India to cap carbon

India to cap carbon

Emission intensity to be cut between 20 pc and 25 pc

India to cap carbon

“This is not going to be legally binding. It will be voluntary and only to tell the world what India will do in the coming years,” Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

This is India’s first ever announcement on capping its carbon dioxide emission.
Ramesh defined emission intensity as emission divided by the gross domestic product (GDP). Quoting Planning Commission documents, the minister said India’s carbon emission intensity had decreased by 17.6 per cent between 1990 and 2005 despite the GDP and total emission being on an upward trajectory during the same period.

Possibly, the declining trend has made the government confident to go for a more ambitious target that can be achieved by a combination of improved technology and legislative support. In the Copenhagen climate summit beginning on December 7, India will highlight its intensity reduction target as a means of contributing to the global emission cap. On the climate change front, the world was demanding a proactive step from New Delhi, which felt increased pressure following China’s declaration of 40-45 per cent cut in emission intensity from the 2005 level by 2020.

Ramesh said India was going to Copenhagen with a “positive frame of mind” and would be “prepared to be flexible” in order to have a “comprehensive and equitable agreement.”

He added: “Being a part of the G-77 does not mean we will not talk to the US. We have to engage with everybody. But flexibility does not mean a sell-out,” he said. The Indian negotiations will hover around three non-negotiable points, two of which are rigid, while the third may be flexible depending on what concessions India can extract from the developed world.

“India will not accept any legally binding emission reduction treaty. Secondly, we will not accept any agreement, which stipulates a peaking year (for emission) for India,” the minister assured the House.

He, however, hinted at the possibility of being supple to allow international scrutiny even on mitigation projects, which do not receive foreign funding. “At the moment it is a strict no-no,” he said.