New Delhi: India has submitted to the UN its proposed emission intensity cut targets by 20-25% by 2020, a day before the expiry of the world body’s deadline for submitting the climate change mitigation steps under the Copenhagen Accord.
However, the country, which submitted the proposed targets yesterday, made it clear to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that its all domestic mitigation actions were entirely voluntary in nature and not legally binding, a position it had maintained at last month’s Copenhagen Summit in Denmark.
“India will endeavour to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20-25% by 2020 in comparison to the 2005 level through domestic mitigation actions,” said a statement from the Environment Ministry here.
In view of the current debate in the international climate change negotiations, India also made it clear that “while these actions will be in the nature of its contribution to the global efforts to address climate change...it will be entirely voluntary in nature and will not have a legally binding character.”
The announcement came a day after the US and European Union (EU) committed to the UN to cut green house gas emissions. The US has pledged to cut emissions by 17 per cent by 2020 from 2005 levels, although it said the target was dependent on domestic climate change legislation being passed.
The EU also retained its position at the Copenhagen Summit committing to cut emissions by 20% by 2020 from 1990 levels and promised to raise the target to 30 % if other large emitters made similarly ambitious pledges.
Though agriculture sector contributes around 14% of the total GHG emissions, India has kept it out of the purview of the mitigations actions in its blueprint submitted to the UN to ensure food security and that the needs of a teeming population are not compromised.
“The mitigation actions will also not apply to agriculture sector. The emissions from agriculture sector will be excluded from the assessment of emissions intensity,” says the submission.
India also said it intends to implement its mitigation actions in accordance with the provisions of the relevant national legislations and policies and will elaborate in due course the actions required in various sectors to achieve the overall objective of the emissions intensity reduction.
India has already set up an expert group on low carbon growth economy under the Chairmanship of economist Kirit Parik to suggest ways for adaptation and mitigation actions sector-wise.
While 194 countries, including the US, China and India, at the two-week UN summit in the Danish Capital last month took note of the Copenhagen deal, they were given 31 January deadline to list actions and targets to curb greenhouse gases causing global warming.