India asks US to lead in evolving ‘fair’ climate change regime

March 25th, 2009 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Arun Kumar
Washington, March 25 (IANS) India wants the US to take the lead in evolving a new “fair and equitable” global regime on climate change that supports sustainable development in developing countries.

India’s main interest in the multilateral negotiations leading up to the 15th Conference of Parties in Copenhagen in December this year under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) is to ensure the emergence of such a global regime, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Shyam Saran said here Tuesday.

“We also expect, as do the overwhelming majority of developing countries, that the Copenhagen outcome will be fair and equitable, with developed, industrialised countries assuming significant GHG (greenhouse gas) emission reduction targets, while supporting sustainable development in developing countries through transfers of financial and technological resources,” he said.

“The United States, of course, will be a key driver of this process,” Saran said, addressing the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank, on ‘India’s Climate Change Initiatives: Strategies for a Greener Future’.

This was so “not only because its GHG emissions are the largest, but more so because it is the chief source of technological innovation and creative entrepreneurship, elements critical to finding and disseminating climate solutions”.

Hoping that the Copenhagen meeting “will deliver a fair and equitable, but also an ambitious outcome based on the UNFCCC and the Bali Action Plan”, Saran said: “India is prepared to work together with the US towards this objective”.

But, irrespective of what may or may not emerge from the ongoing multilateral negotiations on Climate Change, India is committed to an ambitious National Action Plan on Climate Change, covering both mitigation (of GHG emissions) and adaptation (to climate change), he said.

A key element of India’s strategy for ecologically sustainable development is to bring about a strategic shift in the country’s production and consumption processes, currently based on fossil fuels, to renewable sources of energy.

Noting that the US has a similar approach, Saran said its ambitious Renewable Energy Initiative offered many opportunities for the “two countries to work together, building up the success of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear agreement and the positive experience of collaboration in several energy and environment related areas”.

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