India, China ink pact to fight climate change together


New Delhi : India and China Wednesday signed an agreement to cooperate on ways to fight climate change. They will also continue to work together in international climate deal negotiations.

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There is virtually no difference between Indian and Chinese “negotiating positions” on international climate treaties, India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said here shortly before the agreement was signed.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s environment minister, nodded from the dais as Ramesh made the statement. The agreement is significant in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, with developed and developing countries at odds over who should reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that are causing climate change.

Ramesh said he would hold more discussions with Xie to see “what India and China should do to ensure a successful outcome at Copenhagen that not only protects the environment but promotes the interests of developing countries”.

India and China have been in the same bloc as the Group of 77 countries in climate negotiations. Ramesh’s comments, immediately ratified by Xie, set at rest recent speculation that India may want to move out of this grouping.

The agreement is specifically meant to intensify collaboration in areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean energy technologies, transportation, sustainable agriculture and afforestation.

The agreement also aims to enhance cooperation in evaluation of adverse impacts of climate change.

Indian and Chinese climate scientists will carry out joint research and development, the agreement says.