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Updated: December 5, 2009 20:56 IST

Manmohan to attend Copenhagen meet

Aarti Dhar
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to attend the Copenhagen climate summit comes against the backdrop of world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, pressing him to be there considering India’s role on the issue. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to attend the Copenhagen climate summit comes against the backdrop of world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, pressing him to be there considering India’s role on the issue. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Pressing for urgent action to tackle global warming, India wants "substantive legally-binding" outcome from Copenhagen conference which begins on Monday with meeting of negotiators and will a have high-level segment from December 16.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the climate change summit at Copenhagen on December 18. Dr. Singh will be in the Danish capital on December 17 and 18, the Prime Minister’s Office said here on Saturday.

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had asked Dr. Singh to attend the climate change meeting during his visit to the U.S. and Port of Spain. Over 80 heads of States are expected to participate in the summit that begins next week.

However, even as the government drew flak within India for its policy on climate change, particularly for announcing unilateral carbon intensity cuts between 20 and 25 per cent by 2020 from 2005 levels, the United States has lauded India’s and China’s new emissions intensity targets. It has made it clear that India issued targets for carbon intensity after bilateral meetings with the U.S. President and months of diplomatic activity.

In a statement issued to announce that President Obama would visit Copenhagen on December 18 instead of December 9, the White House said: “There was now an emerging consensus on a global deal at Copenhagen based on a ‘Danish proposal’.”

“The President [Mr. Obama] strongly believes that all nations have a responsibility to combat the threat of climate change. He has already taken unprecedented action to do so at home. Abroad, he has engaged leaders bilaterally and multilaterally on the issue and agreed to participate in the climate change conference,” the White House statement said.

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