Despite differences on various other issues, Pakistan has expressed its readiness to forge alliance with India on the climate change agenda to keep off the developed nations from thrusting their green house gas emission standards on the developing nations.

“I think yes, the kind of commonalties in our international positions that one saw in a lot of things in the WTO would probably be extended to areas of environment and climate change also. So, I see a strong possibility of cooperation,” the Pakistan Commerce Secretary Suleman Ghani said.

Mr. Ghani, who was here for the WTO mini-ministerial talks, also noted that trade in South Asia had been affected by the “historical” baggage which the countries of the region should shed. He was hopeful on the composite dialogue between the two countries on the issues that threaten common interests.

The statement which has come ahead of the UN Summit on climate change at Copenhagen in December is a major show of unity as developing countries face pressures from developed nations to accept binding cut on green house gas emissions.

A recent study has warned that there were chances of decline in irrigated wheat yield in the semi-arid areas of Pakistan in the range of nine to 30 per cent for a temperature increase of one degree C to four degrees C.

Climate change is also expected to result in changes in land and water resources that will subsequently affect agriculture productivity.

There are apprehensions that India’s agriculture sector too will face similar threats with change in monsoon dynamics due to adverse impact of climate change.

Mr. Ghani echoed views similar to that of Pakistan’s chief negotiator on climate change, Farukh Iqbal Khan, who recently met Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and expressed the need to adopt a common stand on climate change lest the developed nations were to thrust their emission standards and other positions on developing countries like India and Pakistan.

Mr. Ramesh had said that the two countries were united at the international forum on the issue of climate change and the discussion on the areas of cooperation are expected to get a further push soon when he meets his Pakistani counterpart in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) environment ministers’ meet here on October 19 and 20.

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