UN chief welcomes India`s climate commitment

Last Updated: Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 14:02

New York: India`s decision to reduce emissions by 20-25 percent by 2020 is seen as "a very positive step" by UN chief Ban ki-Moon, ahead of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

"The Secretary General is also encouraged by the recent
announcement by both India and China regarding their efforts
to reduce their emissions through reduction in energy
intensity," Janos Pasztor, Director of the Secretary General`s
Climate Change Support Team, told journalists here.

"This is a very positive step for a country where some
400 million people still do not have access to electricity,"
he added.

The UN official noted that China "has already embarked on
an aggressive climate change plan." Brazil, South Africa,
Indonesia, Mexico have announced ambitious carbon emission
reduction plans ahead of the climate conference.

The Climate Change Conference slated to start this coming
Monday at the Danish capital, where negotiators meet to chalk
out a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol which
expires in 2012.

Three major players - the US, China and India - have made
concrete commitments with Washington promising emission cuts
of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by
2050, while Beijing has agreed to reduce its carbon intensity
by 40 to 45 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2020.

Ahead of the summit, the UN chief has reiterated that the
US holds the key to a success at the Climate Conference.

"The Secretary General believes that the full engagement
of the US in the multilateral process coupled with its
recently announced international target and its own domestic
effort on climate change is a potential game changer that can
propel global action," Pasztor said.

Responding to concerns about the leaked e-mails which
indicated UK scientists of exaggerating climate change threat,
Pasztor said that top UN official Rajendra Pachauri had stated
that it (e-mails) had not changed the majority of scientific
opinion on the issue.

"What he has told us is that so far any information that
has appeared – there may have been unfortunate developments -
but nothing changes the sciences," he said, adding that
majority of the scientific opinion has changed nothing.

In an interview with the BBC, Pachauri who is the chair
of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, said "we
will look into it in detail" and "we certainly don`t want to
brush anything under the carpet."

Pasztor told journalists that the leaked emails had not
caused any practical damage in the flow of the negotiations.

The Copenhagen Conference will be the largest climate
meet ever with over attendance of 15,000 people and more than
100 heads of state confirming their participation in the
top-level talks.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 14:02

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