Planet Gore

India: Call Our Bluff in Copenhagen

After all, bluff or no bluff, they still get a piece of the pot. From Bloomberg, via CCNet:

India’s environment minister urged the world’s developed countries to call his nation’s ‘bluff’ and sign on to steeper cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.

India and China would have to “respond very positively” if rich nations such as the U.S. agreed to a goal of cutting emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, Jairam Ramesh said in an interview yesterday in Beijing, where he met with Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate-change negotiator.

“That’s a game changer,” Ramesh said. “It would be very difficult for me, as an Indian minister, not to respond if developed countries accept this proposal. The fat would be in the fire, our bluff would be called.”

India and China want developed countries to bear most of the burden of reducing carbon emissions, saying caps on global warming-causing pollution would unfairly crimp growth. The world’s two fastest-expanding major economies are key to a successful outcome for the Copenhagen conference in December, where an expected 192 nations will meet to replace the Kyoto Protocol. The existing accord, which sets emission targets for developed nations, expires in 2012. . . . 

Both India and China want an agreement at Copenhagen and shouldn’t be viewed as a “negative or obstructionist force,” Ramesh said. . . .

India and China are looking for developed countries to share more carbon-reducing technologies with poorer nations and help finance projects, Ramesh said.

“For us, climate change is not just an environmental issue, for us, climate change is a development issue,” he said.

Xie, a vice minister of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said Aug. 24 that “the focus of disagreement remains on each country’s proportion of responsibility for emissions reductions, funding and technology transfer,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Emerging economies, including India, have said they need access to funds and technologies such as wind turbines to meet emission curbs and sustain growth.

India requires $5 billion a year between 2012 and 2017, in addition to its current investment plans, to support a transition to low-carbon energy generation, the United Nations Development Program said in its Human Development Report 2007/2008, citing research by the Energy and Resources Institute. . . .

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