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India not ready for carbon emission targets: PM

With just a month to go before the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen, India on Friday made it clear to the EU that it was not ready to quantify its carbon emission targets, but would explore that possibility. See full coverage

delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2009 11:25 IST

With just a month to go before the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen, India on Friday made it clear to the EU that it was not ready to quantify its carbon emission targets, but would explore that possibility.

"We have not reached that stage. We will explore that possibility," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters when asked whether India would quantify carbon emission targets.

"All of us have an obligation to work together," Manmohan Singh said at the end of the 10th India-EU summit in New Delhi. "We have a very ambitious national plan to combat climate change," he pointed out.

Climate change figured prominently in discussions between Manmohan Singh and EU leaders -- Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Sweden now holds the rotating EU presidency.

Reinfeldt pitched for India's cooperation in forging a consensus at the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

"We have identified the costs of mitigation (of greenhouse gas emissions). We need 100 billion euros by the time we come to 2020. We have acknowledged there are ambitious plans in India, but we need action from everyone," he said.

EU finance ministers calculated at their summit last week that the world would need 100 billion euros a year to tackle global warming, but did not specify who would contribute how much.

Developing countries, led by India, have consistently said this money must come from industrialised countries, which have put almost all the extra greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now.

India has also consistently advocated the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to tackle climate change and wants deeper carbon emission cuts by developed countries.

While industrialised countries (except the US) have an obligation under the Kyoto Protocol to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, developing countries have no such obligation. But developed countries are now pressing large developing countries like India, China, Brazil and South Africa to commit that by 2020, they will bring their emissions down by 15 percent from the business-as-usual scenario.