New Delhi/Hong Kong: India signed an agreement with China to increase cooperation on tackling climate change after the countries rejected calls from rich nations to set binding caps on carbon emissions.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on Wednesday in New Delhi by environment minister Jairam Ramesh and vice-minister at China’s national development and reform commission Xie Zhenhua. The agreement comes ahead of a United Nations (UN) climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.
“The two countries have in recent weeks said what they’re doing to tackle climate change and the aim of the talks is partly to help consolidate their negotiating position ahead of Copenhagen,” said Yang Ailun, a spokeswoman at the environmental pressure group Greenpeace in Beijing. “There’s no way developing countries will accept caps.”
United stand: China’s chief climate change official Xie Zhenhua (right) shakes hands with environment minister Jairam Ramesh after signing a pact on climate change in New Delhi on Wednesday. Dar Yasin / AP
China and India say wealthy countries should lower emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020 and share technology with poorer nations to help them fight climate change.
“India and China are most vulnerable to climate change,” Xie said. “Both countries are in the process of rapid industrialization and urbanization. I am confident China and India will make a positive contribution to Copenhagen.”
In a separate development, China said on Wednesday that Premier Wen Jiabao would meet his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh at a regional summit in Thailand.
“This meeting between the two prime ministers is a very important one,” assistant foreign minister Hu Zhengyue told reporters.
Beijing voiced its opposition to a recent visit by Singh to Arunachal Pradesh, at the core of a border dispute, and to a planned visit there next month by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
Meanwhile, India has expressed confidence that the boundary dispute with China will be resolved amicably through dialogue. “I am quite confident that all border disputes will be resolved through discussions, amicably”, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in New Delhi.
(‘AFP’ and ‘PTI’ contributed to this story.)