India submits proposed emission cuts to UN
New Delhi: India on Saturday submitted its
proposed emission intensity cut targets by 20-25 per cent by
2020 to the UN, a day before the world body's January 31
deadline for submitting the climate change mitigation steps
under the Copenhagen Accord.
However, it made it clear to the Secretariat of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
that its all domestic mitigation actions were entirely
voluntary in nature and not legally binding, a position it had
maintained at last month's Copenhagen Summit in Denmark.
"India will endeavour to reduce the emissions intensity
of its GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in comparison to the 2005
level through domestic mitigation actions," said a statement
from the Environment Ministry here.
In view of the current debate in the international
climate change negotiations, India also made it clear that
"while these actions will be in the nature of its contribution
to the global efforts to address climate change...it will be
entirely voluntary in nature and will not have a legally
The announcement came a day after the US and European
Union (EU) committed to the UN to cut green house gas
The US has pledged to cut emissions 17 per cent on 2005
levels by 2020, although it said the target was dependent on
domestic climate change legislation being passed.
EU also retained its position at the Copenhagen Summit,
committing to cut emissions 20 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020
and promising to raise the target to 30 per cent if other
large emitters made similarly ambitious commitments.
Though agriculture sector contributes around 14 per cent
of the total GHG emissions, India has kept it out of the
purview of the mitigations actions in its blueprint submitted
to the UN to ensure food security and not compromise with the
needs of teeming population.
"The mitigation actions will also not apply to
agriculture sector. The emissions from agriculture sector will
be excluded from the assessment of emissions intensity," says
India also said it intends to implement its mitigation
actions in accordance with the provisions of the relevant
national legislations and policies and will elaborate in due
course the actions required in various sectors to achieve the
overall objective of the emissions intensity reduction.
India has already set up an expert group on low carbon
growth economy under the chairmanship of economist Kirit Parik
to suggest ways for adaptation and mitigation actions
While 194 countries, including the US, China and India,
at the two-week UN summit in the Danish Capital last month
took note of the Copenhagen deal, they were given January 31
deadline to list actions and targets to curb greenhouse gases
causing global warming.
Under the Copenhagen Accord, the developed country
parties known as Annex I Parties undertake mitigation
commitments with specific quantified targets to reduce their
emissions, while the developing countries like India will take
mitigation actions in accordance with the principle of common
but differentiated responsibility and respective capability.
The accord, which was accepted by 29 countries, must
pledge to keep the increase in global temperatures below two
degrees Celsius, and developed countries must commit USD 100
billion by 2020 to the developing world to help emerging
economies deal with their emissions to check global warming.