Home India News No change in India’s climate change stance: Government

No change in India’s climate change stance: Government


New Delhi : There is no dilution in India’s stance on climate change and the 25 percent reduction in emission intensity that New Delhi announced ahead of the Copehnagen summit was purely voluntary, the Rajya Sabha was informed Monday. This, however, did not satisfy the opposition which walked out of the house alleging a sell out.

“There is no compromise on India’s national interests. The 25-percent reduction in emission intensity that we have announced is unilateral and non-binding internationally. It will only strengthen our position to demand more reductions from the West,” Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said in the house during the zero hour.

This did not satisfy Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley, who had raised the issue in the house.

“I am completely dissatisfied with the answer and I am walking out,” he said.

Jaitley then led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members out of the house and they were followed by the bulk of the opposition MPs, including those from the Left, the Samajwadi Party and the AIADMK.

Ramesh also reminded that house that a mid-year review of the economy by the Planning Commission had found that 25 percent reduction in emission intensity would not impact Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

The minister also discounted suggestions that India had agreed to blanket international scrutiny of its efforts to reduced emission intensity levels.

“Only those reductions that are effected with international aid and technology will be subject to scrutiny. The rest will not,” he maintained.

“We will also be presenting, every two or three years, a report to the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change in which we will be detailing all that we are doing for emission (intensity) reductions,” he said.

He also denied suggestions that two of India’s 10 negotiators had disagreed with the stand the government proposed to take at the climate change summit starting Monday and had refused to travel to the Danish capital.

“Two of then had some questions. I have met them and they have now agreed to go,” Ramesh said.

The issue also figured during question hour, with the minister lamenting that the developed world was not doing enough in providing aid and technology to enable the developing world bring down its emission levels.

“I hope this will form the crux of the discussions at Copenhagen,” Ramesh said.

He also said India, China and Brazil had a basic framework in place for negotiating cuts in greenhouse gas emissions during the Copenhagen summit.

“India, China and Brazil have a basic draft. I have a copy of the basic draft… to form the negotiation,” Ramesh said.

Stating that he was leaving for Copenhagen Thursday, the minister added: “Before that I will come back (to parliament) and answer all your questions.”

The Dec 7-18 climate summit will see the participation of US President Barack Obama, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and over 80 world leaders, with the likelihood of a consensus on a new deal on global warming.