Without India there can be no deal on climate change: Barroso

"Without India we really cannot do it," Barroso said, adding that he has been in constant communication with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other top Indian leaders in this regard.

"India will become very soon the biggest country in the world in demographic terms. It makes no sense to have a global agreement without India or without China. That's quite obvious," he said yesterday in response to a question at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank.

That is why, he argued, they have been accepting the principle of shared but differentiated responsibilities, where the developed countries all should accept targets, binding targets, and the developing -- even if they are big emerging economies like India -- should draw up low-carbon development strategies which will map out concrete actions to limit their emissions and indicate what is needed.

Barroso said the European countries understand the sensitivities of India and others about the need to go for their own development and that they don't want to block their economic growth and their development.

"At the same time, being the biggest countries in the world, I will say that they are the ones who have the biggest interest in keeping this world a safe place to live for future generations. So it's a question of global responsibility," Barroso said.

"I mean, it's quite obvious, because some -- by the way, some of the leading scientists in this matter are Indian, like the president of the International Panel on Climate Change, and they have been the -- some of the strongest advocates of resolute action in this -- in this field, like Dr Pachauri," he noted.

"So we have to make a deal where, of course, the effort is not the same but that all give a contribution," he argued.

Referring to the European experience, he said: "In some of our countries in Europe, the less developed countries, we allowed them to go up with some emission for some years more. So internally also we made a deal where some have the possibility to, because of their relatively lower level of development, to see the growth -- growing their emissions, but others are making very severe cuts. I think this principle should be adopted internationally."

So it's what in the United Nations jargon it is called the "shared but differentiated" responsibilities, he said.

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