India and China on Thursday inked an agreement on cooperation in different areas of climate change with a commitment to Kyoto Protocol and to back each other at Copenhagen climate change negotiations.
This is the first climate change agreement for both India and China, with any country, signed outside the purview of Kyoto Protocol that stipulates technology and funds transfer from rich countries to the developing world.
The agreement signifies India and China’s long understanding on the environmental issues which started with signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1996.The two countries had then made the rich countries agree to pay for easing out ozone depleting chemicals from local industry.
A few differences had emerged in the recent past on climate change negotiations.
Chinese economist and environmentalist Hu Augang had advocated that India and China should take voluntary emission bindings for a decade follow by mandatory emission reductions, an idea rejected by India.
Last week, Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh, in his discussion note to the Prime Minister, had advocated that India align more with G-20 than G-77 alone, a group of developing world along with China.
On Wednesday, both Ramesh and China's Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission Xie Zhenhua bruished aside differences and made a commitment to stand jointly against the developed world in Copenhagen.
"There is no difference between the Indian and Chinese negotiating positions and we are discussing further what the two countries should be doing for a successful outcome at Copenhagen," said Ramesh.
Zhenhua nodded in agreement and said India and China will have to stand together for “equitable” and “fair” outcome at Copenhagen.
And, it is because of the total population of the world of 6.7 billion, 50 per cent people live in India and China.
“Trust me, only India and China can make Copenhagen succeed,” Xie said.
The agreement made it clear that India and China will not shift from its stand that the developed countries should continue to reduce emissions and provide financial resources and technology to the developing world.
India and China also announced setting up of a Joint Working Group, as part of the agreement, to exchange views concerning international negotiations on global warming.
The Joint Working Group (JWG), which will hold meetings alternately in China and India every year, is also expected to discuss respective domestic policies and measures and implementation of related cooperative projects.
The MoA identifies energy conservation and energy efficiency, renewable energies, clean coal technologies, methane recovery and utilization, transportation and sustainable habitat as key areas for cooperation between the two countries.
The agreement also aims to enhance cooperation in evaluation of adverse impacts of climate change. Indian and Chinese climate scientists will carry out joint research and development, the agreement says.
India will sign similar agreements with European Union, Norway, United States, Brazil and South Africa.