India, China to join hands on studying climate change in Tibet

August 29th, 2009 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) India and China will jointly conduct research on the impact of climate change on the glaciers in the Himalayan and Tibetan regions, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said here Saturday.
“We discussed institutionalisation of collaboration. The Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology and its Chinese counterpart the Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research will conduct joint research,” said Ramesh, who visited China earlier this month for a climate change conference.

The minister was speaking on the sidelines of a function to release a report on the Security Implication of Climate Change for India, compiled by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

With the majority of South Asian rivers emanating from the Tibetan plateau, climate change can have a devastating impact in the region.

A Chinese team will come to India in the last week of October to finalise the details of the project.

“The Chinese have invested a lot in terms of human resources to study glaciology. We are just beginning. A joint research will be better for in-depth findings of what is happening to our glaciers,” Ramesh said.

The minister added that the collaboration between India and China in combating climate change goes beyond this joint research project. Both have staunchly opposed the US Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill. The bill has a provision that would grant the US president the power to slap tariffs on imports that have a carbon footprint larger than American-made goods.

“We (India and China) reject the premises of the bill. There is unanimity among developing countries and we will continue fighting it. The Chinese response was instantaneous and they (Chinese) said we will take countermeasures,” Ramesh said.

Shyam Saran, the prime minister’s special envoy on climate change, also said: “In view of the UNCCC (UN Convention on Climate Change), any such move (like the provisions in the US bill) will be illegal…. It is WTO incompatible and deal-breaker for Copenhagen.”

India will participate in the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen Dec 7-18.

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