`Sino-Indo climate talks changing political phase`
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 08, 2010, 15:31
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 said.

"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.


First Published: Saturday, May 08, 2010, 15:31

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