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Updated: April 10, 2011 08:06 IST

India will not undertake legally binding commitments: Jairam Ramesh

Sujay Mehdudia
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Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh. File photo
PTI Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh. File photo

The Environment Minister said the international community should rather focus on its own carbon emission levels instead ofpointing to a country like India, which is moving along a low-carbon growth path.

Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Saturday asserted that India would not succumb to international pressure to agree to any legally binding commitments to reduce carbon emission.

Speaking at the National Conference and Annual Session of Confederation of India Industry (CII) here, Mr. Jairam said the government will only act in national interest on the issue. “I can assure you we are not taking on any legally binding commitments under international duress. We should take on commitments only because it is in our interest,” he remarked.

“What may reflect internationally will be dependent on what other countries are prepared to give as far as their commitments are concerned,” he added.

Stating that India should negotiate from its position of strength and take a leadership role, Mr. Ramesh said the international community should rather focus on its own carbon emission levels instead ofpointing to a country like India, which is moving along a low-carbon growth path. “When India goes for negotiations, I have three objectives in mind. The first is to maintain the autonomy of the economic growth trajectory, to enhance our own environmental agenda like green growth, less pollutions and lastly re-position India diplomatically as a constructive problem solver,” he told India Inc.

Talking to reporters after his speech, Mr. Ramesh said he regretted that funds pledged to the Fast Start Finance Fund to the tune of $25 billion to combat carbon emission have only remained on paper. “The fund was meant for Africa and other least developed countries and the island nations with countries like India voluntarily giving up their claim to it. The long term green fund of $100 billion also proved to be a non-starter. We are back to square one. I don't know where the climate talks are headed right now,” he said.

He asked the corporate India to take on environmental issue far more seriously than it has in the past as it is related to public health and climate change. The issue has to be embedded into the thinking process and intrinsic to business and growth process, he said.

I second his view. Countries like America should first reduce their own CO2 emissions before pointing fingers to others like China and India. One more important fact to remember is the net carbon footprint. Even though China has a very high CO2 emission rate, significant portion of that comes from manufacturing goods that eventually get shipped to America. Who should be accountable for that? Local economy is the key. But unfortunately the biggest polluter of the world has a mindset : 'That the American way of life is uncompromisable' even though that would involve lambs from New Zealand, salmon from Norway, spinach from China, strawberries from Chili so on and so forth.

from:  Majumder
Posted on: Apr 9, 2011 at 22:26 IST
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