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Updated: October 3, 2009 10:57 IST

‘US now has better understanding of India’s stand on climate’

PTI
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Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh releasing a sticker during the International Ozone Day in New Delhi recently. File Photo: R.V. Moorthy
The Hindu Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh releasing a sticker during the International Ozone Day in New Delhi recently. File Photo: R.V. Moorthy

India has said that there is now better understanding of its position on climate change in the US, which recognises that emission cuts, is not the only way for countries to reflect their domestic obligations globally.

“We have to take forward this dialogue. We will be in close touch with our American counterparts. Today we have a better understanding of what the US is doing and certainly the US has a better understanding of what we are doing,” the Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, said winding up his visit to America.

Mr. Ramesh, who met US officials on climate change and several influential lawmakers, told the Indian media here that “there is better appreciation of India’s position on climate change issue.”

During his visit to New York and Washington, Mr. Ramesh had two rounds of discussions with Todd Stern, Special US Envoy for Climate Change. He also met Energy Secretary Steven Chu, besides a number of lawmakers -- John Kerry, Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and Congressmen Edward Markey and Jim McDermott.

“The important thing is change in perception of India,” Mr. Ramesh said, referring to his meetings with US officials.

It has been established firmly that “India is a responsible player wanting a fair and equitable agreement and prepared to play a leadership role in this regard, given its unique position in world affairs,” he said.

The ultimate objective is that when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh comes here on a state visit in November, “we should have some articulation and finalisation of institutional partnership in the field of energy, environment and climate change,” Mr. Ramesh said.

“We are hoping that between now and November; we would be in a position to give operational content to many of these ideas. It would be reflected suitably in some statement after the two heads of state meet in November,” he said.

“I do feel that in the last month and a half, there has been a noticeable shift in narrative as far as India is concerned. We have a long way to go,” he said.

“The fact that the US is saying emission cuts is not the only way for countries like India to reflect their domestic obligations internationally is a big step forward,” Mr. Ramesh said.

The United States’ readiness to appreciate India’s actions taken unilaterally and voluntarily as part of a domestic legislative agenda is also a better appreciation of that today than may be a couple of months ago, he said.

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