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Delhi says no to removal of trade barriers

delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2007 02:02 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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India on Saturday was at the forefront with Brazil, opposing a proposal of developed nations seeking removal of trade barriers to allow transfer of clean technologies.

The European Union and the United States made a joint proposal through the World Trade Organisation to remove specific barriers to trade in clean energy technologies like wind turbines and solar panels as part of the long- running Doha round of talks.

Both India and Brazil termed the proposal “disguised protectionism” to boost exports from rich countries under the pretext of climate change mitigation.

“India had refused to any clean technology transfer mechanism without transfer of intellectual property rights. Climate change cannot be used to boost exports from rich countries to the developing world,” said an Indian delegate at the Bali conference of 190 nations on climate change.

Brazil opposed saying that bio-fuels like ethanol from sugarcane have not been included among the clean technologies proposed for transfer to the developing world. The country is the world’s biggest producer of ethanol.

Commerce ministry officials are representing India at the ministerial level talks, unlike the US, Australia, Brazil and Portugal, whose trade ministers are attending the meet.

“Our stand is crystal clear. Let clean technology transfer start first under the Kyoto Protocol, then we can talk about the future,” said Indian environment secretary Meena Gupta.

On Sunday, WTO chief Pascal Lamy will look at what kind of tools and instruments could be applied to maximise linkages between trade and climate policies, Reuters has reported.

Australia, which ratified the Kyoto Protocol only at the beginning of the Bali conference, joined Japan and the US on Saturday in demanding emission cuts in developing countries, especially the industrialised ones, like India and China. The developing countries have rejected all such demands.

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