets of climate change and protecting environment

• Willingness to do more if there are credible arrangements for additional financial support and technological transfers from rich nations.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, along with Prime Minister`s Special Envoy on Climate Change Shyam Saran, are among senior officials accompanying the Prime Minister to Copenhagen on the two-day visit.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh is already heading the Indian delegation at the summit - formally called the 15th Conference of Parties of the
United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 14:56

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