`Sino-Indo climate talks changing political phase`

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said as he underlined the need for New Delhi to "learn" from China`s forest management.

Updated: May 08, 2010, 15:31 PM IST

Beijing: Sino-India cooperation on climate change was helping in changing the political climate between the two countries, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said as he underlined the need for New Delhi to "learn" from China`s forest management.

Ramesh, who arrived here yesterday to take part in an international environment conference, said China was doing very well in combating climate change and becoming a leader in the green technology.

India and China had an MOU on partnership in the field of climate change, and the two countries are exploring opportunities for working together in the field of environment.

"I have talked with Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu how we can learn from China`s forest management. China has announced some targets, India has announced some targets, how do we accord, how do we partner each other," Ramesh said, adding "I think India has more to learn from China than China to learn from India."

Ramesh hoped the deepening cooperations between the two countries will lead to "new relationship between our two countries".

"India and China, by working together in the fields of climate change, are demonstrating not only cooperation in environment, but also sending a message of partnership between
the countries. I see climate change as an opportunity to change the political climate between China and India," the Environment Minister told a news agency.

"We are hoping that these joint programmes will build a new relationship between our two countries," he underlined.

He said a delegation from Indian Environment Ministry
has visited China to study possible cooperation in forest
management. India`s forest cover is over 21 percent and
studies show that around 10 per cent of India`s annual carbon
emissions are being absorbed by forests, Ramesh said.

Praising China, he said Beijing is doing well in the
field of solar energy, wind energy and improving forest cover.

Underlining the need for India to develop new and clean
energy, the minister said it was a challenge for New Delhi to
improve its efficiency of power production because about 60 to
65 percent of its electricity comes from coal based power.

The Environment Minister also highlighted the need for
automobiles in the Indian market to have higher fuel
efficiency standards to check the green house gas emissions.

He dismissed the idea of setting up industrial projects
without taking the environmental factors into considerations.

"A lot of people think environment clearance adds to
the time of the projects. But I am saying no, you cannot have
important industrial projects going without looking at
environment," the Minister said.

Ramesh pointed to China`s environment issues such as lead
poisoning, water and air pollution as example to underline
that bad environment leads to bad public health.

"These are the issues that I am trying to improve," he

"There are some people who think that we should have fast
economic growth, that we should be like China, we should do a
10 percent, we should just grow, but I am saying no, let
us grow in an environmentally friendly manner, otherwise we
will have many troubles that we are not able to resolve,"
Ramesh told the state-run news agency in an interview.

Ramesh, who coined word `Chindia` denoting Sino-Indian
friendship and collaboration, praised China`s progress.

"Chinese do not talk as much as Indians, but Chinese
perform better, they do much more. I am full of admiration for
the way China just gets to work, where as you know, India
talks and talks and keep on talking," the minister said.