Monday, July 20, 2009

India rebuffs Clinton's carbon deal

Matt Wade, Delhi
The Age, July 21, 2009

INDIA'S Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has bluntly stated that India will not give in to international pressure to cut emissions.

Speaking during an awkward media conference with visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he said: "India's position is clear and categorical that we are simply not in a position to take any legally binding emissions reductions."

The pair were sharing the podium at the opening of an environmentally friendly building in the Gurgaon, one of India's IT hubs.

The clash between developed and developing countries over climate change intruded on the high-profile photo opportunity midway through the Secretary of State's three-day tour of India.

Mr Ramesh complained about US pressure to cut a worldwide deal, and Mrs Clinton countered that the Obama Administration's push for an agreement would not sacrifice India's economic growth.

As dozens of cameras recorded the scene, Mr Ramesh declared that India would not commit to a deal that would require it to meet targets to reduce emissions. "It is not true that India is running away from mitigation," he said. "India's position, let me be clear, is that we are simply not in the position to take legally binding emissions targets."

Mrs Clinton responded that she believed there was a way to eradicate poverty while promoting sustainable development that would "lower significantly" the carbon footprint.

Mr Ramesh is reported to have rammed home his point at a separate closed-door meeting with Mrs Clinton.

India, which has much lower per capita emissions than the West, has only promised that it will not allow its emissions to rise above the developed-country average.


No comments: