India vows cooperation on climate change but not at economic cost

June 30th, 2009 - 12:18 am ICT by IANS  

Prague, June 29 (DPA) India is prepared to cooperate on curbing global warming - but not at the expense of its own economic development, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna warned Monday.
His comments came at a bilateral meeting with EU foreign ministers in Prague.

“India is a developing country,” he said, speaking after talks with EU diplomats.

“We have challenges and we will have to concentrate on development. And development takes precedence over everything else.”

He said India “will continue to cooperate with the rest of the world” on climate change but must stick to its priority to improve the lives of its citizens.

India has so far rejected calls for making a binding pledge on cutting emissions of greenhouse gases that are blamed for man-made temperature changes.

The EU has urged the world’s major economies, including developing countries, to make legally-binding commitments to cut emissions in the run up to a United Nations conference to be held in December in Copenhagen.

That top-level summit is to come up with a deal on curbing global warming that should replace the existing Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

A follow-up EU/India summit was agreed for Delhi in November.

The EU has pledged to cut its emissions by 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2020 and offered to reduce emissions by 30 percent if other developed countries joined the effort.

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