Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday asserted that “India will walk out” of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit to be held in December this year if the Western world insisted on enforcing any kind of legal bindings on emission trajectory. He charged European nations with adopting a fundamentalist approach, which was destroying the Copenhagen agenda.

“There is no question of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) for domestic projects and actions. We are open to this idea for internationally funded projects… something which has been even stated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh time and again. There is no weakening of India’s position and our initiatives will only give us the required strength to negotiate in the international forum,” Mr. Ramesh told journalists here after launching a refurbished website of the Ministry.

Mr. Ramesh said MRV for domestic projects was totally unacceptable. “Where we are getting international finance and technology, we can certainly consider a role for MRV. That’s reasonable. But MRV is certainly not agreeable for our National Action Plan for Climate Change,” he said. He said the decision to submit regular reports to the United Nations on domestic climate change actions was nothing new. “We were doing it every six years and now it will be done on a more regular basis. There is no weakening of our stand nor are we going to succumb to any pressure on such issues.”

Adaptation measures

Mr. Ramesh said that for India adaptation measures were more fundamental than mitigation. For all this, technology was going to be critical. “We are holding a Climate Change and Technology Conference in New Delhi on October 22-23 with 190 countries participating. This will be one of our major contributions to Copenhagen. GDP does not mean gross domestic product; it means green domestic product. Unless we start to think of green economic growth, our growth will not be sustainable.”

Replying to a question, Mr. Ramesh said India would not take on legally binding emission reduction targets. “We will not get into it because our per capita emissions are low. We have eight points that are non-negotiable. India continues to lay emphasis on per capita emissions. The two-degree goal is new but no quantitative figures have been given.”