Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said an agreement with China for glaciological studies would be finalised in two weeks.
Noting that China was "following" India's stand in climate change negotiation, Ramesh added: "Shrinking glaciers is a big area of cooperation. When I went to China in September, we almost had an agreement. And in the next couple of weeks, I am sure we will have the agreement on cooperation in the field of glaciology."
The minister said the issue of Himalayan glaciers receding at an alarming pace cannot be addressed if the two countries didn't join hands.
"India cannot come to grips with what is happening in its glacial eco-system without getting China in on a larger programme based on cooperation. At some stage Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan (all countries in the Himalayan belt) will also form a part of it; but China is more important. All this has great impetus because we have had cooperation in the area of climate change," he said.
Ramesh was speaking at the Asian Corporate Conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) where he also mentioned that thanks to hiked investments in green technology, India could cut emission intensity by more than the promised 20-25 percent.
"We will take upon a ourselves the responsibility of reducing our emission intensity per unit GDP by 20-25 percent by 2020. I am sure that we will infact better this (seeing) at the rate at which our GDP is growing and the rate at which clean technology is coming in...the investments being made in clean technology gives me enormous confidence that these targets will be met," Ramesh said.
Asked if China, the top emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, was hiding behind India, which is listed fifth, for international climate change negotiations, the minister remarked: "There is not a doubt in my mind that China is following India."
"I mean it happened last week...India and China were the only two countries who had not formally associated themselves with the Copenhagen accord. India associated itself and less than 24 hours later China associated itself," he said.
The minister, however, justified this as "what international politics is all about".
"For me the partnership with China goes beyond climate change. It is a strategic message....negotiating with China is a headache for the United States. But negotiating with both India and China together is a nightmare. There is a benefit for both countries, but we both know the limits of this cooperation," said Ramesh, who has also authored a book on diplomatic ties between the two countries.