India submits proposed emission cuts to UN



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 binding character."

The announcement came a day after the US and European Union (EU) committed to the UN to cut green house gas emissions.

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 the submission.

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 sector-wise.

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.

PTI