'Legally binding emission cut not acceptable'

'Legally binding emission cut not acceptable'

Responding to a calling attention motion on the “government’s changing position on climate change”, Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests, told the Rajya Sabha that the government would consider bringing legislation to make sure there is a nationally accountable mitigation outcome.

Allaying apprehensions from the Opposition, the minister said there was no case for the pressure that India — which has among the lowest emissions per capita — has to face to actually reduce emissions.

“While India is willing to accept measurement, reporting and verification as per agreed procedures for those actions that are supported by the international community in terms of finance and technology through agreed channels, its voluntary actions financed from its own domestic resources cannot be subjected to international review,” the minister said.
Rejecting the allegation of Brinda Karat (CPM) and Arun Jaitley (BJP) that he was an “American stooge,” Ramesh said he had taken a special initiative to sign a partnership agreement with China on climate change, the first of its kind.

He also referred to his request to the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman to nominate two members from each House to accompany him to the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Maintaining that there has been no difference of opinion between him and the Prime Minister’s Office on the issue he said: “How can I remain here if I flout the PM’s directive?”

Ramesh said the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change recognised that the economic and social development and poverty eradication were the first and overriding priorities of the developing countries.