China, India to jointly counter West on climate change

The two nations ink MoU for annual dialogue on the issue

China, India to jointly counter West on climate change

The two nations inked a memorandum of understanding formalising an annual dialogue on climate change and work together on clean coal technologies, methane recovery and sustainable forest management to improve the environment.
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission signed the MoU here on Wednesday. The MoU is valid for five years after which it has to be renewed.

Both countries will also collaborate on energy conservation and energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and sustainable habitats.
However, contentious issues like river management and joint monitoring of Himalayan glaciers have been kept outside the purview of the MoU. The two Asian nations are among the world’s biggest polluters in absolute terms.

But they are way behind the US and European Union when the emission level is measured in per capita.

This provides an opportunity to Beijing and New Delhi to argue that their emission is required for their economic growth and they are historically not responsible for triggering the global warming in the first place by accumulating loads of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

As they face intense pressure from the West to make firm commitments on emission cuts and negotiate a new pact dumping the Kyoto Protocol, both nations have made it clear that they would stick to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol.

The Copenhagen summit is aimed at finding a way to continue the Kyoto Provision beyond 2012 – when it expires – and bringing the US on board.

On Tuesday, SAARAC nations too decided to raise their unified voice in Copenhagen demanding more proactive action from the West.

Beijing will present its views at a two day conference beginning here on Thursday, which is one of the last major global forum to thrash out a consensus on climate change before the Copenhagen Summit.

Inaugurating an accompanying exhibition on green technologies on Wednesday, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said developing nations should receive major funds from the industrialised countries as “payment for entitlement under equitable share” and not as official development assistance.

“Developing nations should receive large scale public funding on a reliable, predictable and sustainable basis,” Mukherjee said.

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