‘India assisting EU to combat climate change’

March 31st, 2008 - 12:06 pm ICT by admin  

Brussels, March 31 (IANS) India is assisting European Union countries to meet their targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the Energy Trading System (ETS), says India’s former environment secretary. “India has the world’s largest portfolio of CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects. Major amount of the carbon credit that are coming to the EU market are from India,” Prodipto Ghosh, former environment secretary, told EuAsiaNews in an interview here.

“India is in fact very directly assisting in enabling the EU countries to meet their Kyoto Protocol targets,” noted Ghosh, now a distinguished fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi and member of the Prime Minister’s council on climate change.

The protocol was set up in 1997 to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that are warming the earth’s atmosphere and leading to climate change.

The European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the largest multinational emissions trading scheme in the world and is a major pillar of EU climate policy.

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol allowing industrialised countries with a greenhouse gas reduction commitment to invest in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries.

Ghosh said India welcomes the announcement by the EU that they would take steps to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020 irrespective of what other parties do. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas.

“Developed countries historically are the highest polluters and even now the per capita emissions of greenhouse gases of India are only one tenth of that of the EU and only one-twentieth of that of the US,” he said.

“Everybody accepts that India is not a contributor to the climate change,” stressed Ghosh who was here to speak to the climate change committee of the European Parliament.

Ghosh, who has held consultancy positions with various UN organisations, , also spoke on India’s environmental challenges at the prestigious Brussels-based think-tank the European Policy Centre.

He told EuAsiaNews that India has placed a large number of policies and regulations to address issues like energy efficiency and deployment of renewable energy sources.

Claiming that 38 percent of India’s energy consumption is from non-fossil sources, Ghosh stressed: “Even by global standards it is a very high level of clean fuels.”

The developed world maintains that there has to be a 50 percent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in order to stabilize global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius.

“Our position is that whatever steps the world would like to take to address this target, developmental growth and poverty alleviation efforts of developing countries must not be impeded. These are the bottom lines.”

Ghosh dismissed accusation in the West that one of the main reasons for high oil prices is because of growing oil consumption by India and China.

“I would strongly dispute that India is as big a player on the energy scene as to make any significant difference. In the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in demand for petroleum in the developed countries, particularly in the US,” he said.

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