‘Economic crisis no excuse for reducing climate change funds’

February 27th, 2009 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) India Friday stressed that the global economic crisis should not become a cause for developed countries to cut down spending on projects to counter climate change.
“The economic slowdown should not be an excuse to reduce, but to re-double efforts on funding for climate change,” prime minister’s envoy on climate change Shyam Saran told reporters here at an interaction.

The “rhetoric” of the developed world that funding would be raised is yet to be translated into action, he said.

The various stimulus packages announced by the industrialised countries should have had substantial allocations for renewable energy if their rhetoric has to be believed, the envoy added.

He, however, said it would be a problem if Washington insisted on emission targets for all.

“We may see what will be their position at Bonn next month,” he said, referring to the next meeting of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action, set up under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

India is, meanwhile, working for the Copenhagen meeting of the UN Climate Change Conference to be held by the end of this year to discuss the post-2012 scenario.

Saran reiterated India’s stance that historical responsibility should be a focus of negotiations, rather than current emissions.

“Even if by a miracle, emissions became zero tomorrow, climate change will continue due to accumulated greenhouse gases,” he said.

He also dismissed criticism that India always stalls negotiations as “distorted projections”.

“We are prepared to engage in sustainable development,” Saran said.

Saran said the specifics of the eight national missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change were near finalisation.

“We are in the last series of meetings internally. Then we will give it for approval before the prime minister’s council for climate change,” he said.

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