India will not succumb to any international pressure on committing to a legally binding agreement on cutting carbon emissions but will deal with climate change issues as per its own plans, Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Monday.
"Under no international agreement, will we accept legally binding mitigations," he said, replying to questions in Rajya Sabha.
He said Parliament will be taken into confidence on measures drawn by New Delhi.
At the recent meeting of four of the eight industralised nations (G-8) in Italy, India made no commitment to cutting emissions, he said. The G-8 declaration sets an aspirational objective for 2050 and "there is no mention of pressuring developing countries like India to cut emissions."
"India will not come under any pressure," he said. "We will not commit to any law or agreement that will hinder our progress and development," he said.
The minister said, "We accept our responsibility but we will not accept any agreement which legally binds us to cut emissions."
Ramesh said India has categorically stated that its per capita carbon emission will at no stage exceed the per capita carbon emission of developed nations.
India, Ramesh said, has taken several steps to tackle ozone depletion and the phasing out of ozone depleting chemicals was on schedule.
Carbon di-oxide emissions are not only a danger to India but to the world, he said adding most of the carbon di-oxide emissions come from coal-based power plants.
The Minister said in 2003, the first macro assessment of climate change on India was done but no clear impact was seen. A second comprehensive assessment is being carried out to find the impact of climate change on monsoon, glaciers, mountains, environment, health, irrigation and agriculture among others. The assessment will be completed by December 2010.
Based on the first assessment, "there is conclusive scientific evidence to suggest that climate change was impacting monsoon," he said. "After the second assessment, we will be able to say with some authority on how climate change is impacting monsoon, glaciers and mountains."
The Inter-governmental Plan on Climate Change in its 4th Assessment Report published in 2007, human beings are exposed to climate change through changing weather partners and indirectly through changes in water, air, food quality and quantity, ecosystems, agriculture and economy.
"However, no direct link has been established between human induced climate change and mortality," he said adding climate change projections indicate increased risk of more intense, frequent and longer lasting heat waves, summer dryness and greater risk of drought.