India hoping for substantive commitments at Copenhagen

India hoping for substantive commitments at Copenhagen

India hoping for substantive commitments at Copenhagen

"We remain hopeful of success at Copenhagen in achieving an outcome, containing substantive and enforceable commitments which are equitable and supportive of economic growth, especially in developing countries," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said while addressing the second India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference here.

Noting that the Prime Minister is participating in the climate conference on climate change, he said, "Let us hope that from the point of view of developing countries, Copenhagen (conference) will be very helpful in trying to come out with ideas and solutions, which will be helpful for the development of developing countries."

Pointing out that India had conceived a broader strategy for ensuring sustainable development while tackling climate change, Krishna said, "Our objective is to bring about changes in the kinds of energy we produce and consume, while remaining mindful of our resources constraints, environmental concerns and imperatives of economic development."

Speaking about the global downturn, Krishna said India was "now past the worst" of the slowdown.

"Our growth is closing in on seven per cent and we are confident that before long our economy would scale the nine per cent growth trajectory achieved before the economic downturn," he added.

Indicating that the developed countries were responsible for the downturn, Krishna said, "Emerging and developing countries were not the cause, but we were condemned to reap the repercussions of this crisis."

External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna with Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Murli Deora during the 2nd India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference in New Delhi on Monday. PTI He said the crisis had caused considerable collateral damage to the global energy and food security.

Observing that India was one of the new global claimants for oil as its demand had already peaked in the developed world, he said, "India would need to depend upon 90 per cent oil and 60 per cent gas imports by 2030-31."

He added that presently India was importing only 15 per cent of its crude oil from Africa "but we can do with more."

Projecting India as a long-term market for African hydrocarbons, Krishna said, "As the fastest growing democracy we offer a complementary and mutually advantageous hand of partnership to our friends in Africa's hydrocarbon sector."

Speaking on the use of hydrocarbons as a strategic commodity vitiating international relations, the Minister asked, "Do we continue to treat hydrocarbon assets as a zero-sum game or in the true spirit of globalisation ensure that they become part of a truly global, integrated, open and competitive energy market for the mutual and long term benefit of producers and consumers?"

On the cooperation between India and Africa, The Minister said, "The future beckons that we build on this solid foundation of goodwill and friendship, a superstructure of mutually beneficial economic and commercial cooperation."

He added that India has announced USD 5.4 billion in loans for the development of Africa, supported by USD 500 million in grants for capacity building processes, doubling of scholarships and a Duty-Free Tariff Preferences Scheme.

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