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Manmohan to highlight fuel crisis at summit

Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh  

K.Venugopal

To attend meeting of Outreach Countries in Japan tomorrow

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for Japan on Monday morning to attend the Summit Meeting of the G-8 and Outreach Countries (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) at the lakeside resort of Hokkaido Toyako on Wednesday.

Leaving behind the bustle of political developments over the India-Unites States nuclear deal that at one point cast doubts over his visit, Dr. Singh will first attend a meeting of the Outreach Countries on Tuesday.

In a statement issued on the eve of his departure, Dr. Singh, said: “I will, in particular, highlight the impact of the sharp rise in fuel prices on the global economy and the need for joint action by both producing and consuming nations.”

Since the G-8 summit at Heligendamm in Germany last year, where the participants resolved to halve greenhouse gas emissions from the current levels by 2050 to mitigate the effects of climate change, oil prices have doubled making the need for curbing energy use more urgent.

Dr. Singh noted that climate change, energy security and food security were interlinked, and the issue required an integrated approach.

The National Action Plan on Climate Change released last week underscored India’s commitment to addressing the challenge of climate change, and outlined concrete steps to meet this challenge.

“At the international level, we will work with others to find solutions within the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Bali Road Map, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” he said.

In recent weeks, there have been statements from G-8 leaders that countries such as India and China too will have to curb their rapidly rising energy consumption and carbon emissions.

“We can’t have an effective agreement unless China and India are a part of it,” said U.S. President George W. Bush last week.

Dr. Singh’s view is that “there can be no solution without taking into account the developmental imperatives and aspirations of developing economies. For us, the foremost priority is removal of poverty, for which we need sustained rapid economic growth.”

Meeting with Bush

Dr. Singh is slated to have a meeting with Mr. Bush on Wednesday, where the nuclear deal is expected to be discussed.

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