PM wants report to show India doing enough

PM wants report to show India doing enough

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked for a paper on India’s stand on climate change to be revised because he wants it to show that India is doing enough on this front as a “global citizen".

The paper released on Monday reiterated the country’s reasons for not taking up carbon dioxide (CO2) emission cuts under an international agreement.

The discussions on mandatory cuts in CO2 are coming up at the United Nations climate change talks to be held in Bali next month. The draft was drawn up by a three-member committee set up by the government earlier this year and was released to the members of the Climate Change Council, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Singh’s call for a review and another meeting make it likely that the paper will not be ready before the Bali meeting.

At the last G-8 meeting, held in June at Heiligendamm, Germany, Singh had said, “We are determined that India’s per capita GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are not going to exceed those of developed countries even while pursuing policies of development and economic growth."

Toeing the same line, the draft report stresses that India’s per capita CO2 emissions are approximately 1 tonne per annum, compared with a world average of 4 tonnes a year. India has spent 2.63% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006-07 on adapting to climate change effects and any further move at energy efficiency will come at the cost of GDP. Therefore, India requires mulitateral financing from developed countries to move to more energy-efficient processes and curbing CO2 emissions, the report said.

“India has been participating proactively in global negotiations and at Bali, India’s major role will be to facilitate negotiations between developed and developing countries," said R.K. Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, at a parallel conference on the outlook of the Bali conference.

The draft report also says that increased energy consumption is due to developing infrastructure to provide drinking water and health care, poverty reduction, and cleaning of rivers. Moreover, India also has the lowest energy intensity in food consumed, compared with the 14 biggest economies, it said.

The issue of whether developing countries should take up mandatory cuts in emissions and improve efficiency standards in industrial processes has been gaining momentum over the past month. On that aspect, the draft report says that energy efficiency in Indian industry has been improving steadily in the major energy-consuming industrial sectors such as cement, steel and aluminium. “It has been proven beyond doubt that climate change is real. It is imperative now that people living high- carbon lifestyles have to change," added Pachauri.