India conveys climate steps to UN, excludes agriculture sector

In a statement submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, the government yesterday formally said, "India will endeavour to cut its emissions intensity by 20-25 per cent by 2020 in comparison to the 2005 level through domestic mitigation actions."

Carbon emissions intensity refers to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of gross domestic product.
However, sticking to its negotiating position maintained at last month's Copenhagen Summit, the government said, "While these actions will be in the nature of its contribution to the global efforts to address climate will be entirely voluntary in nature and will not have a legally binding character."

The government tabled its blueprint a day before the UN deadline for submitting the climate change mitigation steps under the Copenhagen Accord, which expired today.
The government also stressed that the agriculture sector would not be the part of its mitigation actions, a move primarily aimed to ensure food security in the country to meet the needs of its ever-increasing population.

"Mitigation actions will not apply to agriculture sector and the emissions from agriculture sector will be excluded from the assessment of emission intensity," the statement said.
India, which along with its BASIC partners China, Brazil and South Africa had played a key role in brokering the Copenhagen Accord with the US last month, also categorically said the mitigation steps will be based on the principles and provisions based on equity as enshrined in UNFCCC.

It also suggested that India wants to see two separate negotiating tracks under Kyoto Protocol and Bali Action Plan retained in the run up to climate change summit to be held in Mexico City later this year.

"The mitigation actions will be taken in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC which require developing countries like India take these actions in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability."

Under UNFCCC, developed countries, known as Annex I Parties, have to undertake mitigation commitments with specific quantified targets to reduce their emissions.
India "intends to implement its mitigation actions in accordance with the provisions of the relevant national legislation and policies and will elaborate in due course the actions required in various sectors to achieve the overall objective of the emissions intensity reduction," the submission added.

For sector-wise emission cuts, India has already set up a committee headed by economist Kirit Parikh to chalk out a strategy for low carbon growth in high-carbon producing areas such as power, transport, cement and steel.

The US had on Friday pledged to the UN body of its commitment to cut emissions by 17 per cent on 2005 levels by 2020, although it said the target was dependent on domestic climate change legislation being passed.

Similarly, EU also retained its position at the Copenhagen Summit, committing to cut emissions by 20 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020 and promising to raise the target to 30 per cent if other large emitters made similarly ambitious commitments. P

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