Manmohan rejects Bush’s stance on climate change

July 7th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By Tarun Basu
Aboard Air India One, July 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday rejected US President George Bush’s contention that India and China should set emission goals, saying “India can’t by any stretch of imagination be regarded as a major polluter of greenhouse gases”. “India’s contribution to emission is less than 4 percent. Our per capita emission is among the lowest - an average of about 1.2 tonnes,” the prime minister told reporters aboard his special flight while on way to Toyako to attend the G8 annual conclave of the world’s wealthiest countries and emerging economies.

“For us the topmost priority is development to solve the problem of chronic poverty,” the prime minister said.

“I don’t think we are in a position to take responsibility by way of international targeted emissions. And that is the broad thrust of our approach,” the prime minister said while elaborating on India’s position of differentiated responsibilities of developed and developing countries in curbing global greenhouse emissions.

As the G8 summit opened Monday, Bush said he would be “constructive” in talks on climate change but insisted that the issue cannot be solved unless fast-growing China and India agree on long-term emission goals.

Last week, India unveiled its National Action Plan on Climate Change that underscored India’s commitment to work with other countries to find solutions within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Bali Road Map.

India believes mandatory caps and reductions in GHG emissions were for developed countries who were responsible for almost all the excess GHG in the atmosphere.

Prime Minister’s chief negotiator on climate change Shyam Saran, who is accompanying Manmohan Singh to Japan, had said last week that there was no question of India agreeing to a mandatory cap on its GHG emissions.

During his meeting with G8 leaders, Manmohan Singh is likely to convey to the international community the need for “an integrated approach” toward “interlinked” issues of climate change, energy security and food security.

India is one of the five countries, also called O-5, that have been invited as outreach partners to the Group of Eight (G8) summit. Other countries are China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico.

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