Sandeep Joshi

NEW DELHI: Reiterating that India will not accept any legally binding emission reduction cuts in the coming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said it was the obligation of developed nations (to cut emissions), including the U.S., and not that of developing nations.

Replying to a Calling Attention notice on ‘government’s changing position on climate change’ in Rajya Sabha, he said: “India will continue to play a positive role in the international negotiations without compromising on national endeavour of social and economic development and eradications of poverty.”

Refuting charges of Opposition leaders including BJP’s Arun Jaitley and CPI-M’s Brinda Karat that the government has been changing its stance and succumbing under pressure of developed nations, Mr. Ramesh said: “We are showing some flexibility because we do not want to become isolated. We do not want to earn reputation as deal-breaker… tomorrow world should not blame us. Countries like South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia have accepted emission reduction cuts, but we will not accept legally binding emission cuts.

“We cannot allow our growth and development to suffer. India wants to be a solution to the problem of climate change, though we have not caused it. As per the principles of equity and common, but differentiated, responsibilities and respective capabilities of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, developing countries including India have no obligation to reduce green house gas emissions.”