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India resists calls to cut greenhouse emissions

INDIA: India said that it would not agree to any commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions under growing international pressure, and instead pressed for greater collaboration on clean technologies.

New Delhi has already said it would reject such calls at this week’s Group of Eight summit, where climate change will be a key topic, because stricter limits would slow its booming economy.

“There have been attempts to draw large developing countries such as India and China into taking greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments which is not as per the Kyoto Protocol,” the environment ministry said in a statement.

The 1997 Kyoto deal requires industrialised countries to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases by 5.2 percent by a target of 2008-2012 compared with their 1990 levels.

The United States and Australia have refused to ratify the treaty.

Blaming industrial nations for the problem, India called for further commitments from them to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

“Developed countries should come forward and take further deeper commitments beyond 2012,” the ministry said, adding India contributed only four percent to total global emissions.

US President George Bush said last month that he would urge rich nations at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm in Germany to join a new global framework for fighting climate change once the Kyoto Protocol lapses.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited China, India and other leading emerging nations to the summit. Together, India and China will by 2015 produce more greenhouse gases than the US and Merkel has warned that a new pact to replace Kyoto would be doomed unless they signed up.

Both the Asian giants have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but are not included in targeted emission cuts.

Germany has called for a statement limiting worldwide temperature rise this century to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and cuts to global greenhouse emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Global debate on climate change has acquired a new urgency as the Kyoto Protocol, the only global agreement that sets specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expires at the end of 2012.

Talks on renewing the deal are under way, with the next round scheduled to take place in Indonesia in December.

India said climate change would impact developing countries more and expressed concern over its fallout on its agriculture — which employs nearly 70 percent of the country’s workforce.

“It will take decades for us to reach the level of the developed countries of today,” the government said.

“In order to meet the demands of rising standards of living and providing access to commercial energy to those lacking it, the total emission of greenhouse gases is bound to increase in India.”

The ministry said more than half of India’s 1.1 billion population still did not have access to commercial energy supplies.

New Delhi, Tuesday, AFP.

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