India opposes protectionism under green label: Saran

India opposes protectionism under green label: Saran
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First Published: Wed, Mar 25 2009. 01 36 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 25 2009. 01 36 PM IST
Washington: India on Wednesday objected to attempts being made to club the country along with “major emitters” of green house gases and warned the developed world against sneaking in “protectionism under green label” garb.
The attempt to club India together with so-called major emitters is misleading and unfair, Shyam Saran, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, said.
“We do not believe that we are major emitters,” he said while responding to questions from the audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a prestigious Washington-based think-tank here.
“The latest data shows that while US and China are each responsible for about 20% of global CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, India, with its billion plus population, generates only 4% of such emissions, he said while speaking on the topic, “India’s Climate Change Initiatives: Strategies for a Greener Future.”
He said that as against a per capita CO2 emission of 20 tonnes for the US, India accounts for only 1.8 tonnes per capita,” he said.
Earlier, addressing a meeting of US corporate leaders organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC) here, Saran sought a partnership with the US in renewable energy to meet the growing challenge of climate change.
With the Obama Administration focusing on clean and renewable energy to jump-start its recession-hit economy, an Indo-US partnership between them, after the civilian nuclear deal, is essential to jointly meet the challenges of climate change, Saran said.
Welcoming President Barack Obama’s Renewable Energy Initiative, he said: “The first component of our strategy for the future, for both Indian and US business is a renewable energy partnership covering different technological pathways and focusing on technology and product development.”
He said that the world is on the cusp of an energy revolution and that it was becoming apparent that current trends of growth of the global economy, in particular the growth of India and China, cannot be sustained by the accelerated depletion of fossil fuels.
“The challenge before us now lies in translating these opportunities into practical collaborative partnerships on a scale and of a quality that befits the strategic partnership between our two countries,” he said.
Saran also cautioned the developed world, the US and European countries in particular, to avoid any attempt to sneak in “protectionism under green label” as this would hurt their global efforts to successfully meet the challenges posed by climate change.
“We should not open doors for protectionism under green label. That is something, which would be a very negative development,” he said.
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First Published: Wed, Mar 25 2009. 01 36 PM IST