Toyako: China and India are not ready to sign up to a goal set by the Group of Eight (G-8) industrial nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 50% by 2050, a French presidential aide said on Wednesday.
But the aide said the two fast-growing Asian economies, which together account for 25% of the emissions that scientists say are contributing to global warming, would be willing to take action later.
“China and India don’t adhere for the time being to the goal of a 50% cut by 2050, but there is a willingness to participate later,” the official told reporters.
He was speaking after the G-8 — Japan, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and the US — discussed climate change with China, India, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil.
Those countries were later joined by Australia, South Korea and Indonesia in a so-called Major Economies Meeting.
Indian experts have expressed reservations over the target, given that a G-8 declaration on Tuesday did not specify base levels from which the emissions are to be reduced by half by 2050. The agreement is “meaningless” without a mention of the starting point to measure the cuts, R.K. Pachauri, a member of the PM’s council on climate change, said.
Also, focusing on a long-term goal as far away as 2050 distracts from the mid-term goal of 2020, which signatories to the Kyoto protocol on climate change have to abide by.
Chinese state media reports said President Hu Jintao told the meeting that China took a responsible attitude towards climate change, which “should be comprehensively resolved within the framework of sustainable development”.
“China is willing along with the international community to make unceasing efforts to help the world advance towards harmonious development, clean development and sustainable development,” he was quoted as saying.
Hu said China would make its own efforts to address climate change according to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, radio and the China News Service reported.